My foolhardy injuries have been playing up a little this week but this morning I awoke relatively pain-free. I had to slowly rotate my left shoulder into action and coax the left wrist into the loud crack that indicates that it is serviceable, well at least by my standards, but that is just the morning routine. I shook righty into operation and rose, before setting the kettle on to boil. I was awake enough to use both hands with the kettle and not allow righty the opportunity to remind me that it was early.
And so it was that I entered the hotel bathroom feeling rather pleased with myself, naivety at best. Stepping forward to the mirror my left knee gave way and I crashed, always elbow first, into the sink. For those of you that don’t believe in Ms Nature I offer this as yet more proof, not only that she exists but that she is in league with our limbs. The conveniently timed knee failing can only be the work of the nefarious Ms Nature since from a mechanical point of view it should have failed when I first put weight on it. But where on earth does the human body conclude that, in the event of falling, an elbow is the appropriate means to arrest descent?
They do not call the ‘funny bone’ by that name for any reason of humour to the owner this bone is humorous only to a crowd. Throwing it at an immovable object to slow ones descent is like throwing gravel down in front of a child who has come out of his go-kart, in principle it will work but he would still rather that you didn’t bother. Following some rather unhappy comments sent regarding a recent post I should point out that I have nothing against the elbow, I find it all together an excellent device that solves a design problem, but it is not a parachute.
The elbow is simply not designed or intended for stopping a falling mass and only a vindictive force would use it for such a purpose. I will accept that the natural fall arrest system of the human body, the hands, is probably somewhat compromised in my case but my instincts don’t know that. Anyway it isn’t just me; every one of you reading this is recalling an incident of ‘funny bone’ collision and cringing. Next time that you crack your elbow on a hard edge, after you have done the obligatory funny dance, curse Ms Nature for her male
volence. Perhaps if we name and shame her she will leave us alone…..
I was going to start the next piece with “in other news” but in truth it doesn’t read right when followed by “I love the Isle of Wight” since it’s hard not to know that! I consider the Island my home that I am away from and I intend to rectify that as soon as I have finished dealing with the accident. In the meantime I spend as much time as I can on the island and my Twitter feed provides a gratefully received feed of news and stunning views wherever I am in the world. A recent tweet has cause for special mention today and that is the re-opening of Sandham rides in Sandown.
My children adored these rides when they were younger, I can still hear the squeals of delight and cajoling to go on the faster side of the slide every time I see them. In front of the Sandham rides is Wight City which has sadly now stood empty for a number of seasons after the owners gave in to the lure of development cash. The reason for mentioning Sandham is the tenacity of the small business owners that maintain our heritage. Tourism is a tough industry, especially in a country where the weather is far from predictable, but they keep at it with a smile. This season they will have rained off days, not many after all it is the Isle of Wight, and they will have slow days. But I really hope that they will enjoy the magic of making young children happy and that they make enough money to survive.
Operating these places takes determination and there is no support. It is a tough business with little room to invest and an appalling ROI if measured in cash. But those that operate these businesses maintain the vista that is a seaside trip for our children and memories for us as parents. Without places like the Sandham rides our seafronts become housing estates and lose their soul, as has happened all over the country. The greatest loss though is the loss of the sound of happy children and innocent play. We need to support those that maintain these facilities, nobody could justify building them now so survival is the only option.
If you’re on the island with children then pop in and remind them what fresh air feels like. If you’re on the island as an adult then pop in, buy a drink, stand for a while and remember when your children were younger. Good luck guys.