Then strip, lads, and to it, tho’ sharp be the weather,
And if by mischance you should happen to fall,
There are worse things in life than a tumble on heather,
And life is itself but a game at foot-ball.
- Sir Walter Scott, 1815
It wasn't a tumble on heather, but a full-blown face-first thump on to solid concrete. And no, I didn't bounce. The Adler Gabriele electric portable typewriter had got me back for turning it into spare parts. Now, for the next six weeks at least, I'll be as useless as it is.
Tidying up my typewriter workshop last Thursday afternoon led to three days in hospital. CAT scans initially showed a broken sternum, six cracked ribs and a busted left shoulder. That subsequently got narrowed down to just the sternum and some serious bruising. Still, I'm going to be suffering the consequences of the fall until August - no driving, no drinking (because of powerful pain-killing drugs), and no lifting.
From the moment I came to, surrounded by paramedics and firemen (called in to help lift the litter) and a distressed yet impressively calm wife, I’ve been feeling the painful effects of falling off a high workbench and landing chest first on a box of typewriter spare parts.
Yet the gruesome details - what caused me to fall, and what caused so much subsequent agony - eluded me for the first 24 hours of hospital treatment. I’d blacked out and lost those “key” moments. “What happened?” I kept asking an exasperated Harriet. As she patiently went through it, again and again, step by ghastly step, a hazy recollection of the sequence of events slowly came back to me, bit by grisly bit.
This was my second losing encounter with typewriters. Back on September 22, 2016, I cracked a couple of ribs when I tripped and fell on to two Smith-Corona Galaxie IIs. The Galaxies had been stripped of their masks while I was in the process of trying to unearth SCM