Not content with a Fosbury Flop off a step ladder some days prior to Christmas (don’t ask me precisely when) resulting in a suspected broken hip, which, fortunately, turned out to be only severe deep bruising, I followed up with a more emphatic slip and dive on to the same right hip and buttock on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, I did this while I was upstairs without a mobile phone, and with Suzanne off somewhere without hers (I think), an hour of dragging myself to a phone where I could dial 000 resulted in one of those bad Fawlty Towers-type stories as on various aspects of my birth, lifestyle, state of mind, and god knows what else with the 000 operator ultimately led to an ambulance arriving, and after protracted delay (mercifully with painkillers on the menu) we headed off to Ringwood Private Hospital, only to be told a few minutes before arriving that the hospital was now full and I would now have to go to Maroondah Hospital (which had no private rooms).
After a further protracted delay I found myself in a bed thanks to Dr Mark Horrigan of Pimpernel Wines (just around the corner from Coldstream Hills) who had pulled some strings to get me into one of the very few private wards available. There I spend until New Year’s Eve, with weeks of physiotherapy and discomfort in front of me. A planned New Year’s Eve dinner at Spice with Tom Carson and partner Nadege Sune (and my wife Suzanne) had to be abandoned, a dinner at home substituted with ‘96 Dom Perignon, ‘08 Montrachet of Frederic Magnien under screwcap eased the pain (mental and physical) somewhat.
The mental pain comes from the fact that I had, with immaculate foresight and planning, put aside eight days’ work in the cellar, in my library and elsewhere that will now have to wait for another year. Very bloody aggravating, as they say in the classics. It goes without saying that, however aggravating it may be for me, it has been far more so for Suzanne, forever at my beck and call, our extended family Christmas Day, many intervening events and full-on New Year’s Eve celebrations all cancelled, Suzanne simply running in circles trying to fill gaps for me.
For the time being, I hobble around, with physiotherapy and weeks to go before the leg ceases to be a square peg in a round hole.