Wednesday 27 August 1986

…I nearly died today.
Me and [my sister] bought some rope with our own money
and we tied it to a tree to climb up it.
There is a ledge halfway up and I
climbed up halfway and while I was
standing on the ledge I slipped and fell,
catching my back on the ledge.
I was winded for about 30 seconds.
But I soon recovered.
I have no bones broken (I hope)…

My mum was having tea with a neighbour at the time, and I well remember the embarrassment of stumbling into the kitchen, not entirely sure why I couldn’t breathe but knowing that something was badly wrong, yet having to still maintain a desperate pretence of dignity and politeness in front of our guest.

“I… can’t… can’t… breathe… oh, hello… nice to… see you… again… hope you’re… sorry, I… can’t… (collapses on floor).”

One thought on “Wednesday 27 August 1986

  1. A not disimilar thing happened to me! I decided that I would try abseiling. In my mind, this meant climbing a try and then undoing my belt and re-doing it around the branch of the tree on which I found myself. I didn’t really think that being tied to a tree would be boring an was actually nothing like abseiling. So, I went out into the garden and tried various trees, but of course finding a branch which was both strong enough to sit on, and thin enough to be accomodated inside the girth of my belt with me too was a pretty impossible task. Still, I perservered. The end result was I fell out of the tree – Oh, I should point I was doing this with the boy who lived next door. I didn’t fall very far (although i was quite high up in the three, maybe twelve feet), because my fall was broken by the branches below and i was basically unharmed. However, me and the boy next door span this out into a life-threatening disaster. We then went a step further, and without saying anything to each other, shifted what was going to a “rescue mission”, in which he climbed back down the tree, found a straight piece of wood, climbed back up three and then tied to me arm in case it was broken. We both then climbed back down the tree (which was easy as he had only tied quite a small piece of wood to just my forearm). Now, at the time Timmy Mallet was doing a slot about “lifesavers” on the Wide Awake Club (I remember one entry into this slot being the story of a punk rocker’s mohican which had served as a handy trap to snare a girl’s five-pounds holiday money which had blown away on a gust of wind) – which we immediately wrote off to with our epic tale. We didn’t get featured.

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