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The Gap

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Annie Ryall

As we travel through life, into the senior zone, we are warned of all the physical and mental pitfalls awaiting us and the importance of preventative measures. Bits of our bodies start to fail, or fall off. For example, when I read the label on the muslin bag, it says: Infusion Cloth for Choking.. hmm that’s odd.  Oh I see for cooking. When I’m at the station the voice over the loud speaker seems to be saying: Try and weave me a bandicoot ..hmmm that’s odd.  Oh I see Train leaving on platform two. So we must take care of mind and body, and ‘mind the gap’, lest we take the express train to dementia.

But can we be too careful?

Case in point 1

The mandolin for slicing vegetables has a dangerous blade. You have to make sure it’s on the right setting when using it or risk skinning your thumb.  Then when you put it away it must be in the safe position.  What if children came to the house and, in the middle of a session of idyllic Tupperware play, reached out for it??  Better put it up in the high cupboard over the stove. 

Later, when I’m reaching up to the high cupboard for the soy sauce, the mandolin falls down and lands on the end of the wooden spoon in the boiling hot Bolognese sauce, which flicks up into my face.  When I jerk back I rekindle an old spinal injury.  The bulging disc reminds me grimly it hasn’t really gone away, it was only hiding. That results in multiple visits to the physio and mind-numbing exercises. Next time I’ll just chuck the mandolin into the nearest cupboard and hope luck will be on my side re bleeding children and a horrific dash to Emergency – neglectful grandma flashing on and off in my brain.

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