Monday, 9 January 2012

A Bridge Too Far...

Well you may have noticed it has been a while since I have posted on here, so imagine the pent up anger that has been building up!! Ha ha. (Or you may not have noticed at all of course, in which case you probably arent reading this). To ease my way back in to the blogging world however I thought I would post about one of my "Clumsy Man" incidents I mentioned in an earlier blog. However in this case it is more like "Clumsy Boy" as this is an incident from my school days.

This embarrasing episode took place when I was in my 4th year of Junior School. For those of you across the pond I was aged 10. Of course in England it not called 4th year Juniors anymore. It is Year 6 or 7 or whoever knows what!! A rant for another time.

Our teacher, Mr Thornhill, decided to take us to a small wildlife reserve called Tame Valley near the school to do some art work. We all had our pencils, paper and clipboards to have a quiet, peaceful time in the sunshine drawing trees etc. At least that was Mr. Thornhill's plan. I however had other plans. Don't get me wrong, I sketched a young sapling quickly to show willing, but I was suddenly free from the shackles of the school and enjoying the sunshine! There had to be more exciting things to do!! And there was...

I spotted a bridge crossing a stream that had no sides to it except for a low curb. So I soon realised that you could jump off the side of the bridge and across to one of the banks with a little effort! Perfect! But first I persuaded others to join in so the burden of blame could be spread. A few of us did a couple of jumps each without Mr. Thornhill seeing. He had his back to us, happily sketching away while some of the keener kids (teacher's pets) sat with him. So far so good! But I felt I had a greater leap in me!

I stood on the bridge, the sound of the birds and the rustle of the leaves on the badly sketched trees seemed to be egging me on! One last record breaking jump before we were caught. I needed more of a run up. I stepped backwards to create more distance for my impending launch...

And launch I did, but not the way I expected. My heel bumped into the raised curb that edged the bridge side behind me and I fell backwards!! The bridge was only about 7 or 8 feet high, but that's a lot for a 10 year old in a freshly cleaned and ironed school uniform. It all seemed like a John Woo movie then, all slow motion and dramatic music. (Ok not the music, I admit that much). I had time to look down and see the rocks and barbed wire I was heading for in the stream, and in my naivety tried to move across in mid air to avoid them.

Once I had learned my limitations when it came to mid air manoeuvring and soundly crashed into the rocks, barbed wire and shallow water, I made my way sheepishly over to Mr. Thornhill. The cruel laughter of the other children smarting more than the cuts and bruises to my elbows and posterior. Now I would be in trouble! I just knew it. But I was ready for the anger of my teacher. However, my humiliation was completed by Mr. Thornhill bursting into laughter as he saw my bedraggled appearance, dripping and bloody. "Serves you right!" he said. And those words echoed with every squelch my wet shoes made on the walk back to school, hoping those 3 words wouldnt become my motto in life!


  1. No doubt there was a more interesting reaction when you got home.

  2. heh, John Woo movie.. too bad it wasn't "The Matrix". You might have had a better shot at avoiding that stream ;)

  3. Nothing hurts quite as much as the truth! :)

  4. Everything okay over there?

  5. Oh dear, you poor wee boy, teachers can be so cruel, I ended up in a similar situation when I took a short cut through a local field in the rain, it wasn't until I was half way across the field that I realised the lone cow was actually a lone bull! And suddenly my red raincoat didn't seem nearly half as cool. After a terrified pause, of perhaps a mili second, I tore through the grass and into a ditch of muck!