I've got palms that are still stinging, and a grazed knee that I've had to bandage, all because I couldn't be bothered to fetch a torch, and I tripped over in the dark, in front of my house, and fell forward onto weathered tarmac.
I'd just got home from London after a really pleasant afternoon, and this accident rather spoilt the day.
I had two letters awaiting me. No, one was for my next door neighbour T---. Without thinking, and leaving my front door open, I walked briskly out into the night, across the front of my house, barely noting the step down as I quickly made my way across my neighbour's frontage also (there's no fence), and then turned in to his front door. Although the street lights were on, the shadow cast by my caravan meant that everything was in total darkness. It crossed my mind then that I really ought to get a torch, or else postpone my good deed till the morning, but I was lazy. And of course I couldn't at first find his letter flap. After half a minute of rather silly groping around in the dark, I found it, popped the letter in, and sped back to my own house at a very fast walk, because it was dreadfully cold. The next thing I knew I was pitching forward. I'd no idea what I'd be falling onto. I put my hands out...and you can imagine the rest. Ouch! In fact it hurt like hell, and I felt shaken up.
I got indoors and burst into tears. It wasn't just the pain. The fall had scraped and bent my favourite silver wrist bangle, which I treasured and cherished as I do all my personal things. That simply made me feel much, much worse. But of course the tears came chiefly because I needed to cry. You know what I mean, it was a release of pent-up anguish over so many things great and small that my ongoing transition had brought about. Grief like this is always with you, just beneath the surface, and doesn't need much to trigger it.
I got myself in hand after a while. I washed my palms, which weren't actually lacerated with embedded gravel, although they felt like it; washed my knee, which was in fact worse than it felt; and bathed my face, which was frankly a mess. I straightened the bangle. I had a cup of tea, something I should have done first of all. Then I felt better. I'd live.
The letter for myself was from Liz Hills at the Brighton Nuffield Hospital, confirming the 1 March date, and going into detail on the admission and discharge arrangements. Welcome stuff.
But how stupid to have rushed off into the dark without a torch. I won't do it again.