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The car didn’t get me, but the cardboard did… April 4, 2012

Posted by Phil Groom in Life.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

SO THERE I WAS, walking from Langford to Biggleswade. Suddenly, a horrendous crunching noise behind me: I looked back to see a car that had left the road, mounted the pavement, demolished a gatepost and was now hurtling towards me at breakneck speed across the field running alongside my path. “Which way to dive?” I wondered.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to: the car came to a standstill about 50 feet from where I was. I walked back to check: the driver stumbled out, followed by two passengers. No one hurt, thankfully, just shaken, but the front passenger side of the car somewhat crumpled, headlamp missing, presumably now intimately acquainted with the aforementioned gatepost. Somehow, he’d lost control on the bend. I checked they’d got a phone with them and were sufficiently compos mentis to call for help, then wandered on, grateful that I hadn’t left home 30 seconds or so later and been between the car and the gatepost when the car left the road…

That was Sunday. On Monday, it was Sue’s turn: a car coming the other way but on her side of the road past a line of parked cars. She pulled right over to the pavement, but he clipped her wing mirror and took his own completely off. Perhaps needless to say, he didn’t stop. Sue popped into Langford Garage and they straightened out her wing mirror: all was once more right with us and the world.

Until Tuesday: my turn again. Only it wasn’t a car, it was a piece of cardboard. There I was, stocking the shelves in Ye Olde Supermarket, with a case of bleach bottles in my arms. I stepped up to the gap and skidded on some cardboard from another case: yes, I know, no need to hammer the point home, the cardboard and gravity did that as I went flying. As I fell, I looked down at my foot and thought, “I’m sure ankles aren’t supposed to bend at that angle…” — but in truth, I was more concerned about the bottles of bleach. Thankfully they survived intact and I was able to fill the gap quite satisfactorily, albeit at something of a reduced pace and a hobble as I attempted to carry on further down the aisle, attempted being the key word: had to give up and the gaffer (blessings upon her) arranged transport and sent me home.

This morning, a trip to Bedford’s A&E Dept. I was right: ankles aren’t supposed to bend at that angle…

Phil's Plastered Ankle

Phil's Plastered Ankle

Back to the fracture clinic tomorrow for a proper assessment of the damage. But in the meantime, kudos and thanks to my colleagues at work, especially the gaffer, for their understanding and support; to the nurses and everyone else involved at Bedford Hospital’s A&E Dept for their prompt, efficient and friendly patient processing; and above all to my wonderful wife, Sue, who rescheduled her morning to take me to the hospital when I, being a stubborn old git, was determined to carry on hobbling around hoping the swelling would just go down by itself…

Update 7/4/2012: and here’s the ‘Beckham Boot’…

Phil's "Beckham Boot"

Phil's "Beckham Boot"


1. Narky - April 4, 2012

Awww Phil! You are fine after a run-in with a car but bust your ankle on some cardboard. Nice. 😉

Much love to you. And also advice to find something long and thin to shove down the cast when your leg itches. Something you won’t get stuck in there. Because when my cast came off a few knitting needles and teaspoons fell out. Oops.


Phil Groom - April 4, 2012

Oops indeed 😀 … have got a leaflet from the hospital telling me not to poke anything down inside the cast. Time will tell, I guess… and I’ve suddenly got plenty of that for blogging, fbooking etc… not gonna get much gardening done though…

2. unicorntreebooksboss - April 4, 2012

Hugz hugz and hope it’s only a little broked and soon mends up.

3. Rhea Flanery - April 5, 2012

Oh noes! [[huggles]]

4. Phil Groom - April 5, 2012

Thanks both & all: will know more after today’s fracture clinic. I expect it’ll be a case of amputate at the neck or possibly higher up 😀

5. Phil Groom - April 5, 2012

Fracture clinic was this morning, signed off work for at least 6 weeks, subject to reassessment at the end of the 6 weeks. Consultant said, with a big grin and much enthusiasm, “It’s a good injury!” – ie, bone damage should mend OK, but ligament damage likely to take longer. They took off the plaster cast, prodded & poked to see if they could make me scream (OK, not really: handled with much delicacy, but it was still a major *ouch* at a couple of points), and have now fitted me with a Beckham Boot to accompany the crutches. Physio to be arranged…

6. Di (@hidihidi) - April 5, 2012

Hi Phil

Really sorry about your ankle. Hope the pain is not too bad and reduces quickly. Also hope it heals well.
Love, from


7. Aliquant - April 6, 2012

Poor Phil 😦 Hope it heals quickly. Very thankful those bottles of bleach were OK [was it Domestos or Parozone? Any dented bottles or slightly cracked lids? Just checking…]
Lots of love to you and your ankle xx

8. Phil Groom - April 6, 2012

Di & Ali, thanks both 🙂

I reckon if you’re gonna go base over apex, may as well do it with some panache; but actually it was Domestos, and, no, astonishingly, every bottle survived perfectly. The case fell apart, though, so I had to arrange them singly on the shelf.

9. titflasher - April 7, 2012

Um … can I just put my work hat on here for a second and say “health & bloody safety regulations were meant to exclude this sort of thing!”. Taking my hat off now … Phil, am so sorry, ouch, ouch and more ouch and my (er …) hats off to you for taking this with such good humour. Wishing you a speedy and painfree recovery xx

Phil Groom - April 7, 2012

Ta, yeah. I think they’re gonna schedule me in for some safe working practice retraining: something along the lines of, “Look where you’re stepping, boyo!”

titflasher - April 10, 2012

:-)))) or maybe even “people pick up the stuff you throw aside so others do not do themselves an injury stepping on it?

10. Carole Burrows - April 9, 2012

You’d think that after all those years shelving armfuls of slippery books, a case of bleach would be no challenge! Have you got the supermarket worried about compensation claims? We’re in such a compensation minded culture now! Main thing is to ease off and rest up so the ankle heals. Having broken a hip then had a hip replacement four years later, I became the world expert at shelving books while on crutches – but don’t recommend it! Take care, get well soon. x

11. bourach76 - April 9, 2012

You poor thing – you’re going to have to sit and relax for a wee while. Time to catch up on some reading? Take care x

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13. The Big UKCBD Spring Clean « The Christian Bookshops Blog - April 10, 2012

[…] OR FOOLHARDY ENOUGH (take your pick) to follow my personal blog, you’ll know that I’m laid up at the moment with a broken ankle, which is a wee bit of a nuisance when it comes to important things like carrying mugs of coffee […]

14. Phil Groom - April 20, 2012

Thanks again for all the sympathetic noises: much appreciated. If anyone wants the boring details, it’s a lateral malleolus fracture. I’m assuming that it’s mending OK because the swelling is going down and it’s much less painful now … still quite colourful with the bruising, though 🙂

I’m allowed to put some weight on it, but have to get around with crutches.

15. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work we go… « Phil's Boring Blog - July 24, 2012

[…] WEEK sees me returning to work at last after a long absence following my close encounter with a piece of cardboard back in April, just as the weather seems to be changing for the better (although after two days of […]

16. GroomNews Christmas 2012: A Year Like No Other « Phil's Boring Blog - December 15, 2012

[…] months with his left ankle strapped up in a “Beckham Boot”. You can read all about it here: The car didn’t get me, but the cardboard did… — to cut a longer story short, he skidded on a piece of cardboard at work and broke his ankle. […]

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