Tag Archives: getting hurt

Some lessons

Before you get to thinking that our trip to Ireland was all fantastic and sunshine and rainbows (though it actually was, for the great majority of the time), let me just bring us all down to reality with a sudden jarring bump.

Yes, that.

We flew into Belfast, arriving at 9 am, after flying something like eleventy-million hours (this is the price one pays for living on the West Coast of North America. Unless you want to go to Asia. Or Australia. Which are also many, many hours of flight time away, but at least it’s less than for Easterners. Ha!). By the time we exited the plane and cleared customs and caught the bus into the city and found our cleverly hidden hotel, it was near noon, I think. Being near noon, our room was, naturally, not ready, but they allowed us to store our cases at the front desk and told us to go out and explore for a couple of hours.

Keep in mind that we had now been awake for 24 hours at this point, give or take a few.

We headed up Botanical Avenue in search of food – and shade. It was hot! We ate, cooled down, caught our second wind. We were practically in the University District, so we wandered around there. Oh, the beautiful old brick buildings! Oh, the leafy old trees! Oh, the weird Gaelic signposts! Oh, the – speed bump?

I didn’t see the speed bump as I was crossing the street. I tripped and fell over it, hard on my left knee, elbow, and hand. The camera, while still looped around my wrist, slapped against the pavement. I rolled over and lay on my back, giggling. Once again, PG was hovering anxiously above me. “What the hell?!” he said.

“Ow,” I said.

There was some pain, some blood, some bruising, some limping, but nothing serious. The camera – well, the camera didn’t work so well for the rest of the trip. It could take photos just fine, but it would no longer scroll through them and would sometimes turn itself off at odd times. It’s DD’s camera. Now I shall have to buy her a new one, I guess.

THEN, there was the time I was standing at the top of some very old stone steps at the Rock of Cashel. I was once again taking a photo. PG was waiting for me at the bottom of the steps. I took the photo, tucked the camera back in my messenger bag, then went to step onto the grass beside the step. Oops – the grass wasn’t level with the step! I caught myself just in time and ended up looking like a drunk trying to maintain her balance on a perfectly flat stone step. “What the hell?!” said PG, again.

THEN, when we were in Dublin, our very first night, I was starting to get ready for bed. I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. As I finished, my toothbrush slipped from my grasp and fell right down the drain of the sink. There was no little grill (or whatever you call it) at the top of the drainpipe. Just a wide pipe straight down to drainpipe hell.

I got mad. How stupid is that??? People drop stuff in the bathroom sink ALL THE TIME, and there’s nothing to catch it??? I stomped out of the bathroom, PG said, “What the hell?!”, then I phoned down to reception. Within the hour, the hotel maintenance man had come by, unscrewed the cover that encompassed the entire bottom of the sink down to the floor, disconnected the pipe, and along with a whole lot of gunk, retrieved my toothbrush. And a spoon. He assured me that this wasn’t the first time this had happened. Evidently. I plugged in the kettle and proceeded to pour copious amounts of boiling water over my toothbrush to disinfect it. I was very careful with that toothbrush for the rest of the trip – and I equally carefully inspected every single sink with which I came into contact, too. PG said, “Why didn’t you just go buy another toothbrush?” Because I got mad, that’s why.

THEN, one night we were in this lovely Italian restaurant in Kinsale (I know – sounds weird, but honestly, sometimes one does get tired of Irish pubs. Besides, they do love their Italian food in Ireland. There are a LOT of Italian restaurants.). We’d just been seated and I leaned down to put my bag on the floor. Somehow, leaning sort-of sideways over the table, I hit the wineglass squarely with my chin. I hit it so hard, I’m actually surprised it didn’t break! Apparently, I jerked my head back rather abruptly and ever-helpful, PG said, “What the hell?!”

“Ow,” I said.

There was some minor throbbing pain, some swelling, some bruising. But again, no serious damage.

So the lessons to be learned here are: walk carefully over speedbumps and stairs, hang onto your toothbrush, and watch those tricky wineglasses.

Oh – and also “What the hell?!” is NOT a helpful thing to say when your significant other has a minor disaster.


Beware falling objects

As the school year winds down, there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done to properly close out the year. The office staff has a bunch of administrative tasks that have to be done, and they work an extra week in July (like, NOW) in order to get it all done. I’m not exactly sure what they do, but there seems to be a lot of it. In addition to completing our final files on each of our students, we teachers also have to assist with the general clean-up in the school. There is a list, and we sign up to clean out and reorganize places like the art room, the gym equipment rooms, the staff room, the various book rooms.

Being the organizational maven that I am, I quite like this. I regularly sign up to clean either the staff room or the book rooms. There are a few like-minded souls around my school, so I always have good company while doing these jobs. It’s also a very good way to see what materials we actually have in our school, especially the book rooms, and being a reading specialist, it’s kinda important that I know what is available to be used for reading instruction at the various grade levels.

So, last week, Thursday I think it was, I could be found in the English book room, busily rooting around for books that hadn’t been put back in their proper locations after being used. (Seriously, people! Can’t you RECOGNIZE alphabetical order when you see it? How on earth can you teach it to little kids if you yourself think that books at Level P belong on the shelf with books at Level L? And why would you just dump a bunch of books on the table instead of even making that kind of half-assed attempt to put them away properly? How do you expect your students to put stuff away if you can’t be bothered yourself?)

Our English book room is a fairly large room. In fact, it is so large that only half of it contains books. The other half is art supplies. Now, technically, I was NOT cleaning up the art supplies, only the books, but there were a number of big pads of cardboard paper strewn about untidily, and it was bugging me. These pads are rather heavy and unwieldy. They are used to make charts and posters, so they’re not tiny, either. I saw that they were supposed to be stored atop the shelving unit, because that was really the only place wide enough for them.

I picked one pad up and tried to heft it onto the top of the shelving unit. I did say that these pads are rather heavy and unwieldy and also not tiny, didn’t I? Well, I didn’t quite get the pad onto the top well enough in order to be able to push it the rest of the way. It fought back and slid back down.

Into my face. My left cheek, to be exact.

It hurt like I’d just gotten slapped. I just picked it up and tried again, this time successfully. I got the other pads up there too. Then I went to the staffroom, as it was recess time.

There, another teacher took one look at me and said, “Were you just in a fight or something?”

I went to the bathroom to have a look. My entire left cheek was beet red, complete with three long red scratches. Paper cuts, I guess. It hurt to touch. It looked like it was going to turn into a lovely bruise. Right on my face.

I ruefully headed back to the office and showed my injuries to one of the secretaries, who is also one of our first aid people. “I guess I have to fill in an accident report and file a claim with WorkSafeBC,” I said to her.

“Damn straight you do,” she replied, handing me the paperwork.

Not that I thought these were serious injuries that would morph into flesh-eating disease, but you never know, so I filled in the forms and gave them back to her to be sent in.

And now, almost a week later, I seem to have healed completely, thank goodness. There are no marks on my cheek to show for the incident, so I’m happy about that. I mean, I’m flying off on vacation pretty soon, and I’d hate to look all gross and wounded in the photos.


My hair is just wavy and cow-licky enough to drive me nuts. It doesn’t flip properly or curl nicely or do anything I want it to do, so most days I flat iron the hell out of it. Then it looks better. I have a very thick head of hair so this takes me a while to do in the morning – sometimes ten whole minutes. But it’s worth it, as then I am nominally satisfied with my hair.

Until it rains. Then my entire head turns frizzy, as if I had just stuck my finger into a light socket. I live in a rather wet part of the world, so this happens a lot more than I would like. I have found some products that calm my frizzies down, but by no means are they completely eliminated – but that’s not what I wanted to write about.

Let’s get back to my flat iron, shall we?

I’m pretty much a ninja at using it by now. Yes, it may take those ten whole minutes, but if you saw the state of my hair some mornings, you would be amazed that I can do it that quickly.

Sometimes, however, I am a little too quick with my flat ironing technique, as I was Thursday morning. I flicked the flat iron just a bit too enthusiastically and ended up burning my face just underneath my right eyebrow. Not a big burn, but enough for me to howl something rude. And then a pale red burn mark was on my face. It wasn’t super-obvious ( I do have a fringe, after all), but it was a little tender to touch.

And then on Friday morning at work – after having very carefully flat ironed my hair at home – I was setting up for the day. I checked that the two laptop stations were ready to go for the kids who use them throughout the day by opening the laptops and ensuring that they were plugged in properly. One wasn’t, its power cord having detached and fallen to the floor behind the table on which the laptop is parked. It’s a bit awkward to get down behind there to pick up stuff, so I pulled the table out from the wall a bit as I bent down.

And I cracked my head on the corner of the open laptop, just under my right eyebrow, just about where I had burned myself the day before. Hurt like hell, it did. Again, there was a rude word or two, but fortunately it was only 8 a.m. so there were no kids around yet.

So now not only do I have that burn mark, but I also have a small purply bruise underneath my eyebrow. Almost a partial black eye. Plus I could have put my eye right out. Charming.

Do real ninjas ever have such issues, I wonder?