I was recently made doubly aware of the importance of being careful to avoid falling by the incident in which a friend who is a little bit younger than myself fell in her home and broke her hip. This involved a trip to the emergency room of a local hospital followed by surgery and a lengthy recovery period during which she was unable to leave her house. Even today, several months later, she still walks with a stick to ensure stability. It served as a salutary lesson to me, and partly as a result of that I now wear closed sports shoes whenever I leave the house (except when I go to concerts).

But in my home I wear a kind of orthopaedic sandal, which is not closed, and that was my downfall the other day. It was Independence Day in Israel and we had been sitting in the garden with some friends, despite the weather – which was not as warm and sunny as we would have liked. In fact, it reminded some of us of our former homeland – England. Still, we managed to sit outside and enjoy our barbecued meat and the salads the guests had brought with them.

But for the next stage – coffee and cake – we decided to move indoors, and I began setting up the arrangements accordingly. Everything was going well until I decided to bring in some extra chairs from the garden. These were two rather ancient folding chairs, which have served us well for many years, and have not until now caused any untoward trouble.

But boy, how I wish I had taken my own advice as set out in the heading above before I tried to bring in those two danged folding chairs! Whether it was my shoe or the tip of the chair-leg, but something got caught on the step leading from the garden to our house. As a result I lost my balance and came crashing down onto the stone floor, banging my head in the process. As the afternoon progressed I found myself bring cossetted by concerned friends and family, switching from having been the capable (I hope) hostess to becoming an object of concern for others. The general advice was that I should rest and put ice on the spot, which I promptly did, and sat docilely while others brought me coffee and dealt with the arrangements of refreshments I had previously prepared. Conversation continued around me, even involving me from time to time, but it was obvious that I had sustained an injury which, while not life-threatening or even consisting of any broken bones, was evidently going to turn into something unpleasant.

As indeed it did. With each passing hour, the colour of the skin above and around my left eye changed dramatically, despite the ice pack I diligently pressed to the area for several hours. While I am not in any serious pain, anyone catching sight of me assumes an expression of horror and dismay. If I have to leave the house I’ll be wearing sunglasses, no matter if it’s sunny or not. I just don’t want to have to explain to people that the car-crash that is my face at present is not the result of a fight with my husband just a stupid fall.

And no, I’m not going to post a full-colour selfie of my face with its technicolour ‘shiner,’ just a picture of the offending chairs.

I hope this will cause others – as well as myself – to take note and be more careful when moving around in the home, as well as outside and everywhere. I thought I was one of those people who was aware of all the pitfalls that await us wherever we go, but it seems that even the most cautious among us are vulnerable.

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