X is for X-rays #atozchallenge

For the last two years I’ve joined in the #atozchallenge, namely to post every weekday in April using each letter of the alphabet in turn. In 2015 it was places I’d been to, in 2016 it was London themed. This year it is a dictionary of my family, recounting incidents small and large that have taught me lessons down the years, caused me consternation or generally seared themselves into my memory. I hope you enjoy them. To find other bloggers doing the challenge and maybe be inspired yourself, check out the A to Z Blogging Challenge Blog, here.

I have been described as clumsy, heavy-handed and a klutz and it is true I have laid waste to a significant number of ornaments, furniture, structural elements of real estate and a variety of transportation. This song, by Jake Thackerey was played at me at University as a warning.

However down the years I have done as much damage to myself as to other things, animate and inanimate. Indeed at one point aged about 9 the doctor warned my mother to try and keep me safe as he worried about the number of X-rays I had had in the previous 6 months. I’ve already mentioned here the milk bottle with which I perforated my bottom and the needle from the Archaeologist’s experiments with sound that ended in my heel necessitating an operation. I had conkers exploding into my right eye, a thumb dislocated playing stuck in the mud, a lacerated foreskin cause by an over vigorous closing of my fly, my brother crushing my head between his rear and the path way when we timed our synchronised descent from an oak tree to a tee and a face plant from my bike when I lost control downhill with what my dad told me was wheel-wobble.

But the one I want to share today is this…

Mrs Greening in year 4 taught us Scottish Country dancing. Having had to suffer years of Music and Movement when vigorous little bodies were expected to imitate a petal falling in Autumn when their repertoire comprised solely an ICBM hurtling towards Moscow it was a pleasant change. Some may remember Joyce Grenfell’s fabulous version which is so close to the truth…

Well Scottish dancing was fine until I ricked my neck performing a rather epic Stripping of the Willow. Boy do I remember that. The pain was awful, every movement sending shots of fire across my shoulder and down my side. The treatment was manipulation followed by a deep heat burning of the affected area courtesy of an enormous infra red lamp. It was bloody medieval, people. However the worst bit was mum. She accompanied, as you’d expect a caring parent to do. She could see my distress and brought along a Famous Five book to read to me as distraction. So far so marvellous. Save while this mini solar lamp did its magic I was strapped into a stretching machine. Literally a strap was placed under my jaw and another round my ankles, I lay on a bed and the ratchets were applied to keep my tortured neck straight. For 5 minutes mum set the scene with George and Tim and Anne and the rest and then she dropped off to sleep. Could I wake her? With my jaw strapped and my feet tied? Hardly. I lay there, for an hour with nothing to focus on but my neck while mum caught up with several consecutive sets of 40 winks.

I learnt a lesson that day; however loving a parent, sleep will take precedence if given the chance. Now, a parent myself, I understand why…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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24 Responses to X is for X-rays #atozchallenge

  1. Thanks for the morning chuckle and smiles. Enjoyed the stories

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth says:

    OMG I remember Music and Movement in primary school… wasn’t it broadcast to schools over the radio or something like that? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ritu says:

    Oh lordy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. trifflepudling says:

    That was brilliant, very funny. Got to hand it to you: my klutziness usually only results in minor breakages! Having said that, my most recent effort at a ceilidh ended with me skidding, pulling my partner along a slippery floor and demolishing the drum kit, whilst the drummer was left sitting there holding his sticks! I have also tobogganed down the stairs on a duvet from upstairs to downstairs in my current house and have fallen out of the loft but managed to clutch onto the opening on the way down resulting in the unfortunate kicking of the ladder down the stairs, but none of these things have produced more than a scratch or bruise. Hopefully I will remain tough for a long time to come. I could not believe it when I read you have had a HUNDRED stitches! Must be some kind of record. Can you remember all the mishaps? Looking forward to seeing what Z produces.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 says:

    Scottish dancing…. thank God it was not it’s Gaelic cousin Irish Dancing ! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hadn’t heard of the song or singer who was played AT you by your alarmed friends – did it work? Love Joyce Grenfell, such an acute observer of the human condition and its inanities – I must listen to her more often! Glad you survived that horrendous accident – and your childhood really 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rowena says:

    You would’ve been medicated to the hilt these days and wrapped in so much bubble wrap that suffocation would’ve resulted. I am also accident prone and when our caricature recently got jammed in the laminator at the show, I felt I should’ve apologized to the poor artist. Even though I didn’t touch the machine, it must’ve been my aura that did it.
    I remember something like Joyce Grenfell at school. It’s a very distant possible memory. Perhaps, she put out a record.
    One last day of A-Z…I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about Tasmania and Geoff’s family through this series. As usual, it’s been intense but very rewarding.
    I must say that I missed the list this year and barely saw many other blogs. I’ve also had time restraints with the kids being on school holidays and driving Miss off to Dance Camp a couple of hours away.
    All the best for tomorrow!
    xx Ro


  8. It’s a wonder you are still standing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved that piece by Joyce Grenfell, her voice just gave it that edge as far as immagining the scene goes!
    Despite me also being clumsy, thankfully, I didn’t end up hurting myself as much as you did. That solar lamp and stretching contraption combo sounds horrific. like some sort of Medieval torture instrument!


  10. Charli Mills says:

    Every family had its emergency room child, but you ended up in a medieval dungeon on the rack!

    Liked by 1 person

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