Bouncing with Fate

ID-100146479Ridley: This was originally going to be a post about the Flight Festival that took place in Dublin today. That’s what I told Latimer I was thinking of doing, but I got word that a family member had a bad fall and bruised themselves, so I went home instead of watching planes. Alls good and everything, but I now know where I get all my clumsiness from, one day they’ll find clutsy is genetically passed on I think! 🙂 

I had so many falls, sprains and breaks when I was younger, I’ve nearly lost count, and it’s not like I’m a particularly sporty type! I never had one of those epic tales like; I was skiing in the Alps in a cool one piece suit with fashionable goggles and while doing numerous tricks and zooming down the snowy hillside, I accidentally ploughed into my handsome skiing instructor and broke my leg.ID-10068874 Where I then laughed about it with him over hot chocolate in a chalet beside a roaring log fire wearing a leg cast signed by numerous people.

Oh no, they’re all rather pathetic stories. In my time I’ve managed to break my left arm, fracture both my middle fingers, knock out my two front baby teeth, sprained my ankle over fifteen times and injured myself in such a way that I tore the muscles away from the bone in my right foot (which is unbelievably sore).

Actually, most of my major injuries happened between the ages of about five and seven. I don’t know maybe that was a wild time for me. I used to love running around the playground, particularly hanging upside down on the metal bar like a monkey, you could also do flips over it. Then one day I slipped, smacked face first into the sand beneath it and bye bye front teeth.ID-100198581 I remember it being really near to Christmas as well, as “All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth”, was sung at me on a continuous basis for weeks.

When I was six, I was playing cops and robbers with my uncle (which actually just involved me running around the house over and over again, while he stayed in the one place and barely tried to act as a cop and stop me) and managed to break my arm by tripping on a root sticking out of a hedge in the front garden and I banged my left arm down on hard dirt and well, Bobs your uncle. I might add, at the exact same time, my younger brother was half way up a large tree and my uncle was lazily advising him to come down.ID-10017839

Now, if you’d freeze framed the whole moment and asked a panel of experts who was about to break something, who do you think they’d have picked? Yeah.

A year later, I fractured both my middle fingers. I became ill in school and I was sent out by the school nurse to sit on the swings in the yard. Feeling bored, I put my fingers in between the small chain links of the swing. Not the best idea just before you faint.ID-10046480

The next thing I remember I’m hanging backwards having slid off the robber seat, my arms in the air and my fingers still stuck in the chains, looking up at the nurse and my teacher.

My final biggish injury was years later, I was twelve and I got Rollerblades for Christmas, I did just great on them in the house, rolling along on the carpet, with numerous things to grab (chairs, tables, people) when it looked like I was about to fall over. Then they let me outside, literally two days after I got them I somehow managed to fall half on and half off a high footpath in front of a (really really slow moving) car, I landed really awkwardly on my leg.ID-100179603

For a week, everyone, including the doctors, thought it was a horrifically bad sprain, but having had numerous sprains already by this age, I knew it was something different. Eventually, I ended up in a full leg cast after the doctors realised I’d torn the ligaments away from my foot. It all took ages to heal.

Now, it’s all been suspiciously quiet of late, suspiciously, and I’ve recently started trampolining classes (sooo much fun!) but even with a few years of a gap of any bumps or scraps, my family still felt the need to warn me not to kill myself while I’m off bouncing.pic-071-300x169

One of the things we do in the fitness class is run along the trampolines, and I got cocky last week, which never ends well. I found myself sprinting way too fast, my momentum built and built and with widening eyes I realised I was no longer in any sort of control of my legs and that I couldn’t stop. I had a split second thought that I was about to go flying so I tucked my arms in and I managed to do a barrel roll over three trampolines and a mat, before I stopped moving. I then hopped up and tried to pretend it hadn’t happened at all. I thought I’d succeeded but then the fitness instructor with her large microphone, and what felt like a giant long arm, pointed at me and shouted, “Fantastic recovery! And don’t worry, no one saw you!” *sigh*

So, while I dance (and bounce) with fate, I can only hope that, fingers crossed, I’ll continue to beat my clumsy genes! 😀 

Summer is coming

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Latimer: Ah blissful summer is here at last! The sun is shining, people are smiling and we’ve even got some really nice weather lately! The Irish curse of talking about weather – ah well you see we don’t get a proper summer very often, or at least it can’t be relied on, so we always have to mention it when it happens! So, for now at least we have really nice weather – people are getting sunburned… yeah, that’s a big deal!

Summer always ends up being a busy time of year; Ridley and I have been writing away working on the next book! Come on the editing stage 🙂

But, aside from that, the big thing about summer is holidays! Oh holidays! Thinking of the next adventure puts me in mind of the first real one!

This is the one where Ridley, Latimer and friends went to New Zealand and Japan!

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Oh magnificent New Zealand… as I sit here in the heat of the Irish summer, thinking back on the glorious holiday that was New Zealand cools me down at bit, because summer in the Northern Hemisphere is of course winter below!

This holiday was a big deal for us at the time because none of us had ever gone this far on our own (like real proper adults) – four of us, Orbie (who we’ve mentioned now and then), Latimer, Ridley and Bubbles (another friend of ours).

We got ready – this was a big deal.

We rented the glorious campervan, the Kea (and Bubbles was the only one who could drive)….we were going to drive around New Zealand and camp!

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We were given snow-chains in case of notoriously bad snow… we were so scared, we were so excited, we were…  grown up! This was such a great time, but initially we were very worried.

Day one in Christchurch – with the van and the maps… we were thinking it was a mistake. But then we got the GPS up and going, Bubbles got comfortable with the camper-van and were off, on this amazing adventure  –  this first taste of a now life-long love of travel, the dream of the faraway…

We had all these wonderful experiences…

we saw such amazing landscapes…

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we drove for miles on empty roads that wove past waterfalls and cut through snow-capped mountains…

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we climbed glaciers…

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we swung down canyons…

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we visited the beautiful Milford Sound…

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we dove out of the sky… like a boss 🙂

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I’ve always thought we look like we’re out of Top Gun here!

we met Maoris and went to a hangi (a sort of party, where food cooked in a pit)

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We skied and snowboarded… life was good!

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Then we left the snow behind and headed for the mind-melting Asian summer – the melting temperature of an Irish person isn’t high!

We visited Kyoto and got caught in a Matsuri festival we didn’t understand. The Japanese festival goers gave us beer and when the young Geisha arrived, a helpful man dragged Orbie off and helped her get cool pictures of the Geisha…

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We went to a tropical island – that was a random adventure. We were going to sleep on the beach, but decided against it and had a very strange time in a surfers hostel, where Ridley had to fight off ants as she slept and I screamed at a massive spider that then scuttled off to hide in Ridley bathroom…

Looks like paradise though, ne?

We went to Koya-san and stayed in a Buddhist temple and got up for prayers at 6 o’clock..

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So many random things happened.

All these memories that as I type I become lost in again; summer time is a time for making plans for adventures! The sun is out, the days are long; it makes me feel like there are adventures out there, beyond the walls of where we are.

I’m excited! I want to pull out my bags, hitch them up and go off into the world again!

Now all we really need to do is figure out where to go!