Recently, as I lay on my back in the trench I had just finished digging for my potato plants I had a revelation.

I just might, at a pinch, be a bit clumsy.

I pondered it for a bit as I waited for the pain in my ankle to subside.

Yes, given that I had just twisted my ankle and fallen into my own spud patch, clumsy was starting to look like a possibility.


The next morning I had a chance to revisit the idea while leaning over the gate feeding the pet lambs their bottles. One of the chooks had flapped its way on to the wooden fence next to me and was looking like invading the house section.

Chooks are not permitted in the house section after the decimated vege garden incident of 2016 so, my hands being otherwise engaged, I raised one gumbooted foot and gave the offending chook a shove.

The chook duly flapped back to its designated side of the fence and I went to reclaim my foot, only to find my anti-chook manoeuvre had left my heel firmly hooked on the top rail of the fence and I was stuck, one leg hung on the fence, while I leaned over a gate with a lamb-bottle in each hand.

I had time for a little think while the lambs finished their bottles.

I am widely considered to be a menace in the kitchen, inclined to burn myself, drop things, and not to be trusted with sharp implements. As soon as I start to cut things there's a chorus of "not like that!" And I once lost the tip of a finger to a mandoline grater.

Things that I throw tend to hit things I didn't throw them at. Like nearby people, or breakable items. If there's water I will fall in it, despite a dislike of swimming.

I also once ran over myself with my own car. While I was driving it.

In my defence I was in a bit of a hurry at the time. My intention was simply to reverse the vehicle, but an attempt to multi-task went sadly awry when I got it all out of order, my left-hand side leaping in and engaging reverse before my right-hand side was fully on board.


The car, as requested by my left limbs, reversed. It reversed so fast my right leg got left behind. While my left leg flailed for the brake, my right leg was being menaced by a fast-approaching front tyre.

I clung to the steering wheel and yelled for help, but the tyre was gaining on my hapless right foot. It had started to make serious inroads up the toe of my gumboot before I finally found the brake and stomped on it, hard.

It was a hard one to explain to my husband, who had wandered out to see what I was yelling about this time.

He's so used to my yelling that he has given up speeding to my rescue. In fact once he was watching TV and left me yelling until there was an ad break. It was a little unfortunate that I had broken my leg, but he did rally round and call an ambulance.

He also gives me helpful advice on whether what I am about to do is logical, or safe. Mostly he tells me it isn't, and I say "it's perfectly fine", and he says "famous last words" and then I break something.

Like the evening he told me I really shouldn't climb the apple tree to retrieve the neighbour's wayward remote control helicopter. And I said it would be perfectly fine, and he said "famous last words" and I fell out of the tree and broke the solar garden light I landed on. Or the time he said "don't put the ladder there, it won't be stable ..." It wasn't.

No wonder then, I suppose, that he won't let me borrow his chainsaw.

No, when we do home handy-person stuff I am relegated to "hold this" or "sit on the end of that to hold it down" which I feel is a little insulting.

I would try to remedy my clumsiness but if the years of ballet lessons I had as a child didn't help (and they didn't) I'm guessing there's not much else I can do.

I shall embrace it and perhaps give it a more flattering label.

Perhaps I'll go with "differently graceful". Yes, that sounds like me.