I have spent the entire day in bed, trying to find a lying down position that was not agony. It started the night before with another session of tile laying (these stop when I get too tired to be confident in my straight-edge ability). The session was followed by a visit, and this visitor and I shared BrewDog’s Punk IPA, Dead Pony and Fake Lager. All very nice indeed, and all the nicer because Aldi sell them at 50p less per bottle than Tesco, so I bought two of each.

This particular visitor likes to visit at night because of the bats. He is convinced they congregate over my garden, but I’m sure it’s just coincidentally on every local bat’s flight path. Then there are the spiders – he claims that the two biggest spiders he’s even seen were both in my house. That’s probably because I won’t kill them so they get to grow fat on the hated flies. It really has nothing to do with the stories or all the demonic books, but it’s fun to let people think so.

It was my first trip to our new Aldi, which really is right next door to Tesco. Aldi is very like Lidl in layout – so very like Lidl that it was no trouble at all to find things. The whisky is in the same place too, although Aldi have different whiskies.

Glen Orrin is a five year old vatted malt – a blend of malt whiskies. There are also two single malts on the shelves but I thought it best to start at the low end and work up. Glen Orrin is actually quite pleasant, maybe a little nicer than Lidl’s Glen Orchy, maybe exactly the same in a different bottle. No, not exactly the same, it’s a lighter shade than Glen Orchy. If we hadn’t polished off the BrewDog beers first it might have been easier to judge the taste.

We should not have finished the Glen Orrin. Really we should not have started it. We should have stopped with BrewDog.

When you recall my history as the man who was once trapped in a hole under an enormous rhubarb root, the man who tried to paint the stairwell and ended up painting the only bit of carpet that did not have sheeting over it, the man who opened the door to the grill only to have the glass front of the oven door drop into it and shatter… Really, considering my history, drinking in a kitchen with a newly-tiled smooth and shiny floor was never the best of ideas. Especially as drink tends to make me overestimate my stability.

That’s why the whisky goes so well with the writing, because I’m sitting down. The worst that can happen is that I fall asleep in my chair and wake up with yet another case of Quasimodo Neck. I did once fall off my chair (asleep) due to drink and fatigue but it’s not far from the chair to the ground, there is carpet on the floor and no sharp edges in between.

The kitchen is a different prospect. When I slipped, I think I hit every door handle and work surface on the way down to the concrete-with-a-thin-layer-of-vinyl floor. Various cuts and bruises resulted, naturally, and I smacked my lower left ribcage against the corner of the sticking-out bit of the kitchen surface.

That brought an end to the evening. Visitor left after checking I wasn’t dead this time and that I would be likely to survive a little while yet. I made it to bed.

In the morning, any attempt by a hangover to make me suffer was hopelessly overshadowed. So were all the cuts and bruises, most of which I did not notice at all until the pain in my ribs subsided (around 6 pm) enough to allow me to get up. I had whacked my ribcage in exactly the same place where I cracked a rib almost two years ago – and it really felt like I had re-cracked it. I don’t think I have this time, it still aches and is tender to touch but doesn’t have that sharp stabbing pain from last time.

The pain, though, was intense. There was no lying position that alleviated it for long and changing positions was like rolling over on a bed of nails. I wondered if I had ruptured my spleen at one stage. The fact that it is getting better is encouraging but even so, I might have to bite the bullet and visit a doctor if the pain is still there tomorrow. Those edges are hard and could cause some internal damage.

Tonight is a night of no alcohol at all. It’s something I do from time to time to prove to myself that I have not become alcoholic. Since I never hit the bottle until the late evening, I’m confident that I have so far escaped dependency and the occasional ‘day off’ proves it. An alcoholic simply couldn’t do it.

Besides, if I need to visit the doctor’s tomorrow, it’s best not to arrive with whisky breath. That leads to the immediate assumption that the visit was brought about by booze. A correct assumption in this case, but an assumption nonetheless. Doctors should not be making snap judgements. Too many of them do just that, which makes them hard to trust.

So the new kitchen has drawn first blood. It was probably egged on by all the other rooms. They’ve all seen my blood at one time or another.

Soon the new computer arrives. I wonder what that will do to me?


14 thoughts on “Ouch!

  1. Sorry to hear about your intimate conversation with the new floor, but glad to hear that you’re still in one piece. One thing I’ve noticed in recent years: I don’t bounce as well as I used to!

    Word of Advice: When you get your new puter, don’t carry it across your kitchen after a bottle of Glen Orrin!



    • Oh no no, computers are not to be moved, dismantled or fiddled with once the whisky comes out! All sharp tools are put away too.

      Part of the kitchen floor is concrete and part is wood. The plumbing runs under the wooden part. If I had fallen on the wood part I might not have been quite so bruised but then the real damage was hitting the corner of the worktop on the way. Superficial cuts and bruises are so commonplace in my life I barely notice them, but potential internal injury is a whole new game!


  2. Kitchen floors are buggers. When I bought this place, I laid 26sq m of black slate. Big mistake. Scratches to buggery.

    Five years later I took a kango hammer to it and retiled it. I ain’t doing it again whatever Mrs D threatens me with. As we get older, it gets harder on the old knees…

    Get well soon.


    • Once, that kitchen had ceramic tiles. Very nice until you drop something.

      Replace one cracked tile? No chance. Hit the cracked one and the cracks extend to all the other tiles. Now it’s vinyl tiles. Those are easy to rip up and replace.


      • I certainly go for vinyl floors although the last time we laid a new one the newish puppy chewed her way through several tiles the following day. Bloody horrible what eventually emerged from her rear end.
        By the way, my wife has a cold & asked for a cheap bottle of whisky & Teachers was on offer at £11-00. It is horrible, she won’t drink it & I’ll stick with whiskies with taste & flavour. She’ll have to drink it with lemonade.


        • Make it into hot toddies with a little hot water, lemon and honey. Or mix with green ginger wine – that’s a good way to use up a whisky not to your taste.

          Personally I can tolerate Teachers when funds are low, although I find the grain blends a bit rough these days. One taste of a single malt and you’re spoiled forever.


  3. All new computers require a blood sacrifice dating back to the first SCSI card. The first time you open the case, even if only to admire the clean and shiny, it will lash out and scrape your knuckles.


  4. One tip here is always to be very, very cautious around anything made by Sun Microsystems (now Oracle). They make and always have made very good kit indeed, which is why the secondhand market for it is so strong, but they also seem to be extremely generous on metals when the machines are being made.

    Thus it is that all Sun kit, monitors included, weighs a ton. Actually Sun monitors are the worst of all, because they used to make some truly lovely, big, flat-fronted CRT monitors. Lovely high refresh rate (assuming your graphics card could cope), good colour reproduction, great resolution and so on. Just one catch: they were incredibly heavy!


  5. Re: your mishaps because of alcohol drinking. I have mishaps because of smoking ciggies.

    I smoke a lot and sometimes burn little brown marks on my shirt sleeve or the house table furniture and always spill fag ash on the carpet.. To prove I’m not a smokerholic I don’t smoke for a day or two and haven’t spilled fag ash or burnt anything.


      • These days, ‘addiction’ means doing something you like to do, and doing it more than once.

        Real addiction is different – if you were addicted to smoking you could not stop for a day or two. If I was addicted to alcohol I could not have nights off. In fact, if I were an alcoholic, a night off would cause seizures and might well kill me.

        There is a real addiction to alcohol in that the alcoholic’s body becomes dependent on the substance and they must be weaned off. The shock to the system of sudden withdrawal could kill them.

        Nobody has died from running out of smokes in the middle of the night. Smoking was never an addiction, other than in the minds of those convinced by both Pharmers and antismokers. The tobacco companies aren’t going to challenge this because – why would they? Some other group is lying to their customers in such a way as to ensure they get to keep their customers. All the tobacco companies need do is keep quiet.

        Those people I know who successfully stopped smoking all stopped because they wanted to. No gum, no patches, no pills. They just didn’t want to smoke any more and stopped doing it.

        Everyone I know who was pressured into stopping either started again or became a frustrated born-again non-smoker who rails at smokers like some evangelical loon from the 16th century. That’s not a sign of withdrawal. That’s jealousy.


  6. Wandering round Lidl today, I decided to but a bottle of Glen Orchy (€9.99 in Spain). I shall be trying it tonight lying down on the floor, because you never know.


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