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.