Friday last was my step father's birthday. I won't reveal his exact age, but I'm forty and he's ten years older than ma so you'll get some picture of his longevity. He is a very fit and active man who not long ago built a two-seater airplane in the back garden (as you do) which he flies around the country and sometimes over to France. In the past he was a glider pilot and recently he purchased an old tractor which he uses for working in the fields. M and I are blessed with active parents- M's father was busy pogo-sticking with his grandchildren at the age of 80. We had a giggle imagining the conversation with the hospital if he'd fallen off and hurt himself.
Anyway, my step father is likewise a busy human being who does not let things stop him or indeed slow him down very much.
As well as Friday being his birthday, Sunday was also their wedding anniversary and they had a weekend of gorgeous things planned to celebrate both events. Imagine my horror therefore, when late Friday afternoon I received a call from Ma which started with the words "P's alright but he's had a nasty accident...."
I went cold, as you do when you hear those kinds of words. The rest of the conversation went something like this: Me: "What on earth's happened?" Ma: "The tractor turned over and fell on him and he was trapped beneath it. Luckily he managed to jump mostly clear but it fell on his leg. The air ambulance has taken him to hospital. He's got a 45 degree break to both the bones in his lower leg and they think he'll need an operation to pin it all back together."
I could not believe it. I'd only spoken to her that morning and they were having a lovely day and looking forward so much to the weekend.
FIVE ambulances and the helicopter had turned out, I guess because these kind of accidents are listed as "agricultural" which could mean all kinds of horrors, and you don't mess around waiting to see how bad it is before deploying help.
Ma was full of praise for our amazing emergency services who really worked so very hard to get him out in one piece, to make him comfortable, to assess the damage, to administer necessary on site treatment, reassure him and then get him to hospital as quickly as possible. I want to echo that sentiment and add my thanks. They are incredible people- brave, efficient. stoic, thorough, kind, good humoured. Thanks to them P was OK and is now recuperating in hospital and we hope he'll be home this week.
I ought also to say that my step father is an amazingly resilient human being with a cheerful outlook on life, as you will see from the pics below where he is smiling while his leg is still pinned beneath the overturned tractor. I hope that this positive outlook as well as his fitness will aid a speedy recovery. These days breaks are no longer plastered, which looks weird and makes me feel a teeny bit squeamish, and believe it or not he is already flexing and using the damaged leg! Ma was incredibly resilient too- it must have been awful for her but she held it together so well and I am very proud of her. Dougal (Ted's best Westie pal whom he saw this morning) is pining for his dad and spending much of his day lying prostrate and inconsolable outside the door to P's study, so no doubt he will be very relieved when his dad is home.
L is telling everyone at school about Papa's tale of bravery in the face of adversity, and the dramatic air-lift rush to hospital in a helicopter which ma somehow had the presence of mind to film on her phone so the grandchildren could see it, and we have all oohed and ahhed suitably over the video of the air ambulance taking off. It's been a very dramatic few days, but we hope everything will now start to settle down and get slowly back to normal.
I think the biggest problem will be how to keep P quiet when he does come home. The hospital has said it'll be a four month healing and recovery process, but I very much doubt he'll be a patient patient for that length of time: she could have her hands full!
Here are some pics of the dramatic tale as it unfolded. Apologies for the sideways ones. I don't know what happened there, they were all the right way up when I saved them!.
On an entirely different subject, the new moth box is supposed to be arriving some time today. I am very excited and looking forward to putting it out tonight as this is perfect moth weather :-)