I scratched myself with the tip of my secateurs whist trimming leaves on my bushy tomatoes. A scratch it was not, in fact it was a small laceration on the top of the big knuckle on my thumb. I'll spare you the details but it was serious enough. I immediately went to my shed and pulled out a little first aid kit I had in there. I wiped the cut with an antiseptic wipe and applied some pressure to stop the bleeding. My hands were dirty and sticky from the tomato plants. Time to go home. It didn't bleed for long, but my tummy was feeling a bit sicky as a result. I'd cut straight through the epidermis a couple of millimetres down to the fleshy dermis (sorry, I was going to spare you the details.) I felt a bit alone. It was the solitude which I normally love the allotment for, it's my sanctuary and my escape. Now the solitude felt lonely. I wanted my Mum.
I thought I'd to put a plaster on it to keep it clean until I got home and properly dress it. I knew it would be a bit awkward to do one-handed. I saw a neighbouring plot holder not far away who I'd spoken to her before, she had two girls with her, they looked about 10 years old. A mother, she'd help me. She'd offer me some sympathy whilst my courage wavered momentarily. What was wonderful about her was she looked at the cut and nodded agreeing it was mildly serious, then stopped, holding my hands she looked me in the eyes and asked in a genuinely heartfelt way "Do you feel all right?" her head tilting to the side as she spoke.
"Yes, I'm fine" I said, my chin twitched, really I was ready to start blubbering. Silly me, I was fine. I was just so touched my her kindness.
She washed her hands, well as best you can without soap under the tap. The girls wanted to see what I'd done, seeing it they both took sharp intakes of breath then preceded in 'show and telling' me about all their scars. My kind nurse applied Savlon and a plaster and then she told me to go home. "Thank you, I will."
Growing up I was often called Basha because of my proneness to have accidents. I'm not squeamish, I know how to clean up a injury, medicate if necessary and get on with it. What my dear plot holder offered me was the magic ingredient of kindness and love. Thank you. For that really was the healing factor not to be overlooked.
As a result of the accident, I have now scaled up my first aid kit in the shed, included some rescue remedy in case I really am on my own and some large latex gloves, which might make up for the lack of sterile hands.