By Dawn M. Sanders

I hope you don’t read this and think, ‘awe you poor thing’, – never! It has to be said though, the perils of visual impairment can be lethal and usually when you least expect it.

Last night I was going out to my local One-Stop shop and booked a taxi to go down and come straight back up to where I live.
I know where the shop is and walk there all the time, but as a woman I don’t do walking on my own at night, even in my neighbourhood, which is really safe.

So, I was rushing to get the taxi, because the shop was going to shut in half an hour, but it takes 2 minutes in a cab, 2 to be in the shop and no time to get back – so I wasn’t worried about the time.
However, in my haste, I went crashing into the new flower bed they put in on my estate, which is in an awkward corner where I used to just follow the grass line to either stand and wait for a taxi at the top of the steep hill I live on or walk down to the bus stop.
I stopped to look at the geraniums and pretty purple flowered plants they put into the new flowerbed after filling it with bags of soil the other day, so I knew the sodding thing was there and in fact I slowed a tad to negotiate it, but it was too late.
I met the flowerbed with both knees and fell flat on my butt!
It’s okay if you wonna laugh – I’m laughing now writing this…
Last night though, it wasn’t funny and I sat there on the ground glad that no one was around.

Where I live on the edge of my small city, next to fields in suburbia on the edge of Exeter is so quiet at night especially, you can hear the grass grow, so I was the only living being stirring at the time.
I could feel the pain welling up in my left knee and I had grazed my right one and there was a new small whole in my leggings.
I slowly got up and walked to the top of the hill where I always wait for the taxi.
I stood there in the chilly night air in the silence, as the time ticked on.
The shop shut at 11 and at a quarter to 11 I thought, ‘this is a joke why aren’t they here yet’?
5 minutes later my cab turned up, just before I was going to walk back to the flat and give up.

The driver was apologetic, but by the time I just got in the door before closing, it was too late to get what I wanted.
So, my last fiver went down the toilet on a flaming taxi along with banged up knees – not my idea of an enjoyable evening.

Should I have ventured out?
Life is full of should’ve, could’ve, would haves.
Should I have bothered?
Absolutely but, if I could have set out earlier, I would have avoided rushing to get a taxi, probably avoiding clobbering myself on a damn flowerbed and the whole bloody mission ‘would have been accomplished’.

Awe well, what the hell – not much keeps me down without getting right back up again in true defiance of life’s hard knocks – even at the knees!

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