When Bones told us she was planning to boat up to Banbury I offered to crew for her, Joy was undecided whether to come as she couldn’t offer much practical help but decided to come for the ride and we travelled down to Heyford by train on a snowy Saturday morning along with Maffi who had also offered his help. We were welcomed with open arms and bacon butties and soon were underway.
The first obstacle was Mill Lift Bridge, which is aluminium and so easy to operate our grandchildren can do it, but with snow on the deck I couldn’t move it, so we kicked the snow off and two of us attempted it, one on each balance beam, we lifted it but couldn’t hold it up and as Bones let go, I was left dangling from the chain until rescued. A local resident was soon co-opted however and we were through, and very pretty it was boating through the snowy landscape.
We had reached Somerton Deep Lock when disaster struck, just as Joy stood up to take a photo the boat bumped the lock gate and she fell heavily against the front step, she was in a lot of pain, but after much reassurance, and lots of blankets from Bones and the crew of nb Quodlibet, who were following us, we headed for civilisation, well Aynho Wharf at any rate, where at least there was a road. See Bones’ account here.
We had just sighted the next lift bridge when we saw two people holding it open for us, who just happened to be the crew of Kate Saffin’s boat who was ahead of us. By some miracle both of these folk were trained nurses and they improvised a sling, and one was also a vicar, it was so good to meet you Nina and Rev Hev.
At Aynho Dr Saffin came on board (not that kind of doctor, but also a trained nurse!) and not only added her expertise to the sling-making but called a local friend, Martin, to whisk us off to A & E at Banbury in his car.
The Horton A & E couldn’t have been better and soon confirmed a fracture across the ball of the humerus (not a bit funny!) where it fits into the shoulder and there was some question of an operation being necessary. A more conventional (but clearly inferior) sling was fitted, pain killers dispensed, and an appointment made to return to the fracture clinic in the morning. We then called a taxi to take us back to the boat, the driver drove very smoothly. Thank You.
Not to bore you with the details but we discovered Joy doesn’t react well to Codeine as she passed out several times and became acquainted with two paramedic crews before morning.
At the Fracture Clinic it was declared no operation was needed, a more substantial sling fitted and we were told to come back in two weeks.
So many thanks are due to all our Ministering Angels who appeared to help us, watch this space for updates.