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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Friday, February 03, 2006

In which Lady Bracknell almost has an accident

Stepping back from drawing the curtains against the black and shivery night in her bedchamber yesterday evening, Lady Bracknell turned her ankle on a shoe which she could have sworn was not lurking immediately behind her left foot a moment earlier.

Lady Bracknell may have many fine qualities, but a good sense of balance is not one of them. Her esteemed mother tells her that she was almost two years old before she could walk. There is an old photograph of a pre-school age Lady Bracknell tricycling vigorously along a pavement, but she never mastered the bicycle. Her inability to traverse an even slightly icy pavement renders her housebound and palpitating with fear in severe weather. In her blue-stocking days, she disgraced herself by being unable to keep her balance on an ice rink even when being held up by two strapping young gentlemen. Frankly, Lady Bracknell is astonished that she ever manages to remain upright.

A simple turning of the ankle therefore is all that is required to throw her ladyship off such tenuous balance as she ordinarily maintains. However, as Lady Bracknell felt her balance slip from her last night, an odd thing happened. Time appeared to slow down sufficiently for her to pursue the following logical reasoning process:

"I am going to fall, and it is going to hurt. In the direction in which I am currently toppling, there is insufficient space for me to fall flat on the floor. I will probably hit my head on that table on the way down. There is nothing for me to grab on to to break my fall. If I fling my arms out, I may well break the glass in the cabinet door. Even at my fittest, I cannot clean up glass. Once I have fallen, it is likely that I will be considerably below par in my fitness levels. I will not fall because it would be too dangerous for me to do so."

Her brain having reached that conclusion, Lady Bracknell's body suddenly wrenched itself back into balance, and she did not fall. However, she is convinced that, had she been falling towards a soft landing, she would have been wholly incapable of remaining upright.

The degree of strenuous physical effort exerted to prevent herself from falling is evident today in the increased pain levels in Lady Bracknell's left ankle, leg and hip. Given the option, she would rather not put any weight on that leg for the moment. She is not, however, complaining. Had she fallen, she has absolutely no doubt that she would have been in a very considerably worse physical condition.

Nevertheless, she remains intrigued by what happened. Were her body not already so damaged, would she have had the opportunity to reflect on the possible consequences of the fall? Or would she simply have fallen? Does she possess some sort of marvellous self-protection mechanism? And, if she does, why was it so sadly absent on the day of her original injury?

Readers who feel they can offer an insight into the conundrum outlined above are warmly invited to do so via the comments facility.


Blogger Gimpy Mumpy said...

I agree Lady B. I believe those of us who have been previously injured in a fall are hyper sensitive to all potential falling situations. Our brains are reminded daily of the pain that just one fall can cause and so remains vigilant and any future misstep.
Sometimes the effort to remain standing can be nearly as painful though. Hope you are feeling better soon :)

10:15 pm  
Anonymous Chris Mac said...

My dear Lady. We are all prone to near miss incidents, the likes of which for yourself I am sure would be catastrophic. Man's two instinctive fears are that of falling, and loud noises. Everything else we might be afraid of has been learned.I have never quite understood for example those who pay good money to leap from out of an aircraft. Such a skant disrespect for fear, is pure folly. Likewise my sister, who thinks nothing of handling the largest house spider and placing it outside her french doors to watch it scamper along her patio. These people are ill, and need help.

2:00 pm  
Blogger The Goldfish said...

I left a comment here yesterday but it vanished. I think it was a glitch at blogger, since I had another one disappear elsewhere and neither was in the least controversial.

Anyway, whatever I said, I am very much relieved that her Ladyship is basically unhurt if rather sore and I hope this passes as soon as possible.

2:42 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell thanks those who have commented for their kind words and expressions of concern. Her left ankle appears to have recovered quite nicely, thus reducing the increased general pain levels in her left leg.

(She must admit she has not left the house since Thursday, but will perforce be up and about again tomorrow.)

Blogger is definitely behaving strangely. Since 8 o'clock this morning, it has been advising the editor that she must re-publish this blog in ten minutes' time. Something to do with improvements being made to the system...

Lady Bracknell has gone quite cold at the thought of Mr Mac's sister's close contact with large spiders.

2:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladyu Bracknell has experienced the phenomenon known as "My whole life passed before my eyes in an instant". This is due to the body's instinctive flight-or-fight response to imminent danger, resulting in a dramatically-charged consciousnesss and a distortion of the time-sense consequent upon a massive release of adrenalin and increased blood-flow to the brain. This is commonly held to happen to soldiers going over-the-top from the trenches, for example.

Literary precedents abound including Jerome K Jerome's account of a boat collision in Three Men in a Boat and HG Wells's account of falling off a bicycle.

Unfortunately, as her La'ship has already discovered, the experience cannot be relied upon to manifest itself at the times it is most needed, such as her original injury.

7:19 pm  

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