Over the years I've had many falls, trips, slips, and tumbles when out walking, resulting in nothing more than minor cuts and bruises. I've also been bitten and stung a fair amount too, but I wouldn't class these as accidents.
I have had two major accidents though, one of which required hospital treatment...and I still suffer with the symptoms of that fall today, thirty years later.
The first of these accidents, and by far the more serious, happened when I fell a couple of hundred foot down into Bretton Clough, near Eyam. It's a steep grassy slope that I was attempting to descend too quickly and I lost my footing and tumbled, rolled, and bounced almost to the bottom. I ended up with a combined sprain and twist of the left ankle. During the fall my left walking boot came off my foot; my ankle was so swollen that I couldn't get it back on but fortunately I was out walking with my brother and a couple of friends and they managed to get me safely to the bus stop at Hathersage, about two miles away.
The next morning when I woke up I noticed that my ankle had swollen up to the size of a football and so my mum called for an ambulance. I was taken to Mexborough Montagu Hospital for an x-ray and the radiologist said it was the worst combined twist and sprain he'd ever seen. He wasn't wrong; I still suffer with occasional pain and mild swelling...usually when the weather's cold and damp.
My other serious walking injury happened only a couple of years ago when I was walking down a well-maintained bridleway, recently re-surfaced. I suppose that was the problem, the limestone chippings hadn't been bedded in, just evened out. There was a lot of surface water flowing over the path and I somehow managed to set off a mini rockfall, sliding several yards downhill until I fell down on to my left knee, skimming across the sharp chippings for several more yards.
My trousers were shredded, and so was my knee; blood was everywhere and pieces of skin were hanging loose. It was painful for a few minutes, but I knew that no serious damage was done. I was able to continue my walk, stopping off at the Hassop Station Cafe on the Monsal Trail to clean myself up in the toilets there...and to have a pot of tea with plenty of sugar to calm my nerves. To this day my left kneecap has a lovely crss-cross tartan design on the skin.