Monday, 21 September 2015

Broken Bones And Brackets - A Day In My Life

My husband had an accident last week. He's fine. (well, as fine as a man in pain can be.) He could have snapped his humerus and cracked two ribs while sky-diving, climbing Everest or taking part in a parkour challenge.
Actually, he fell off a ladder. Not very glamorous I know, but nonetheless, I'm informed it's just as painful.

Paul's x-ray

He came home from hospital clutching this impressive x-ray, having been told by the orthopaedic surgeon that he would leave the fracture a week to see what happens! I was intrigued. What might happen? I find myself watching my husband's arm and waiting for some miraculous transformation to take place. Maybe a new arm will sprout; after all, a salamander is capable of regrowing limbs. (I'm not suggesting my husband looks like a lizard, but seeing him sprawled along the settee, I can glimpse a few similarities.) Maybe the bones will realign themselves and fuse back together perfectly (although I'm not holding my breath).

Broken arm aside, I then took my two dogs for a walk on the village green because due to the hospital visit, they'd missed their morning stroll. Brook found a six foot branch for me to play fetch with. I refused, so she thwacked me on the ankles with this tree limb every time she ran past. She doesn't understand that mass x collision = bruises.

I also passed Marigold in the field. She was giving birth while on all fours. (I hasten to add that Marigold isn't the publican's wife.) She's a cow. (again, I don't mean the publican's wife is...) Moving on.

The calves hooves were protruding, so I hung about to see what would happen. (A bit like the orthopaedic surgeon's take on life.) Meanwhile a handful of hens had decided to make an entrance (not from the cow) and proceeded to walk in a hen-like manner, onto the field. Luckily I had my Brittany spaniel on a lead because she's the Hannibal Lecter of dogs when it comes to small creatures. My Springer is a wimp. I'm sure she wouldn't mind me calling her that because...well, she's too much of a wimp to disagree with me. She's frightened of the wind. She's frightened of snails. She's frightened of her shadow. Little did I know that my wimp had "grown a pair" (as my daughter so succinctly put it when I returned home). She chased these hens (*sigh* not my daughter), making them squawk and flap while the cow pushed and groaned. I was running around in wellies that were a size too big while trying to catch my Springer. This farce ended with two blushing hens with their butts on show, a dog with a mouthful of feathers and a labouring cow who was now stressed and anxious.

The following day I found a safely-delivered calf.

But we can all learn a lesson from this. That is, where to place your punctuation when using brackets! (Neatly done, if I do say so myself.)

Parentheses are words enclosed in brackets, that clarify information given in a sentence.

Example 1: My spaniel (although usually a wimp), chased the hens. In most cases, punctuation isn't used directly before the opening bracket of a sentence, they are placed after the closing bracket.

Example 2: The orthopaedic surgeon decided to leave Paul's arm broken (for over a week). Because the parenthesis ends the sentence, the full stop is placed after the bracket.

Example 3: The hens scrambled back in to the coop to hide their embarrassment. (and I ran home to hide mine.) As the parenthesis is an entire sentence, the full stop is placed inside the brackets. Even though the parenthetical element is a complete sentence, capital letters aren't used at the beginning or a full stop at the end because the element is placed within another complete sentence.


  1. What an eventful time you've had, Ange! Hope your husband's broken bones heal well in the end.

  2. I'm very curious to learn what happened to your hubby's arm after a week. I've never heard anything like it, and my son is a doctor! Insane. Also, it must hurt like hell!

  3. Hi Mariam. Paul was put on a rolling list for surgery and he had it pinned on the 19th day of his break!!!

  4. Hope, Paul is well on the way to recovery now, Angela. And life is less traumatic for a while. :-)

  5. Thank you, Carol. Life is a lot calmer. Phew!