Monday, January 9, 2012


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.


David B Hemmings said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery James.

Anonymous said...

Hey James - sympathy. I did something similar resulting in a skin graft in the lead up to Xmas. Was in the same hospital as Molly and clearly they were busy attending to him. After 2 days on a drip waiting for an op. pulled some strings to get to the Mercy private, only to be transferred to St Vincents as the Mercy closed for Xmas! La Tour D'hopital de Melbourne and a real eye opener as to the state of our health system in Victoria...A. Aldridge.

Wine Companion Team said...

Recovery from my undignified exit from the step ladder prior to Christmas proceeds slowly. Having had two blood transfusions, with a third threatened, my mind keeps on going back to Hancock’s Half Hour when he (Hancock) is about to give blood but finds that the amount to be taken is effectively the amount required for one arm. My other discovery, a la Anna Aldridge, is that that the standard of care varies widely from one hospital to the next. And finally, even if you are a paid up member of the Ambulance service, it counts for nought. If your injuries are not life-threatening, you wait at the end of the queue with no indication of when an ambulance might arrive.

AndyPat said...

Hi James
if the 8 days in the cellar is still required, I am happy to oblige!

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