Monday, 17 October 2011
Yes, yes! It's an Inspiring Photo Essay!
Now we're talking. It's been ages since we had an IPE. However, I think it's only fair to put a disclaimer up top: it's not a photo essay for the feeble of heart. You've got that? You're not feeble-hearted? Right. We're all on the same page. So, what do you think that picture is at the top of this page? Well, if that's what you think, you're almost certainly wrong.
What is this picture of then?
You are almost certainly right. It is a cup of tea. But not just any cup of tea. It's... No, wait, it is any cup of tea. We all like tea, don't we? NO! Ok, we do, but it's not all been plain sailing.
Let's go back to that first picture again.
Well, early on Friday afternoon, when I was about to demo Scrivener for a friend of mine who is a top hilarious soon-to-be-published writer of novels for girls, and shortly before I beetled off to Essex to feed the children of most people I know, I...
There's something about me you might not know. You would assume from the fact I can catch et cetera that I have all the grace and balance I could want, and maybe I do, but there is one thing I have never in my life particularly been able to grasp and that is keeping tea in cups. I am a dripper. Fundamentally, this is because I am careless. Something in me refuses to sweat the small stuff. I wish it were not so. I am not trying to be all 'Aw shucks'. I don't want to drip. Now I'm a grown up, I frequently have to clean up after myself.
Back to Friday. I made the tea, and didn't quite put it on the counter. It dropped onto my stockinged foot. 'Stockinged', as you well know, is an old-fashioned way of saying I was wearing socks. I was not cross-dressing. Tea, it transpires, is bloody hot, and that picture you have nearly forgotten about features a couple of bits of the skin that came off the top of my foot while I was de-socking.
I put it under cold water and so on for the next hour while I showed my friend how to use Scrivener. She left. I got out of the saucepan I was standing in. Then I got back in it quite quickly. Then I phoned NHS Direct. They told me that you can't mess around with feet and so I went to A&E.
All very quick in triage, and the doctor said: 'Urgent Care Clinic, straight away, there's no queue.' Nor was there, for the UCC, but the queue to be processed by A&E reception was 40 minutes. This was pretty annoying.
Been a while since there was a picture. This is the ancestral town, where I intended to be by this point in the early evening.
Anyway, I got to the counter, gave my date of birth, and name. Then I waited while the receptionist looked shockedly at me. This was the fun bit, up to a point, because then I got to say, 'There are two Robert Hudsons born that day.' The other one died last year, I happen to know, and I am used to this confusion. It is less fun for the other RH, of course.
Anyway, I eventually got bandaged up. This morning, I had to go back and have the dressings re-done. I was more camera-ready this time. Here is my foot in bandage:
Oh, ugh, isn't it a bit discoloured? Indeed it is. It had been seeping as I hobbled to the hospital. Here is the evidence in my sock / stocking:
A trainee nurse started to undo the bandages...
We all sort of know what kind of thing is coming up - I am putting in interim stages to raise the tension. Here is another, of the gauze:
And here is the tea-damaged foot:
In various ways, especially in terms of toes and nails, the foot has also been damaged by hockey.
Ah, I see you are disappointed. 'Couldn't you,' you are thinking, 'have got a more incarnadine version, assuming that word means "redder"?' I could have and did.
This next picture is of the pot I stood in, this morning, days later. I hadn't been able to carry it down yesterday when I got back from Essex (my foot was sore). On seeing this picture, my girlfriend said, 'Oh, it's your room. At first I thought it was an intensive care ward.' Leaving aside what kind of state she must think the National Health is in, take a moment to wonder at the chaos - atypical to be sure - which had been allowed to take over in a few short days of shortfootedness.
But of course there is a reason for my posting this picture. See this final one. Look into the pan.
Yes, there, on the left, sunk into the water, is another bit of flapped off skin. This pan will soon appear again in one of my much-loved cooking IPEs.