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Monday, 10 September 2012

Panhandling…or how making 12 resolutions for 2012 on Google+ led to spending Sunday night in Accident and Emergency

Earlier this year you might recall my husband and I made two rather ambitious posts. 12 resolutions for 2012, documented for posterity on Google+. Best not to linger too long on my progress. Packed lunches have been a success. Ironing, less so. Unsurprisingly I’ve done a lot of things that weren’t on the list (thank you, oh muse of students everywhere, Prokrastinates) including writing the first draft of a children’s book. Writing a book was one of Andrew’s so I consider this a joint success – everyone knows we are the Landsy gestalt entity anyway.

One of them was 52 for 52 – trying a new recipe every week for the whole year. I’ve been keeping to it pretty well, if not as formally as I would have liked. To keep it up I recently decided to work through one of the recipe books I got for Christmas. I started last week with a mozzarella and mortadella frittata. Mmm. Yummy. Enjoyed by all.

This week I tried a crustless pizza. Big mistake. Not only did it taste kind of weird, pancake and eggy and not very pizzaey, I also managed to burn my palm and fingers quite badly. So badly, in fact, that I ended up in the A&E department of my local hospital.

To begin with I had run the burn under cold water for about half an hour before transferring to sitting on the sofa with a big bowl of water. At that point, I managed to spill water all over myself. It trickled all down my trousers. Kind of like weeing yourself, only worse, because at least that would have been warm for a bit. This was just cold and wet. I couldn’t really move, because taking my hand out of water reignited the fires of agony. Andrew was busy with the kids, so I just sat there: slightly damp and in agony, cursing Nigella Lawson for making me aspire to be both full-time working Mum and domestic Goddess.

I called NHS 24, left my details and a nurse called me back in lickety split time. She was very sympathetic, and advised she would book me in at the nearest, most appropriate A&E, so that I could get the damage reviewed and dressed.

Andrew Bell drove me to hospital in a rather cute Mini. I held my hand in front of the cool, so cool, air conditioning and gave him all my good quality car chat regarding the original classic Mini. That lasted about three sentences. I don’t have much car chat.

Quite coincidentally, while I was in hospital running my hand under yet more cold water, an old cabinet minister colleague of Nigella's father arrived at the A&E requiring treatment: Malcolm Rifkind. Small world. I was going to ask him to send a message to Nigella, via the father, that her crustless pizza recipe was weird and burny, but he was whisked off by wheelchair as soon as he arrived.

No waiting for him, perish the thought he should have to read the drivel in The Sun on Sunday to keep him amused. I mean, as Andrew Bell and I remarked to each other, it’s just so fortunate that the News of The World folded, so that the Sun could bring us such high-quality investigative journalism showing photos of the back of Simon Cowell’s ear.

I don’t know what else was in The Sun, because that was the point that I got called by a nurse, and Andrew Bell fell asleep.

Then it was into the aforementioned water running. It was pretty boring, but there was a helpful local on hand, I presume waiting for a friend or relative, to tell me that they couldn’t do anything for burns and I would have been better off just running it under water at home. He told me this over and over again. Interminably, it seemed. He also told me that he’d spilt some juice, and on telling the nurse she had told him to clear it up with some tissues: “That’s customer service, eh?” he said. To which I wanted to reply, “Eff off, my hand is burning, and I’d rather they attended ill people than cleaned up after you, you clumsy oaf,” but I didn’t, I just smiled politely and nodded.

Luckily, his repeated attention seemed to hurry things along, and within minutes I was being bandaged, chatted to, and reassured by the NHS’s finest.

So, thank you Nurse Annette; thank you, Andrew Bell; and thank you, NHS

No thanks to you, Nigella, although I shouldn’t really blame you for my own stupidity. 

It hasn’t deterred me. Next week it’s chicken escalopes, and I’m going to be using a hammer. Everybody stand back.

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