Tomorrow, it will be 10 weeks since I endeavoured to chop off my left thumb with a Swiss army knife! On a quest to help others – as ever – I was opening something for my daughter which clearly required scissors and there were none. You know that weird phenomenon of envisioning what is about to happen before it does? That little voice in your head which screams ‘Don’t do it!’, but you do? Well, that’s exactly what happened and, in an instant, we were drowned in a fountain of blood! Becca photographed ‘the journey’ which followed on her phone and it could actually have been a sketch from Miranda … well, up until the point when, in the plastic surgery unit of Ninewells, they told me that my thumb would have to be repaired by a hand surgeon under general anaesthetic. No longer funny! I had cut through the flexor tendon, the nerve and the artery.
I was repeatedly asked whether I was right-handed or left-handed and, as it was my left thumb, I was loathe to say the former in case they, then, deemed it less important. In fact, just before I went into theatre, I remember being asked my name and occupation – AGAIN! Kate Middleton and concert pianist were my last words. Enough is enough.
Henceforth – antiquated but succinct terminology for ‘since then’ – I have been pretty much confined to the house, unable to use my left hand, signed off work and not permitted to drive. I’m exhausted! Seriously, talk about a learning curve. Have you ever tried to dress, bath, wash your hair, go to the loo, cook, eat or even put toothpaste on your toothbrush with one hand? All that aside, the worst part has been the fact that I cannot chat on the phone whilst drinking wine! No, I still have my old Blackberry and I have no idea how to put it on loudspeaker.
Of course, Manny had just moved into his flat but he reassured me that he would stay at home, for a while, to ensure my survival. Sure! Two days later, he was gone. True, he phones regularly and appears, every so often, to raid the fridge of every last tiny morsel but … You would think I would lose weight thanks to this lack of food and inability to shop or cook but I suppose my clothes may have shrunk.
Now, the subject of public transport! For 3 years, I have been a regular on that wonderful 41; not through choice but necessity. You could say we have a love/hate relationship – I love to see it approaching but I hate the actual journey. Perhaps it would be prudent to skip over my reasons, suffice to say that each journey affords a microcosm of Edinburgh today and one which is so very different from the Edinburgh I first remember in the late 70s. May I say that I never travel without my ipod. The Eagles, James Blunt and, more recently, Tom Odell go a long way to easing my pain. My only worry is that my now ageing battery stays the pace on my more recent day trips to Livingston and St John’s for my weekly physio! Seriously, these journeys are stories in themselves and I have seen parts of the City and its environs which I never knew existed.
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I do, although it is not until one looks back that it becomes clear. My thumb injury pulled me up sharp and gave me weeks and weeks to re-evaluate. Nobody knows what lies ahead and one’s life can change in an instant. The past four and a half years have taught me that, first hand. We all floundered to begin with but, gradually, I think all three of us have learned what is important in life and our strengths. Life is too short not to do what you love, what makes you happy; and too short not to spend it with people you care about and who care about you. Of course, money is a necessity but, in terms of real value, it has none. A call to the ministry? Not quite but courtesy of my enforced time off, I have learned a lot about myself and what is important to me. I have made life-changing decisions whilst learning to live one day at a time and I do feel much stronger. I feel we should, now, all form a circle and hum … preferably with Hugh Grant as in ‘About a Boy’! Still think that is one of the coolest scenes in cinematography when he comes out on to the stage, playing guitar, to save Marcus. Superb!
Perhaps randomly, whilst on the delightful subject of Hugh Grant, I should leave you with a quote from yet another of his superb films, ‘Two Weeks’ Notice’ :
‘I have resigned and am now poor. When I say poor, I mean we may have to share a helicopter with another family!’
Guaranteed to make me smile.
This is Trish, signing off.