A Pesky Pothole, A Trip to A&E and X-Ray Spex

Well it was probably only a matter of time what with all this additional daily walking (for exercise), but in the end it was a pesky gravel-filled pothole that was my (literal) downfall and my left foot is now ensconced inside a muckle great boot. I’m getting used to it all now but it sounds as if I’m going to be out of action for around 4-6 weeks which isn’t great – A lockdown on top of a lockdown. As I’ve never broken a bone before, I’m going to write about my experience here, if nothing else just to remind myself to be more careful in the future (although in reality more likely down to bad luck).

My foot for the next few weeks!

It was a lovely sunny afternoon so we thought we’d fit in the daily walk (for exercise) just after lunch, as Mr WIAA had a really important job to get finished and in the post later on that afternoon. We are lucky enough to have a river flowing through our town with large islands in the middle linked to the banks by a network of ornate bridges. We had parked up at the entrance to the first bridge, traversed the islands, joined the road on the other side and were just on our way back round to the starting point when all of a sudden I found myself sprawled out on the road and in great pain. It being the road along the river, I immediately had visions of cars speeding towards me unable to stop, but thankfully it was a quiet afternoon. I was not dignified at all in my fall from grace, and to Mr WIAA’s great embarrassment I made loud yelping noises, which caused a couple of teenagers who had been standing nearby to quickly scarper.

Eventually we got my battered little body off the road and towards a low wall where I could take the weight off my obviously distressed ankle. A nice lady stopped to ask after me and said she would stay by my side whilst hubby went to get the car. The blood was by this time seeping through my right trouser leg and my left ankle was really swelling up. She thought we should go to A&E but I suspected Mr WIAA (who hurts himself all the time and just brushes it off) would think I was being a big baby…, and I was right. When he eventually got back with the car all he could think of was the job he had to get in the post, so we thanked the kind lady (who was a carer by profession – makes sense) and headed home.

Getting inside the house was a real effort as the drive is narrow and getting out of the car was difficult. The steps up to the front door were a bit of a hindrance too but once on the sofa with an ice pack on my ankle and a dressing on my knee (which refused to stop bleeding), I started to feel a bit better. The priority was “the job” however which I understood – As anyone who is self-employed will know, fulfilling deadlines is of paramount importance and a happy customer will return. Once back from the post office, hubby had another look at the ankle and decided it was probably a sprain although by this time DD had been messaged and was keen for us to visit A&E, just in case.

By 6pm the ankle was still very swollen, and although I’d managed to change into a pair of clean trousers the knee was still spurting blood, so I somehow managed to get into the back of the car with the aid of one of my mum’s old walking sticks and we headed up to our local hospital. During these covid times it’s all a bit different, and difficult. The injured person is the only one allowed in, so I had to mask up, use the hand sanitiser whilst balancing on one leg, and then manfully make my way to the reception area. I told the girl what had happened and she in turn told me to “take a seat”. Easy for you to say I thought.

Fortunately it was really quiet, but maybe it’s quiet all the time now, what with everyone working from home and people scared to go anywhere near a hospital. I got called over to a side room where we naturally had to go through all the covid screening questions re coughs, temperatures etc. Once finished there, I was again told to “take a seat”. Easy for you to say I thought.

In no time at all a wheelchair appeared (hallelujah) and I was taken along a labyrinth of newly built, covid-safe, chipboard corridors linking the waiting room to an area in the main hospital, where I got the once-over. An X-ray was required which was a relief as we would at least find out what had really happened. As I’d suspected my ankle had been fractured and a bone had been chipped, so off I went to get fitted with a support boot and have my knee seen to. It all happened in record time and so fast I forgot to ask all the pertinent questions, but it seems they want you in and out at the speed of light at the moment which is understandable, and high praise indeed to our wonderfully efficient NHS.

Back in the waiting room sitting in my wheelchair I phoned Mr WIAA, who had naturally just arrived home, thinking I might be some time. He turned and came straight back and was allowed in to wheel me out to the car. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t wearing one of those, “I told you so,” looks on my face but I said nothing. Getting into the house was easier this time, what with the boot, but not being able to bend my right knee was proving troublesome as it has remained for the rest of the week. I can sit at my computer for short bursts (which is why this has been written in record time) but a lot of reclining on the sofa will be required over the next few weeks it seems. All these months of staying fit and healthy, going on daily walks, and now my wings have been well and truly clipped – Sod’s law. At least I won’t have guests arriving at the holiday hideaway anytime soon.

But this is a music blog so what song to add to this particular story? I’ve never needed an X-ray before, so how about something from one of our favourite early punk rock bands, X-Ray Spex, headed up by the inimitable Poly Styrene.

Germ Free Adolescents by X-Ray Specs:

Poly Styrene (real name Marion Joan Elliott-Said) became the band’s public face, and remains one of punk’s most memorable front-women. She wore thick braces on her teeth and once said, “I wasn’t a sex symbol and if anybody tried to make me one I’d shave my head tomorrow”. Poly Styrene was inspired to form a band after seeing the Sex Pistols, and through their live performances, she and X-Ray Spex became one of the most talked about acts on the burgeoning punk rock scene. Their 1978 album Germfree Adolescents is widely regarded as a classic of the punk rock genre and spawned five singles, including the title track. Sadly Poly died of cancer in 2011 at the very young age of 53.

So, “What’s It All About?” – Don’t be like me, look where you’re going, or else a pesky pothole might trip you up and keep you out of action for weeks on end. Of course it could be a lot worse in that we are still severely limited in what we can do anyway, but if I get the call to come in for my vaccination, I’ll make damned sure I get myself and my boot down the local health centre pronto.

It’s a big birthday for Mr WIAA next week, and we had originally planned to have a joint celebration to make up for the damp squib that was my big birthday last year – That won’t be happening now and who would have thought back then that nine months on we’d still be in lockdown. Oh well, the big celebration will have to wait for another time now, but I must remember to get off the sofa for long enough to wrap his presents (fortunately all bought online).

Right, that’s long enough sitting at my desk, so I’ll shuffle off to treat my knee with some antiseptic. Although I’ve not been an adolescent for an awful long while, I most definitely want to stay germ-free!

Until next time…

Germ Free Adolescents Lyrics
(Song by Poly Styrene)

I know your antiseptic
Your deodorant smells nice
I’d like to get to know you
You’re deep frozen like the ice

She’s a germ free adolescent
Cleanliness is her obsession
Cleans her teeth ten times a day
Scrub away scrub away scrub away
The S.R. way….

You may get to touch her
If your gloves are sterilised
Rinse your mouth with listerine
Blow disinfectant in her eyes

Her phobia is infection
She needs one to survive
It’s her built-in protection
Without fear she’d give up and die

She’s a germ free adolescent
Cleanliness is her obsession
Cleans her teeth ten times a day
Scrub away scrub away scrub away
The S.R. way….


By sheer coincidence, a new film about the life of Poly Styrene, made by her daughter Celeste Bell, was released this week. It is called I Am A Cliché and here is an excerpt from the film’s website: “She introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s Britain, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements.”

Sounds as if it would be worth a watch.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

22 thoughts on “A Pesky Pothole, A Trip to A&E and X-Ray Spex”

  1. OHHH NO! I am so very sorry to read this, Alyson, how awful. Just what you don’t need on top of everything else. Thinking of you and hoping it heals as quickly and painlessly as possible – but hope you’ll get plenty of pampering in the meantime! (First thing Mr SDS said to me when I read this out was: can you sue the council for the pothole?!) Sending all best wishes x

    I love XRay Spex, Poly was a fantastic role model, very sadly missed. We were only reading earlier today about the documentary about her life, ‘I Am A Cliché’, made by her daughter and hoping we’ll be able to see it soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – I have a feeling the damage done when I fell out the back door this time last year (think I wrote about it here) weakened my ankle so should have really seen to it back then. Cross fingers it gets better soon. There are just so many potholes in town at the moment as I think the icy weather of late breaks up the tarmac. Still not quite sure what happened as it was all so quick but my own fault probably for not looking at where I was going.

      I think you’ve mentioned Poly over at your place. Will have to look out for the doc.


  2. Bloody potholes!
    Bad enough for cars and now they are starting to injure people as well!
    Hope you are up on your feet again soon
    As C says there is a documentary out about Poly and her daughter featured in the Herald magazine today

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very sorry to hear this, Alyson. Wishing you a speedy recovery. I broke my arm about 12 years ago (fell down the stairs!) and it was a very painful and disruptive experience. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – You are right of course, it’s not just painful but disruptive too. We are severely limited in what we can do right now but I’m now unable to do nearly anything! Could have done without it.


  4. How about naming your ‘boot’ ‘John’ or ‘Paul’?
    Reflect on ‘Fixing A Hole’ or ‘A Day In The Life’ (‘4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire’).
    There’s not much that isn’t made better with a Beatles’ song.
    How you recover soon, Alyson.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – As for naming the boot, that sounds a bit more interesting than “Formfit”. Yes I missed a trick with the Beatles songs – Fixing A Hole would have been spot on (or the 4000 holes in Blackburn one – they could make a song out of anything in those days).


  5. Sorry to hear of your travails, Alyson, but glad to learn that you’re on the mend. It must be the season for it, as my partner’s sister has just had a very similar incident, and is sporting the same fashion accessory. My belated thanks for a mention of the tv series ‘Death in Paradise’ in the Comments section of a previous post, as I hadn’t realised that there was a new series out. We’re now binge watching all ten series, and I had not remembered that Ralf Little, who plays the current DI, appeared in Series Two as the landlord of a holiday let.


    1. Ah yes, travails on my travels! It seems to be the season for such mishaps but no longer down to the ice, just those potholes left by the ice.

      Glad you’re enjoying Death In Paradise – Will have to look for that old episode and see if I can pick up any tips!


  6. Sorry to hear about your accident. I suffered a similar fate, breaking bones in my foot. In the hospital I had to walk with a zimmer! One good thing about the boot and crutches it gets you to the front of the queue in airports!


    1. Thanks George – My ankle injury doesn’t sound as if it’s as bad as your one was but it’ll still take a few weeks.

      Being front of the queue at an airport not really an issue for me at the moment but yes, I can imagine if it had been, the boot would have helped!


  7. As ever, I’m late to this one, so I hope by now that your ankle is well on the road to recovery Alyson – it sounds nasty. C’s comment reminded me of the time many years ago that my Mum tripped on a uneven pavement and fractured her arm. No sooner had Dad got Mum home from hospital with the limb in question encased in plaster, than he drove her back to the scene of the accident where he encouraged her to carefully re-enact her tumble for his camera, in a Crimewatch stylee. He even whipped out a tape measure to photograph the extent of the uneven paving slabs. Later, he bundled all the photos with an accompanying letter to the council, who, to their credit, swiftly smoothed over the offending area, making it safer for everyone. Good old Dad!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As of this week the ankle is getting much better TS which is a relief. I must admit we too revisited the scene of my trip a week on, and found the offending pothole, but in amongst just so many others so no point really in contacting the council – They know they have a massive job on their hands filling them all in so it’ll just take time. Your dad certainly was on a mission with his tape measure an’ all!


  8. Ouch! I am just catching up to this post now. Hope you are getting a little better. I also had a “senior moment” the other day, when I was walking to my car and the next thing I knew I was on the ground. Oops! Luckily not hurt. BTW, I love X-Ray Spex, there is a rock doc about Poly that has just been released.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gosh, you too. I really hope it was just a silly accident, for both of us, as having a fall in later life is nothing like having a fall when you’re a youngster when you’re all bendy and unbreakable! Don’t want to be making a habit of it.

      Yes, coincidentally the film about Poly came out the day after I wrote this post – I haven’t watched it yet but hopefully soon.

      Liked by 1 person

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