One minute I was up the ladder. The next, flat on my back on the concrete terrace at the back of the cottage. There wasn't even time for my past life to flash before my eyes.
I lay there, wondering if any bits were broken, but all seemed to be in working order, though the pot which held the blueberry bush looked a little the worse for wear. I gingerly set off up the garden to the house, reassured Tod that I was ok - not that he'd realised anything was wrong - and he departed for his normal evening of bridge.
I'm not good up ladders. Much beyond the third step and I'm hyperventilating. So later that same night, when my right foot had swollen (I was not quite as ok as I first thought) and the nurse at A&E asked what height I'd fallen from: "Un? Deux? Trois? Quatre? Cinq?" and I replied: "Cinq ou peut-être six", I meant steps and he meant metres. He looked a little startled.
It was a busy night at A&E and not much sign of a doctor. I was relieved that the woman who came in with contractions was whisked away. Not sure any of us in reception would have been up to delivering a baby. By 2am I still hadn't been seen. So we came home, caught up on lost sleep and my foot has steadily mended ever since without medical intervention.
Friends suggest I should stop self-harming - what with the sun burn in early summer and now this.
I reckon it was hubris. Pride and falling and all that. I was busy; coping (I smugly thought) without asking Tod for help; rushing around getting the cottage ready, doing the garden, painting furniture; making the patio nice with curtains and shading. My second reaction lying there (after first wondering what I'd broken) was: "There's still so much to do".
And that's it. All this year there's been so much to do. In fact every year we've been here there's been so much to do. Friends tell us they love what we've done in the cottage and the house, what we're creating in the garden. Me, all I do is rush around, getting stressed, as I see more jobs to be done.
Maybe the Universe is trying to tell me something: "Slow down. Stop and look around. This is a beautiful place, to be loved and appreciated for what it already is. Pause. And take joy from what you have already achieved."