Falling from Grace

When does “I fell over” become “I had a fall”?

When you’re well into your seventies? When you reach adulthood? Is it the difference between young and old?

I pondered this question after announcing to my fellow co-workers last Friday morning that I had fallen over the evening before. After their initial concern and sympathy, one of them announced “you’ve had a fall dear!” To which we all had a laugh but it got me thinking. Falling over is all about grazed knees and running home in tears as a child or overpaid footballers faking a tackle, whereas having a fall conjures up zimmer frames and walking sticks.

I’d just finished a follow-up physio appointment – not far from home – no more than a ten minute walk. I needed to pick up some provisions for dinner and I stood on the pavement umming and ahing as to whether to go home and pick the car up first. I decided no, don’t be so lazy, and turned in the opposite direction towards the supermarket. I was mindful that I had to lug everything home but by the time I had gone through the check-out I realised I had two heavy bags of groceries – that’s ok, I am a gym user after-all!

By this time it was nearly 6 o’clock and practically dark. In some places, the pavements aren’t well lit, but that’s okay – eyes down and pay attention to where you are walking, right? I passed a man walking his two aged huskies. We exchanged pleasantries and carried on in opposite directions. I must have looked up to check my way, just at the precise moment the pavement dropped down a couple of centimetres. My foot went over and so did the rest of me. I came to a stop with my head resting on the pavement – fortunately my body had soaked up the impact before my head did. I must have landed on my right hand because that was hurting and so too was my right knee.

The man walking his dogs was heading back towards me, just as I was scraping myself off the pavement and checking the shopping for damage. I had a vision of his dogs bounding up to me and licking me to make sure I was okay but they were so old they just stood there panting at me. The man asked if I was okay and would I like a hand home with the shopping? The dogs gave me a ‘don’t you dare’ look – ‘we just want to go home’. No, I was fine, thank you very much – just a bruised pride. I’m only around the corner, thanks anyway. The dogs looked relieved and turned towards their home before the man did.

I gathered myself up and limped the rest of the way home. To my surprise Chief was already home and waiting for me, so we could shop for dinner. Idiot Luce! He is so rarely home before me that I hadn’t even thought to call him to see if he could come and collect me and the shopping. Mobile phones can be a really useful tool sometimes (note to self).

The damage? A bruised and grazed right knee and a swollen right hand inbetween two of the knuckles. I don’t think there are any broken bones but I’m not sure what’s causing the swelling as there is no bruising.

So there you have it. Did I fall over or have a fall? I certainly didn’t require the assistance of a zimmer frame or stick to get back on my feet, nor the arm of a stranger. I definitely fell over but who knows how long it will be before I have my first fall. I’m off to write to the council.

By Waking the Wombat

Life - part two; Australia. Having spent the first 39 years of my life in England, with two adult children who don't need me so much, a workaholic husband and a head full of stuff waiting to be unleashed, Waking the Wombat is my place to share life's experiences with you.

9 replies on “Falling from Grace”

Sorry to hear you’ve hurt yourself, hope all OK and you’re on the mend 😘 I could say don’t get old, but the alternative is far worse 😨 so will just advise you to have more water with it in future 🍷🍹😉😂 Take care my lovely lady 😍😘


It’s never nice to fall and I’m glad you’re ok, wounded pride aside. The last time I fell over, I broke my arm, and let me tell you, that’s enough to make me super cautious all the time now, sans zimmer frame 🙂


I just found your blog and have to thank you for my laugh of the morning. I am sure that I’ve attacked the floor more often than I’ve had a fall. I just didn’t know how to say it before this. Your hand is better now?


I so pleased to hear I provided you with a morning laugh! Said hand is a lot better thanks for asking. Funnily enough I had another physio appointment but I told him how I’d fallen over. He checked my hand and reckon I’ve damaged a tendon. I have some resistant exercises to do and already there has been an improvement. Thanks for visiting 😊👍

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I think ‘having a fall’ implies muscle or brain imbalance . A reaction to nothing, not tripping, just falling. I’ve fallen HARD four times over the last 3 weeks. Three times on ice skates and once while running on ice. In each case my feet flew out in front of me and I landed flat on my back (and elbow). I don’t see these as proof that I’m losing coordination, just as proof that I take unreasonable risks. At 57, a broken *anything* would be a huge hassle at a minimum. I think you need a pattern to ‘have a fall’. Since you have a gym membership, I’d focus on core and quads and keep up your flexibility. Better luck in the future. I should have followed you before. Your writing is nice.


I definitely fell over it was a trip over the curb – idiot that I am! Thanks for the tips Jeff the gym certainly keeps me fit and flexible and thanks for the writing compliment too – I should be doing more of it!

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