Since I have been in time out due to injury, first in a wheelchair and now on crutches, people have asked me if I am bored.


How can I be bored when I can spend an entire morning just getting from the bedroom to the lounge, some of which involves getting my wheelchair wheels tangled in my towel, post-shower, and carrying my breakfast dishes to the kitchen with them balanced precariously on my lap, then figuring how to get into the small room where the brush and shovel lives, then out again, and how to get broken dishes into the rubbish bag that lives on the porch beyond a step . . . which might as well be a rock-strewn ravine when it comes to wheelchair access.

When I've done with carrying things, I can transfer onto my crutches. Because you can't carry stuff when you're on crutches.


The irony of crutches is that they have given me back the use of my legs, but at the same time confiscated my hands. Awkward, especially the first time you fumble about making a cuppa, then go to take it into the lounge.

Some things can be moved about by poking them with a crutch.

Chihuahuas and the remote control are amongst these. Cups of tea are not. It's an advance on grabbing the remote control with my long-handled grabby-stick thing. The pincers on the end kept pushing the buttons and changing the channel.

Mind you, that depended on being able to grab the grabby-stick, which the grandkids found excellent for flinging soft toys and nabbing the cat. They didn't find it was fabulous for putting back where they found it.

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In fact a couple of days ago they also managed to not put my wheelchair back where they found it.

It was only as my daughter was driving out the gate that I realised her small people had flogged my mode of transport, leaving me stranded on the couch and with the beginning of an urge to go to the loo.

Thank heavens for a foghorn voice honed by shouting at recalcitrant livestock. Hearing bellows of dismay she rushed back to rescue – okay, laugh at me.


Said daughter has been diligently ferrying me to physio and medic appointments. She really wants me to get well. And to be able to feed and water my own recalcitrant livestock.

She made that abundantly clear on a recent evening, after popping round to feed the horses.

She loves the horses.

She loves them so much I assumed the noise I could hear was her shouting endearments at them. Then I saw one trot past the kitchen window, which isn't generally where we keep horses.

When a second one went past, followed by a goat, I thought maybe it wasn't endearments I was hearing so I grabbed my crutches and shuffled out for a look.

There were indeed two horses on the back lawn. And one nanny-goat and an irate daughter shouting language she most certainly didn't learn from me.

She was running about waving her arms trying to shepherd the mob back through the paddock gate. Instead, the mob was swirling gaily round and round the parked vehicles on the lawn and driveway, snatching mouthfuls of shrubbery as they went.

When, instead of the horses and goat going through the gate into the paddock, George the butt-ugly ram and his wives came out it and joined the melee in the back yard, I thought perhaps my daughter needed help.

I called to my eldest grandson who had just turned 7.

"Grab my long horse-training whip," I told him.

"The one that you chase your brother with."

"You can go behind the horses and wave it and they will run back through the gate."

He found the whip on top of the hay bales where he had been using it as a fishing rod to catch dinosaurs.

He waved it at the horses and they reversed their trajectory, trotting back towards the gate before taking a right turn and heading for the vege garden.

I lurched to cut them off, flailing one crutch and my good leg at them. They looked suitably horrified and retreated, just as George and all his wives shot through the gap, completely disrespectful of me and my crutch, and stormed into the silverbeet patch.

The goat, in the meantime, had shown her superior intelligence by simply locating the bag of horse feed in the shed and parking her head in it.

The horses stampeded through the paddock gate, daughter hooked it up securely behind them and, rallying the 7-year-old, she headed for the silverbeet patch armed with a garden fork and a determined look.

The sheep were no match . . . I think they were grateful to get back to their paddock.
Daughter says it was the ultimatum she gave them.

"Get back where you belong or you will be part of a new recipe. I'm calling it Farmyard Medley."