Fenced Pain



I can relate to this fence. When I was a kid visiting my grandparent’s place in England I impaled myself on a sharp cast iron fence.

The fence was at the bottom of the garden in an overgrown area. Beyond the fence were vast and deep brick-lined vats set in the ground – remnants of a brewery I think. I was strictly forbidden from going down there. So of course I went down and while climbing the fence slipped, driving a spike deep into my thigh. I did not notice the leg damage at first but was soon running up the garden crying because I had torn my jeans and was going to catch some trouble. I stopped to inspect the damaged jeans and found I could see deep into my leg with the femoral artery (or was it the vein) throbbing intact just below the bottom of the puncture. No blood though, just layers of tissue – I can still see it today.

Turned out I had sufficient reason for crying but I did pay an additional price. It was a course of tetanus shots around the leg administered by the country doctor me laid out on the couch. There were stitches too. I hated needles as a kid, still do when it comes down to it. In this instance I would not be surprised if the needles were Victorian, Edwardian at the most recent, used and dulled many times over. If not that old, then perhaps they were borrowed from the veterinarian. With hindsight I suspect there was an understanding, perhaps unspoken, between my headmaster grandfather and the doctor, that my lesson should be reinforced. I remember the injections hurt far more than the hole in my leg.



Olympus XA2, f3.5/35mm lens, Fuji Superia X-Tra 400 film, scanned with Epson V700



14 thoughts on “Fenced Pain

    • Hi Andy – this is a 50+ year old memory for me. England in the early 60s was very much another time and place totally changed in the intervening decades – as you will know.

      These railings enclose the practice of a physiotherapist, or perhaps it is a chiropractor, I can’t recall exactly. I saw another sign when walking at lunch today, on a shop front, that had very similar graphics for a similar business. I should take a picture of that sign too, though not as nice as this one.


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