Monday, 17 February 2014


How not to make mistakes

 Vol 29 Crisis


I don’t know about you but I’m rubbish in a crisis. I’m not proud, the world needs those assertive sorts who know precisely how to 1. set the world to rights again and 2.  cover their backs so as not to get sued - good luck to them but I am not the same species, I sincerely hope one’s around when I have my own next crisis.  

In a crisis proper, I would probably join in and collapse, haemorrhage or connect the patient incorrectly and incinerate the entire vicinity.  A P.E. teacher once tried to get me signed up on a first aid course but, no doubt encountering my wimpish reputation, wisely gave up.  Once, while spectating at a rugby match, a kiddie over-exuberantly toss tippled over the metal stand and clanged noisily to the floor causing shock and panic throughout the crowd.  Heroically, my other half rushed over to rescue her while I inadvertently burst out laughing.

Anyway, you get the picture.  So, we’ve been called urgently to my dear lovely little mother-in-law’s flowery bungalow where she’s in the throes of her third heart attack. (Just to set your mind at rest, she’s eighty odd now, doing fine and has since had two more heart attacks and a couple of boyfriends)  As she bent, closing her eyes in pain, my other half ringing for an ambulance, I started to panic.  What should I do?  Clearly something needed to be done and I couldn’t just stand here among all the drama.  Poor old Flo let on that she was feeling particularly queasy and I started to work up a sweat of my own.  I felt so useless as my in-laws arrived and busied themselves fetching bowls, sorting an overnight bag, rubbing her back and murmering comforts until the ambulance arrived.  There must be something I could do ...

Finally, as we all made for our cars, the ambulance and the hospital, I spared a last glance at the frantically prepared seven cups of tea standing side by side on the mantelpiece just beginning to form the seven cold tea stains that would remain right there for the next three weeks ...

Just in case you’re wondering, the extra two cups were very considerately, I feel,  made for the ambulance staff.