|Strathspey & the Cairngorms, April 21|
Crossing a road, thinking of the talk I’m to give that evening, holding sandwiches and newspapers for the train journey to come. Suddenly I’m falling, then landing hard, on hands and knees. In the middle of a highway. With that thought I rise and stagger to safety. There’s a lot of blood I notice. Both hands are bleeding. My pale trousers are stained red. I’m still thinking of continuing my journey, giving my talk. I try and clean up in the station toilet. I fail. Back at my car I’m still wondering how to catch the train without getting too much blood on everything. A woman comes up to me. ‘Are you ok?’. ‘Yes’, I respond automatically. She can see I’m not. ‘You need stitches’, she says, ‘we can take you to the health centre’. I’m about to refuse but the sight of my bleeding hands triggers something in my head and I know she’s right. A man with her comments on the amount of blood. I think they followed the trail of it from the station. A few minutes later I’m in a health centre and being patched up by nurses and a doctor. I do need stitches and lots of bandages on hands and knees. My rescuers have gone. I thanked them but never got their names. They were local, from Forres, and very kind. I’m not sure what I’d have done without them.
How did I fall? I don’t know. Maybe I tripped on something or slipped on an oily patch. I have no memory of starting to fall, only of falling. Such a silly thing to do I thought as I sat in the health centre being repaired. Such a silly thing but it’s changed the next few weeks. Today I was meant to be flying to Colorado for the ski tour with Igloo Ed. That’s not possible now. I couldn’t grip a ski pole let alone shovel snow. My dressings need changing every few days, the stitches need to come out sometime next week. I’m on antibiotics in case of infection. Ten days in the mountains, any mountains, is not an option.
|View across Strathspey to the Hills of Cromdale, April 20|
Back home I thought about coming to terms with the new situation, about how to deal with it. I can’t change it. I have to accept it. Look forward I think. The ski trip has gone now. A couple of local strolls to look at the signs of spring and the distant snowy mountains and to enjoy the sunshine eases any stress. My partner is wonderful, sympathetic and practical. That helps greatly. The ski tour will be next year now. But the TGO Challenge is in three weeks. That suddenly seems close. I need to have recovered by then.