Yesterday I had to go to our (fairly) local hospital to have a cortisone injection into my ankle. The trouble with my ankle is making me quite immobile some days, so this is the first thing the specialist is trying.
I wasn't looking forward to it. Anyone who has ever had one will know what I mean - it is a very painful injection. I couldn't have been more wrong! First of all I was shown into a room and introduced to a doctor - a charming young man (from Galway and with an accent to match) who spent five minutes explaining exactly what he was going to do. First he did an ultra-sound and then marked the exact spot where the injection was going to go in. Then he painted my foot with antiseptic, told me to look away as this would be a bit sharp and then injected an anaesthetic into my ankle. The pin prick was sharp and there was about ten seconds when it was just a bit painful. Then came the steroid (usually the most painful thing) - I never felt a single twinge. Later in the afternoon the farmer had to go to his GP - he has a bad shoulder problem - and he mentioned my steroid injection. The GP said they could have done it at the surgery but there would have been none of that business - just a straightforward steroid jab. I know where I will go if I need another!
On the way back as we came into our lane we came up behind .the murderer' as Ronald Blythe calls it in 'Borderlands', It is a giant machine which cuts back the hedges where they are beginning to encroach on the roadway. Crash, bang, wallop, it goes along the roadsides slashing away and flinging sticks and branches in all directions (hopefully he clears up after himself). I complained to the farmer that it left the hedges looking such a mess throughout the Winter and he agreed but said it would rejuvenate in the Spring and the hedges would be better for it. He may be right but two things struck me. First - is this really the only time of year when they can do it, because surely it destroys no end of berries which may well be needed by the wild birds this Winter? Second - wasn't it all the more picturesque when this job was done by one or two men who worked their way along the hedgerow, cutting back neatly, stacking as they went along and finally burning the cuttings creating that wonderful smell of Autumn bonfires which is nothing like so much in evidence these days?
And finally, as I was reading Ronald Blythe early this morning with my first cup of coffee I came across one of those useless pieces of information which I thought I would share with you as it is interesting in the run up to Christmas (sorry if I am the first to mention it) when I hope I shall hear more than once my favourite carol - Adam Lay Bounden - with the line 'and all for an apple, an apple which he took'. For Blythe says the idea that 'the fall from grace' was caused by an apple is not right. The misunderstanding arose, as Blythe says, "Because in St Jerome's Latin Genesis 'malum' is the word for both apple and evil.
I'll bet you didn't know that. Have a nice day. It is set to get cold here but the sun is shining gloriously into our South-facing windows and I have to rest my ankle so have no need to go out in it.