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Friday, 1 April 2016

Reasons why Fran is just like Alice in Wonderland

A couple of days ago, just like Alice in Wonderland, I found a small door.

However, unlike Alice, I hurtled through mine without any trouble at all.

Here's a picture of the door.




You: 'That doesn't look like a small door. That looks like a very big door.'

Me: Look carefully and you'll see that within the big door IS another, smaller door. That's the one I hurtled (hurdled?) through, having not noticed, because it was 10pm and dark, the lintel at the bottom. I can't think of a better phrase than 'arse over tit' for what happened. 'Head over heels' is another, but not half so satisfactory to say.

I was with my friend, Deborah, at Keble College in Oxford, and we were coming home from our evening out. (The door is the one at the entrance to the college, by the Porters' Lodge. During the day, they open the big door. At night, just the smaller door.) Deborah's a writer, too, and we'd booked two nights' bed and breakfast at the college, disciplining ourselves to an itinerary so that we could make progress on our novels.

Did you know you can do this ... stay in the student accommodation as a short break? We booked it through universityrooms.com and apparently you can stay in any big city that has a university using the scheme.

Obviously, you can only do this when the students are on a break. It's not a case of 'Budge up, Edwin. I'm in here with you for a while. Gosh, this bed's narrow, isn't it? It would help if you took off your gown and mortar board and left that scientific dictionary under the bed.'

I loved staying in that student room. The desk was the size of a - the size of a - the size of a door you could fall through. All the furniture was Real Wood, not tacky MDF held together with Blu-tak and optimism. And the bathroom was a proper bathroom, not a 'pod' as I've seen in other student rooms - a kind of caravan-style add-on whose walls might fall in if you pulled too hard on the toilet roll.

The breakfasts are fabulous. The sausages even have meat in them. You eat them in the main dining room, glared at by oppressive pictures of all the previous Wardens, who are all very stern and look as though they're thinking, 'If one more student vomits in the middle of my sunken lawn, I'm going to resign.'


If you're at one end of the table and ask for the salt, you get it a month later. 



Back to my accident.

I didn't know I was falling until I'd fallen and found myself decorating the stone tiles, wondering if I'd died, and hearing Deborah's voice - or was it an angel? - wondering the same.

Considering the force of my trip, the trajectory I took, and the fact that I'm not entering Miss Slimming World of the Year any time soon, I was surprised to get away with the minor injuries I have, which are:

1. Big bruise on left knee.
2. Graze on right shin.
3. Sprained right wrist, but only painful if I lift anything heavier than a small bar of chocolate. I've tested it.
4. Vague ache in left shoulder, but that could be because I'm using that arm instead of the right to lift the bigger bars of chocolate.

Maybe I bounced. This is the one question I don't want to ask Deborah. She's the only one who knows, and I hope she'll keep that information to herself.

She takes a lot of pictures on her holidays. I asked her if she'd taken one of me, laid out with my arms and legs splayed like a giant starfish on vacation in Oxfordshire (or just lost). 'There WAS a short pause before I heard you ask if I was okay,' I said.

She swears not. But I'm watching Facebook closely. And I'll tell you now that her blog is worth a visit here  and that she's written a cracking little novella all about a woman who buys a house without telling her husband and that's here if you have an e-reader.

Just call me 'Mrs Emotional Blackmail'.

And, yes, it did get written in the Incident Book, just in case there's anyone out there with a Health & Safety hat on.

16 comments:

  1. Ouch! Don't worry about bouncing; Tigger says it's one of the best things in life!

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    1. Good point! And Tigger knows what he's talking about!

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  2. How about "arse over tea-kettle" -- have you heard that one? I suspect it was invented by prudes who just don't want to say "tits."

    Glad you weren't injured too badly! Just your dignity, as they say.

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    1. No, haven't heard that one! It's a good one, though.

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  3. Why is it that the English expressions are so much more satisfying? Then again, it could just be that we've worn our good ones out.

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    1. Hurrah for monosyllables! And for Anglo-Saxon (I checked, and they're both Anglo-Saxon in origin ... Gotta love
      www.etymonline.com)

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  4. Don't worry! I've deleted the photo ;) Hope you're feeling normal again soon. What larks eh Pip?

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    1. That's good to know - fewer blackmailing opportunities ...

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  5. I love your descriptions of Oxford college life, Fran, especially how they sleep in gowns and mortar boards. All great stuff, except those pesky door lintels, of course... :-)

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    1. I know. Lintels are not my best friends. I am a bit anti-lintel.

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  6. That sounds like a nasty fall. It amazes me how these things go on facebook and you have to wonder why is someone filming & not helping ?
    My mother & I were blown over by a strong gust of wind once ( neither of us stick thin either ) and a couple tried to scurry past us until a girl came out of a bakery & enlisted their help to get us up; my mother had fallen on top of me so I cushioned her fall !

    Mum took me to stay in student digs when I was really young - London I think. You've given me the idea now to book a mini break over the summer... umm which city though ?

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    1. You can do Edinburgh apparently - lots of people book the university rooms for the festival. Sounds good to me!

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  7. Hope you get to resume bilateral chocolate consumption very soon, Fran. In the meantime, thanks for the chuckles. x

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    1. 'Bilateral chocolate consumption' made me laugh!

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  8. As a wobble-prone cyclist , I can tell you that bouncing is good . Certainly better that the alternative .

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    1. Sounds as though you have a few stories!

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