After my sentimental moment in A Family Affair it’s pretty obvious how proud I am of my family. I certainly feel blessed to come from a great mix of ancestors showing strength, courage, heaps of humour, stoicism and a good dose of gumption. A lot to live up to and an easy reminder that my minor, first world problem moans of an overcrowded train are but a drop in the ocean.
There is however one downside, a literal pitfall to being a descendent of my clan. It’s not something that’s discussed but seems to be passed down to the women in the line.
My first encounter with this fault was a few years ago. I had gone out for a dinner with a friend and I remember it was a Friday since we were out relatively late. It was a rainy evening and my friend and I huddled under a shelter together as I waited for a bus home. A couple of buses arrived simultaneously, I said goodbye and hurried along to get to the second bus in the queue. The narrow pavement was clogged with revellers and I remember side-stepping off the curb, intentionally, to get around a big group as I approached the front of the bus. That was the moment that I discovered the chink in the family’s armour – wobbly ankles.
Without warning my left ankle collapsed and folded underneath me. I plummeted straight down and landed hard on the road – so fast I only remember stepping down and then suddenly staring the waiting bus’s headlamp straight on. Entirely embarrassed I very quickly shot up and ran onto the bus almost ignoring the couple of kind strangers who asked if I was OK. I went straight up to the top deck of the bus and sat down to allow the shock to wash over me. My left foot felt a little ‘loose at the hinge’ but I made it home feeling like my pride was the biggest casualty of the mishap.
The next morning however, I could not stand on that foot. My ankle had doubled in size and I was in tears trying to hop/hobble/crawl around my flat.
During a panicked phone call to my mum she informed me that this was something that occasionally happened to her resulting in her own set of bumps, scrapes and bruises. She recalled seeing her mother’s ankles bandaged up when she was young too. Our fate appeared to be sealed by Grandma’s maiden name – Rowley. My sister has also had unfortunate encounters with the ‘Rowley Powley’ ankles – once falling down concrete stairs and grazing herself badly. Sad times.
The nickname of Tumbletin – reference to a book by Veronica P. Towey we read as children – has now become a standard joke among us whenever a fall occurs. Our copy of this book still exists and is actually signed too, eerily predicting our futures as ‘tumblers’.
|Little did she know
Following months unable to wear heels, litres of arnica gel/voltarol rubbed into my joint and sprinklings of warmer climates my ankle is functional. Sadly it’s never been quite the same, and still aches when the weather turns chilly. I literally feel it in my bones.
Being ‘incident free’ for a few years I sadly fell victim to the ‘Rowley Powley’ just a few weeks ago as I approached a pedestrian crossing on the way into work. This time my right ankle gave way and I basically high-fived (or should that be ‘low-oned’) the pavement with my knee cap. There’s still a shadow of a bruise.
Worst of all, it was drizzling so my graceless tumble also resulted in my just about launching my umbrella into the road and almost cracking a bottle of Prosecco I was carrying as a gift for a friend in the office (I promise). Grateful to have saved the bubbles, but feeling this was at the cost of my dignity, I sheepishly thanked a cyclist who expressed concern as he waiting by the traffic lights alongside a queue of cars. I hid behind my umbrella as my ‘audience’ continued their journeys moments after I’d picked myself up.
I had to text my sister to declare my fresh Tumbletin status and with her very quick wit she responded: ‘That will teach you to put whiskey in your coffee’. At least we have our humour.
16 days fall free so far and counting…Days-without-incident