With thanks to Tim.
I’ve led something of a charmed life and have had hardly any mishaps. My sister, on the other hand, always seemed to be the unlucky one and has a number of scars. I can pretty well itemise mine.
The first dates from the time I was picking roses for my mother, using scissors rather than secateurs. Unfortunately, I absent-mindedly left the index finger of my left hand just behind the stem of a rose and I nearly succeeded in cutting a sizeable chunk out of it. The scar hardly shows now, however, being hidden among the other creases of my knuckle.
The second, I received in my early teens. I hated organised games. I’m not a team player, frankly, and was less one then. I have little or no competitive spirit and was an independent little soul. If I were a child now, I’d probably be tested for autism, so blinkered was I. I put it down, now, to shyness and short-sightedness. However, there was one unfortunate day when I actually made an effort in hockey – surely the ghastliest game known to schoolgirls, not least because of the short pleated navy skirts we had to wear, which made the slightest lass look hippy. I was short and small, but reasonably nippy, and I dived forwards – sadly, so did a tall girl called Leonarda (I remember her surname, but it would hardly be fair to mention it here) who probably lifted her hockey stick a shade high as I dived a shade low…my mouth got in the way.
I was so polite, you know. I was taken off to be sorted out, blood streaming from my mouth, and left the premises at the end of the day with a thoroughly fat lip. I turned my head as my mother drove up and got in the car, so that I could tell her what had happened before she saw it and was horrified. I have a scar on my lip, but I doubt you’d know it was there. I can feel the scar tissue, but sometimes can’t see it myself. Remarkably and thankfully, my tooth was completely undamaged.
The worst other thing that happened to me in childhood was a sprained wrist. Honestly, I was either very careful or extremely lucky. Maybe the one goes with the other, but I give credit to my guardian angel. You may scoff all you like at any of my religious beliefs, but never say a word of doubt concerning him. He is there, literally. It’s not even a case of belief. It’s a fact.
Nothing else ever went amiss with me until I was around thirty years old, and then I ran up against Thumper, as one of our rabbits was unimaginatively called. He was brown and a bit stroppy. I was feeding him in his hutch, put some food in his bowl, then reached to put the rest in, and he bit me. Little beast. I have one scar on my right hand where the lower incisors went in, and another long one where he raked down my hand with his top teeth. I smacked him and never fed him again without gloves on.
That was it, you know, until I had my hip op. I did have an operation on my vocal cords, but there is minimal scarring there (I wasn’t allowed to speak for weeks, darlings, can you imagine? until it had healed) and you’d have to put your whole head in my mouth to look for it, and that would block out the light.
On the other hand, I’ve got a shedload of moles. The one under my right arm is known as the Mole that Lives in a Hole. Back in the day, my sister teased me about it and I was quite sensitive. Now, I’m quite fond of it, only hoping it never turns squiffy.
Here you go. Let it never be said that music in the ’50s was anything but totally crap.