Medical Advice

Seat on stand 9.12Today’s gardening projects were a base for a seat for Jackie, and yet another new bed for Derrick.  We have quite a few bricks left over from the compost bins.  Some were used for the seat base, some others are being placed around the garden as plinths for ornaments or pot plants.  We moved one today into the scented bed I began a couple of weeks ago.

The area that received today’s additions is the the site of the former compost heap.  Jackie dug out some grass and earth to create a bed for her base.  This received a layer of bricks, on which was placed the seat, after a few plants had been inserted.  I dug over what was now quite a bare patch, having been covered for so long in compost.  This was a comparatively easy task, although there were a lot of pernicious tendrils (see 27th. August post) of ivy.  Our friendly robin divided his time between my bed and the disturbed pile of old bricks which harboured a number of types of livestock.

During the 1990s in Newark, I had used bricks in a similar way for a number of purposes.  These had come from a Victorian greenhouse which had fallen down before we bought the house.  My creations had included a floor for an arbour which we gave a canopy of wisteria and climbing white roses.  I had made a paved area for a seat near a pond which I had dug out with Penny Craven’s son, Nicholas.  There had even been steps, for none of which I had used cement.  My herring bone patterns were not as elegant as Jackie’s splendid curves.

When bashing bricks into place, I used the handle of a club hammer.  This was to protect the bricks from the iron head.  Had they been struck with that, they would have crumbled.  I was, on one occasion, building a small set of steps up a slope to provide access behind a brick shed.  Merrily, rhythmically, striking the stepped bricks into place, all was going smoothly.  Then I missed.  You see, the handle isn’t very wide.  With all the force at my disposal, the thumb holding the handle crashed, end-on, into the corner of the brick I was attempting to manoeuvre.  When I had finished leaping about in agony, and dared to look at the bloody mess that was the end of my digit, it was quite clear what I had to do next.  Off I went to the casualty department of Newark Hospital.  Apparently I had taken the top off my thumb.  Being somewhat squeamish, I took the doctor’s word for it.  The wound was dressed and I was given a follow up appointment.  When I attended orthopedics for the checkup, the registrar said I’d come to the wrong place and should have gone to the skin clinic because I would need a graft.  Fortunately the nurse had read the notes.  She informed her senior colleague that it had not just been skin and a bit of flesh that had been knocked off.  A bit of bone had gone too.  She pointed to the relevant section in the casualty notes and said: ‘but the thumb is broken, doctor’.  ‘Oh, is it?’, he asked, and had a read.  I was informed that I should go home with a new dressing and return if it didn’t heal.  Fortunately it did heal.  I hope that doctor always read his notes in the future.

Jackie produced a three course meal this evening.  We began with left-overs soup.  The main course was roast pork.  This was followed by bread and butter pudding.  Jackie drank Hoegaarden.  Elizabeth and I had Brindisi 2007.


  1. I have a broken thumb, a forefinger on my left hand in which the main joint is just a mass of floating bone fragments and my heart has been broken more times than I can count. That’s is how life goes.

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