scribbles tagged ‘falling over’

insurance provided emergency plumber

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 | tags: , , ,  |

part of Kevin's toolkitMy tear glands have sprung a leak


I believe (based on some psychologists having studied crying and healing in rats) that crying is a good thing. It speeds-up the healing process. I’m not trying to avoid crying, I’m embracing it


I’m not hit by the sort of crying that mass-produces mucus, interferes with your breathing, prompts wailing and schlurping. My crying comes as overactive tear glands, not necessarily prompted by memories of dad, they seem to come from no-where with one common theme. If alone I let them fall, if  in company, I take a rest-room break to let them fall. Short leaks, that feel disconnected from thought as if my body is trying to regularly remind my mind that I am really, truly living in being upset no matter how much I laugh and chatter about reliable, everyday, things


My tear glands like to pump when I’m in a car or on the bus. Driving to and from work, visiting mum, two weeks after his death this is still the way of things though I cry for shorter periods, the frequency remains the same. The bus is tough because, despite my efforts,  passengers do notice and deal with the dilemma of whether or not to intrude and offer help. Dark glasses aren’t a realistic option during this cloudy British winter. I’ve got a hanky stuffed up my sleeve, like I used to have when I was a child prone to crying after I’d fallen over (often). I use this to surreptitiously wipe the spillage away


insurance provided emergency plumber
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blue screen of temporary illness

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , , ,  |

PC demo zone on Windows8 launch dayEver since the Cupboard’s face got smashed in I’ve been asking friends and colleagues for advice on what I should do – what sort of computer I should get and when.

My UK friends give diverse advice which naturally mirrors their own preferences. Though the IT professionals quickly get side-tracked onto talking about virtual machines – getting terribly excited at the thought. They seem to run substantial Apples with dual-boot from which they control lots of virutal machines. Not really for me.

I’ve also been popping into local shops that sell computers – Currys, PC world, Comet, John Lewis .   In these stores I get the pleasure of chatting to young handsome fellows who’re very excited about the prospect of being able to save up for an Apple iPad. Cute, but not actually too helpful for me – they aren’t good at ucovering my criteria and herding me towards one of their products. I’ve got wads of dosh in my pocket for something special, yet no-one’s selling to me. They’re selling to themselves. Most bizarre.

On the day that Windows 8 released I pootled along to Currys to play with a copy on their display machines. Everything started well:

  • No queue outside the store of people waiting to get their sticky hands on the new fancy OS. Such good fortune. I do dislike all the jostling and the lack of diversity when everyone plumps for the same thing. Even the store’s Demo stand was enticingly empty.  I felt good.
  • 5 assistants all ready to help me and the other customer in the PC section of the store. wonderful. I do like having someone on hand to spend time chatting with me – especially if I’m planning on spending more than £200.
  • A queue around the Apple stand.  Baffling.  Such ugly and expensive machines. Still not much choice – they’ve side-stepped having to make all the decisions that I’m about to take on…. which manufacturer, which processor type/size etc. More spacefor me to explore!

Store copy of windows 8 on release dayI wandered over to the windows 8 laptops that looked about the right size and design funkiness. Oh, a small blue one with ripples on the lid (Acer Aspire One).  My first experience of Windows 8 was a message that says:

 “Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC

Oh how I laughed!

A young assistant noticed my standing looking at the computer, giggling,  he swooped in and offered his help.

wendy: is this manufacturer installed windows 8 or a windows 7 machine that’s been upgraded in the store?

assistant: it came from the manufacturer with windows 8 on it

wendy: it’s not working, that’s not good on a demo machine is it?

assistant: it just means it didn’t shutdown properly, that’s all, I’ll just reboot it


I fell over


(no broken bones)

blue screen of temporary illness
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Worthing A&E

Saturday, August 25th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

2.00pm 13th August

Do people have to wait hours for ambulances?  I felt a little bit guilty about an ambulance being called because I didn’t need any ambulance-fancy equipment or go-faster Sirens.

I persuaded the young paramedic to take me to Worthing A&E, less that 5 minutes drive away, even without sirens. Standing-room only in the waiting room, good job the curb hadn’t attacked my legs!

Facebook confirmed that my relatives are not shy about liking that I have broken my arm despite the clear social convention to avoid liking such things. The Brit’s normally start thier comments with an empathetic variation on “Ouch!” and the USA people go straight in with the positive get well wishes.

It was so good to feel the waves of empathy and positivism…

facebook photograph of broken arm

Worthing A&E
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accidental tourist

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

1.00pm 13th August

Riding along, following my instructor, I drove too fast into a bend and ended up punching the curb. Not a good move.

A conscientious paramedic was on the scene within 10 minutes followed by 2 police cars because this was a Road Traffic Accident (RTA).

The police apologised for breathalising me. I was being way too sensible to be drunk. Not even a hint of last night’s glass of wine was hanging around.

Instructor: you should call your partner, get ‘em to pick you up from the hospital

wendy: I’m on holiday alone, I don’t have a partner and my family all live on the west coast, so there’s no-one nearby to call. I’ll be able to find a bus to get me out of hospital

accidental tourist
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bring the broken arm in now

Monday, June 27th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

falling over

When I lived in the US my job provided comprehensive healthcare insurance. I fell over on a green slope while learning to ski. It felt like I’d broken my left, writing, arm. A friend drove me to the local hospital accident and trauma centre

It took 90 minutes to drive there, it felt like 90 minutes

checking in

 The centre’s foyer was like an empty hotel foyer, large tropical fish tank, carpetted floor, quiet with easy listening music playing. A lady in a blue suit sat at the large oak reception desk opposite the double, automatic doors. The lady asked me what was wrong, to see my insurance card, then gave me two paper forms to complete and explained that the financial adviser would see me in a minute. There was no sense of emergency about the situation. When you’ve just broken your arm, it hurts and your sensible thinking can go to pot. Maybe she didn’t hear me the first time so I repeat:

wendy: I think I’ve broken my arm, its the one I use to write with, the form probably wont be legible

receptionist: do your best

She didn’t look busy, she could have offered to complete the form on my behalf.  It fet impersonal, like my NHS experiences. Unlike the NHS, the environment screamed of wealth. I slowly filled out the form with my other hand, then waited

It was probably only five minutes later, but it felt like an hour…

Can we get money for this?

Please ring for attention Another lady in a business suit introduced herself and walked me into a side room where she photocopied my card and forms. She then filled in more paper forms on my behalf. I wanted to scream:

Where’s a doctor? I want to see a doctor! it feels like an elephants trampled on my arm

Clearly they needed these forms filling in and copying, my crying and screaming would just delay everything by making me incoherent and her difficult to hear. She took me back to the waiting room and reassured me that the doctor would be along soon. Pressumably they were flying in a doctor from another State

It was probably only five minutes later, but it felt like an hour…

Should we X-Ray the patient?

A lady in pristine blue lab coat introduced herself. Hooray! This must be the Doctor. She took me to a large room of empty trolley-beds and asked me to sit on one. She drew curtains around the bed, which felt weird because I wouldn’t need to take any clothes of and there was noone else in the room. Getting onto a trolley bed that is higher than your natural bum-height, with one arm, when you’re in shock and pain is not easy. She watched me struggle without offering help. It made me want to cry, but I wouldn’t be able to hear or answer her questions if I cried so I fought off the tears

The lady used a checksheet to ask me monotone questions… “no, I’m not likely to be pregnant …I giggled, a little light relief.  The X-ray nurse would be along to pick me up in a couple of minutes, when the x-rays had been developed I would see the Doctor

wendy: You’re not a doctor?

nurse: No, I’m a registered nurse

It was probably only five minutes later, but it felt like an hour…

Get the patient to the X-Ray machine

X-Ray DeptThe x-ray nurse turned-up with a wheelchair, repeated the questions the registered nurse had asked then offered me the wheelchair

Wendy: I’ve broken my arm not my leg

nurse: enjoy the ride

I felt bullied to conform to her expectation that I use the wheelchair. Asserting my preference to walk might lead to confrontation and cause tears, I wasn’t up to confrontation. She watched as I carefully slid from my trolley and moved into what looked like a racing wheelchair. 6 or 7 xrays later she unceremoniously dumped me back at the trolley. This time I stood instead of wriggling dangerously back onto the trolley. I suspect the hospital charged my insurance company for wheelchair and trolley rental – both unnecessary. As the nurse left I noticed the signs forbidding mobile phone use. My only entertainment device, forbidden

It was probably only five minutes later, but it felt like an hour…

Instruct the patient on proper behaviour

Freeway ExitA Doctor appeared! He glumly showed the x-rays while announcing that I’d broken an arm. I think he was disappointed by my lack of of surprise at the diagnosis because he went on to chide me for not having made it more obvious that my arm was broken.

Apprantly, saying “I think I’ve broken my arm” to the 4 people I was required to meet before him didn’t count as making it obvious that I had broken my arm.  He was quite clear about my poor performance as a patient, more crying was required.

I started crying about being reprimanded for failing to follow a hospital behavioural code that I didnt know existed.  The Doctor demonstrated his skill of ignoring tears while he prescribed earth-movingly strong pain killers and talked me through the treatment regime. I never took the pain killers. If he’d waited until I had stopped crying I could have asked him not to prescribe pain killers, not to charge my insurance company for them. But he wasn’t there to listen or understand. The Doctor was all about delivering instructions.

The lecture probably only took five minutes, it felt like 5 minutes of detention in the headteachers office…

Get reciepts and discharge the patient

mobile of deconstructed dictionaryChecking-out of the emergency room involved more form-signing,  another visit to the financial lady, and another visit to the receptionist

I’d collected an armful of paper forms at different stages in my visit. The discharge added yet more to the pile.  Each form decorated with my, new, right-handed signature

A spider dance


It felt like being gagged, prodded, and pushed along a clean and good-looking production line.  I was ‘the patient with insurance’ not wendy who believes that being aware of internal pain is mainly a good thing and  conversations will include critical misunderstandings if one party is crying and ignored 

If a miner incident like this is made distressing merely because the services are set-up to remove illness, not treat people – the prospect of a long term relationship with medical services becomes frightening.

Unlike people in the USA, at least I know that I will get some form of healthcare from the NHS whether I have an income or not

Scribble inspired by Nick’s post on how a desperate uninsured US man commited a crime to get healthcare provided by the prison service
bring the broken arm in now
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bouncers required

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 | tags: , , ,  |

Break in (or out) through garden gatThe Wendy House housewaring anniversary is always accompanied by much excitement and clucking around in chicken like chaos. This year has not been an exception. Even the local wildlife wants to get involved.

Something, or someone, has improvised a cat-door in the garden gate to prepare for the frenzied comings and goings. There will be bouncers at the gate, providing instructions on how to bounce safely, a first-aid cat will be offering first-class purring and warm poltices. A log fire will be available on demand for any freak cold-snaps and extra kettle-boiling duties incase the lashings of tea fail to keep up with guests enthusiasm, god forbid!

There’s a high risk of a break in my blogging resulting from over-excitement due to the fun and games, parking chaos in a permit-only zone and excessive bounce-related falling-over
Garden colour and texutre

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Thursday, November 5th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

The wendywheel is a new firework. For fireworks night.   tonight.   Have fun, take care and a responsible adult.

When lit the whendywheel sits inactive for an indeterminate period,   do not make the mistake of thinking that it has gone-out,   this little cracker likes to  deliver a suprise start.  

The suprise start is fast, loud, colourful  and short.    Somewhat like the experience of falling-over mixed with an exploding balloon and halogen floodlights.  

Scrapping sound.   the suprise start is followed by a scrapping sound as the wheel travels along the ground.   Much like the sound of a bicycle being dragged along the road in the wheels of an articulated lorry.

Planet Wendy.   Like many people you thought it was all over when the articulated lorry squished the pushbike.   But no.   after a short silence the wendywheel whirlwinds its way to planet wendy like a snake climbing  a tree at 3000x its natural speed with the friction creating a host of green snake-scale sparks that cascade over the crowd left behind wishing that they too had a ticket to spiral up to planet wendy.

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alan’s tip

Friday, July 10th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

Eric lines up the drinksWords of wisdom from  an almost stranger*.  in this case Flat Eric during an annual office party:

“Jagermeister chaser”

I didn’t follow this tip.    I’m just not ‘Kewl’ enough to be able to imbibe strong alcohol frequently over a whole evening,   night, morning… like the other dudes.   I did manage my maximum binge-drink consumption of 3 pints of the  ex-local brew  stones bitter  before taking this photograph, realising my total wobbliness,  and sneaking away to crisp white cotton hotel sheets,   much like those supplied by Jacksons to the Wendy House.   Love those sheets.   Clearly I haven’t got the English office party skill fully cracked.     I did manage not to fall over,   quite an achievement by personal standards.

* Past tips provided by Alan the hairdresser.   Lucia the hairdresser, an anonymous  manicurist, a Jackson’s sales assistant, a bus stop philanthropist, a mini salesman, Windows Network Diagnostics  and Reading Police.
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fallling over redefined

Thursday, March 5th, 2009 | tags: ,  |

scraped kneeSad,
Trailing blood from seemingly perpetual knee grazings, my life a stumbling emotional fall-out zone.
That’s just today.

Expression at17 involved indiscriminate waving of stained and sodden hankies.
Now I type it.

Sometimes the expression is so convincing it becomes real, the smallest detail hinting at an actual need.
Wear knee-pads.

Falling over redefined as a prelude to life’s pleasures.

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staircase cascade

Monday, February 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |

In 1985 I was sharing an upstairs rented room with another girl in a house shared with five other people. The stairwell was laced with buckets, pots and pans to catch the rain water from the leaky roof that the landlord never got around to fixing. The one toilet was in the original backgarden outhouse, now technically indoors due to a small extension that included the household bath.   If anyone needed to relieve themselves in the night the journey downstairs involved a complex hopscotch  aound the pots and under the raindrops.  Often I ended up with a foot in a pan of cold stinky water, starting a cascade of pots tumbling down the staircase releasing their load on the dubious surface mascerading as a carpet.

Simply Red released ‘Money’s too tight to mention’

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news: wendy is a fake woman (crash*)

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

Sunday Times and   online Times article ‘Sex and the Sixities’    by India Knight includes the following rousing calls to womanhood:

the essence of modern womanhood, the one hard-to-define component that makes us all want to cheer the loudest…”   is   “…possibility that we may, at 62, perhaps look like Helen Mirren in a bikini

a 62-year-old woman looking hot, properly hot, not hot for her age or hot as in fanciable, even though you know you shouldn’t is a thing that simply can’t be celebrated enough.”

‘Mirren in her red bikini says more, more succinctly, about what women want and can achieve than any amount of turgid feminist preaching ever could’

Gosh,  I don’t think I know people  who think spending time and skill to dress for the occasion is shallow,   but India thinks  that view might be held by some Times readers  because she considerately quashes it “if you think that’s shallow, I would humbly posit that you understand nothing at all about real women’s hopes and ambitions.”   Trying to following India’s  humble  reasoning,   leads to the suspicion that if I don’t want to look like Helen Mirren in a Bikini then  I may not be  a real woman,   Ooops!   I think I may have fallen over.

Apparently the social construction of ‘woman’ once meant “no longer being a girl, which translated into bad clothes, bad hair, bad make-up and, if you were especially unfortunate, a bad figure.”   and “Worse, having reproduced meant that in the eyes of society you no longer existed as a sexual being“.  It seems that  India believes promoting yourself as a ‘sexual being’  , sexbot, should be an aspirational goal  for real women and it is equated to looking young. If you don’t look sexy you look old.   Whhhooooops!   I definitely fell over this time.

India’s view also implies that, normal,  aspiring real women have no financial or legal obstacles to not looking youthful and sexy because ‘deregulated’‘  ‘minor surgical procedures’  are ‘nothing that is outside most people’ league’ .   It is all part of the groundwork for achieving ‘a triumphant assertion of easy, carefree femininity’.    While fake women should embrace the freedom and “life-changing power of hair dye“.    As a self-identified, terminally-fake, woman I  “might know better if they [I] made an attempt at living in the real world“.   Maybe downtown Reading is actually a figment of my nasty, demented, Ivory-tower, imagination?    Deary me,   I   must get out more and take my zimmer-frame.

If ‘looking good’ is primarily equated to looking youthful and sexy I have no intention of developing an interest.  or skill,  in it.   When  looking good is constructed to promote  wrinkles and twisty silver hairs  ideally with a dash,   or spring, of surrealist creativity,   then I’ll be swinging my funky-stuff with the melting clocks  but not with the  people who aspire to portray themselves as sexbots.

For now,    if I place myself in India’s analytical framework I find that  I am:

  • Preaching (turgid?) feminism.
  • intelligent, a  blue stocking.
  • a frump because  I don’t pride myself in being fashionable.
  • Living in an ivory tower (in Reading).
  • not recognising the equivalence of the value of having a face-lift with the right to paid maternity leave.

At least India has clearly given me the escape route to achieve real-woman status that luckily I can choose not to aspire to,   I must

  • maintain my already abundant confidence.
  • promote my sexual potential.
  • develop and interest in whatever the current fashion defines as looking good.
  • have minor surgical procedures so that I can look good in a bikini.
  • Die my hair.

Unlike Alan’s outstanding advice I wont be aligning the value-set outlined in India’s article.

* the sound of me and my zimmer-frame colliding with the ground when dropping out of our Ivory tower.

news: wendy is a fake woman (crash*)
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heel malfunction

Saturday, July 19th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

As you know,   I don’t need the help of heels to fall-over and scrape my knee,  uppity curbs are sufficient,  it is a wendy-way of being…

Sophie King received £7,200 compensation for ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity’ due to a broken ankle resulting from a fall when the heel of her newly purchased shoe broke.   The Guardian’s Ariane Sherine thinks Sophie deserved a broken ankle and should repay the damages.   At least one fledgeling member of the UK caring(?), medical, profession agrees with Ariane’s view that women should expect to suffer pain for conforming to patriarchal, consumerist, pressures to wear sub-standard dangerous products,   in this case,  high-heeled shoes.   Both the Guardian and medical blog point out that Sophie, the victim, was 5 ft 9.   The sheer audacity to be a girl AND tall without  recognising that she expected to suffer substandard,  dangerous goods, while  maintaining her  social obligation to  conform to patriarchal ‘sexy’ values.  

This is a classic example of the patriarchal approach to dealing with systematic abuse against women by requiring an adjustment to the behaviour of the victim rather than the perpetrator  of the crime.   Legally referred to as ‘contributory negligence’ , infamously called-out in 1980’s UK when a man convicted of rape was not given even a custodial sentence by Judge pickles because the woman (victim) was negligent in her behaviour  by wearing a mini-skirt.   Huh?!  

I’m glad that this time, the legal system protected the victim, Sophie King.  

Shoe manufacturers systematically target physically-dangerous (high-heeled) shoes at women,  not men.  It is a clear case of female-gender abuse.    A trap targeted only at female health.   On planet Wendy an insightful, talented, lawyer would bring a class action  against  the shoe industry for being the instrument of perpetrating systematic violence against women.


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Tuesday, March 11th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Wendy:   I accidentally pulled the bathroom light fitting on the ceiling,     today I picked up a newer sealed light fitting.

Dad:   Do you want me to bring me tools?

Wendy:   Not really,   [brothers’ name]’s  coming round with his tools,  advice,   and innovative home-improvement books on Wednesday.   I’d rather he climbed the ladder than you or I.

Dad: Yes, I do get a bit dizzy when my feet leave the ground.

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red and yellow

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

Contrast.   Less than 20 yards apart,   an empty Hotel foyer with ample seating and the busy street across the road where the pavement provides seating.  Shuffling through the   slowly revolving, silent, automatic Hotel doors onto Friary street the chilly night air, scent, and sounds of Reading nightlife slap you sharply on the cheek.   Especially if you sit down suddenly.  On the pavement (US = sidewalk) as I am wont to do occassionally.

Oddly enough I didn’t fall-over on my recent trip to Reading.   Is this portentous?  

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Sunday, October 14th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

It’s cold.   While shivering and looking for a quick dose of warmth I push  my hands deep into my jacket pockets.   In one pocket I felt a warm fluffy object.   Like a soft furry stick.   It did the job but I didn’t know what it was.   I pulled it out of my pocket to take a look.   It was Matrix’s right front leg,   apparantly recently severed from her body.   Still warm and wet with blood.

I woke-up very suddenly.     I suspect that was a real nightmare that wasn’t cheese induced.     Despite distinctly recalling going to bed last night I was definitely not in bed when I woke on the floor about 20 feet from the bed.   At least matrix is okay but I’ve gained a nasty bruise on the back of my  head and an ache to match.  



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limp appeal

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 | tags: ,  |

sixty-first  in an weak weekly Wednesday series of posts explaining  my singleness.

Reason #61: limp appeal.  

Despite the well-known hobbity effect,  and a limping  Wendy being a  fairly regular  state of affairs, my limp  hasn’t induced an affair  but has induced a wobbly state.   Maybe I should just cut the falling-over part of being Wendy?  

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falling over: the Limerick edition

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

I like to test the diverse effects of  gravity in different countries and continents.   normally with the help of a curb.

While walking home from the atmospheric,   smoke-free,  Tom Collins pub after one,   well two,   actually three, definitely not four pints of Smithwicks,   while crossing the road I tustled with the uneven curb and ended up sitting in the gutter

Passerby:   Are you alright?

Wendy:   I’ve twisted my ankle

Passerby:   No dancing for you tonight then!

I scooped myself up and hobbled home.     Once back in the US I hobbled myself to a medical center to be triaged by my fabulous nurse:

nurse:   what have you done this time?

Wendy: twisted my ankle,   I wasn’t skiing,   just crossing the road

The last 3 times we met she confirmed that I had broken a bone during a fall while downhill skiing.   She’s recommended that I stick with cross-country skiing.     No broken bones.   I have got the ankle wrapped-up in fancy medical bindings with streamline black velcro.  

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Oh fickle me and my grazed knee

Monday, August 6th, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

I jumped right in and fell-over on my first day in Madrid.  

Nice scrape there on my knee… …and what colour and style are those pants I’m wearing….a shade of khaki…a version of cargo….have I succumbed to the camoflauge of the masses?  

Oh fickle me and my grazed knee.  

We are sat at the beautiful Madrid airport watching the  rain……

the RAIN   in SPAIN waiting for my PLANE

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beware the chair

Friday, September 8th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

My  Scandinavian designed  ergonomic kneeling chair decided to trip me up.   I was trying to stand-up.   Moving from sitting to standing is one of those things that people do with a chair,  frequently.   Sigh.   This chair  sneakily left me  sprawled across the office floor.    Ergonomic chair attacks are one of the everyday hazards of my life.    It’s a wonder that I don’t have more grazes and bruises.

kneeling to tripping chair

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slip p p p p ping

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006 | tags:  |

Wikipedia’s description of  slip lists 16 diverse types including a woman’s undergarment,    a rail switch for trains,  excessive loads on structural engineering joints, and the slope used to launch a boat.    It doesn’t include the two ways I currently experience  slipping:

  • feet gliding on a low friction surface.   Ooops, Wendy falls over again,   I slipped!
  • an agreed time for an specific action  is moved to a later time. ‘Slipping a deadline’.  

When I ran University courses,   classes didn’t slip,   coursework deadlines didn’t slip,   courses didn’t slip,   semesters didn’t slip,   the academic year didn’t slip…   …slipping simply wasn’t a part of my work reality.     I did have this little slip:

One of Wendy's slips

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Falling Over

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005 | tags:  |

I fall over a lot.

It’s an art.

The picture below was taken accidentally mid-fall.   Accident upon accident…  

Wobbly Wendy

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