Midsummer night’s eve and I’m in a cosy seaside flat in the town of North Berwick, about an hour of Edinburgh, watching the clouds scudding against the sky and the seagulls wheeling around outside the window. There’s some late afternoon sun setting the kitchen taps agleam. Andi is snoozing in the next room, resting up after the drive here from Edinburgh.
Tomorrow morning it’s a week since she fell and broke her wrist, but we are still quite shell shocked and subdued. As most of you know, she stumbled off the gutter and fell on the road as we were leaving Melrose for our 12th day of walking. It’s ironic considering how careful we’ve been on the challenging trails, and how much first aid gear we were carrying in case of accidents in remote areas. She was about 7 minutes from the main hospital for the region. Thankfully.
Scottish kindness has kicked in – from the council worker who loaded us into his truck and drove us to hospital, to our hike organiser who found me places to stay nearby for four nights in the midst of Borders festival season, to the B&B owner who personally drove me to the next place when she didn’t have room for another night. I can now see why UK residents love the NHS and why it had a starring role in the Olympics opening ceremony – the health care was fantastic, kind, personal, and free. The only slight gripe was the long wait between admittance and surgery (a day and half). Everything else has been great.
So – Andi had surgery to put a permanent plate plus a temporary pin in her wrist and came out of hospital on Thursday (having gone in on Monday). In more local kindness, friends of friends who saw our predicament on Facebook offered for us to stay with them in Edinburgh and made us welcome for the weekend while we took stock and figured out what to do next (and showed us the best coffee in town – they write a fantastic blog about coffee in Edinburgh). Our hike would have finished on Friday and we had planned to head right up north to Findhorn on Sunday, but had to cancel that. Have opted instead for a quiet few days here in North Berwick (more kindness – the owner gave us a free day in the booking), before taking Andi back to Melrose for her follow up appointment on Thursday. I’ve cancelled the final week of my trip and will fly home with her next Sunday.
Mostly doing OK and very grateful that Andi didn’t have worse injuries. But both of us do have some down moments about missing the rest of our walk and our other holiday plans. And of course some fears about the future.
Over and out for now – love from Jesse – off to protect Andi from the North Berwick lobster. xxxx