Just as most folk are getting into their first day back at work for the week, we are enjoying our weekend. #Mother Murphy’s Tearoom is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so our weekend starts as we close the doors on a Sunday night.
Sadly I have no tales of epic mountain walks or long cycle rides to tell of this week. Our plans (ok, my plans!) were to take Mr M and Beatrix up Stuchd An Lochain in Glen Lyon. I think I have said this before, but this one of my favourite places in Scotland with the most fantastic views, weather permitting. Due to the remote location, it does mean that winter treks out here are often out of bounds as the road from Killin along to Ben Lawers and Bridge of Balgie is not treated for snow and ice, so I am every conscious that we are quickly running out of time for this trip.
Overnight I listened to the wind and rain howling around the house. Oh my! What will the morning bring I wondered. Well, I did get up at 6.00 am with all good intentions but I glanced out of the bedroom window and watched the trees in the park bending over to touch the ground. Not the best day for a trip up a Munro I thought to myself. What should I do? Well, it didn’t take me long to get back to sleep!
Sometimes, you just need a stay at home day. Now I allow myself to indulge in cakes and bakes and all things nice on a Monday as I am usually out on the hills or cycling. I am not sure that you burn the same number of calories doing some crochet or reading. I did wonder if I should forego my treat day due to the lack of exercise but I didn’t spend too long thinking about though.
This last week at the tearoom saw me seriously questioning the health benefits of vegetables. I am not known for my love of vegetables. Indeed, when I rule the world, cooked cabbage will be banned (we need raw cabbage for our coleslaw). I can be tempted to eat fruit and of course I do like carrots. So, Wednesday morning saw me working with Mr M to get everything ready for opening the tearoom for a new week. Mr M makes our fabulous coleslaw and, being the love he is, chopped up some raw carrots for me and put them in a dish for me to nibble on to save me going hungry. A moment’s lack of concentration resulted in me finding a large chunk of carrot had found its way to the back of my throat and completely blocked my airway. It took Mr M a couple of moments to realise that my clawing at him was in no way amorous!
Fortunately for me, before opening Mother Murphy’s Tearoom, we were running a training company and this included First Aid at Work courses. This, of course, covers the topic of choking. Now it may seem an obvious thing to ask somebody but the protocol for choking is to ask the person, “Are you choking”. This is to check if they are suffering from something else other than choking. With this in mind, Mr M only had to say to me, “Are you?”
The next step in the choking protocol is to encourage the casualty to cough. “Can you cough?” asked Mr M. I vaguely recall some quite explicit words coming from Mr M at this point when he realised I was really choking. Fortunately, a few good hard back blows between my shoulder blades with me bent forward forced the said carrot piece to shoot out. They were very effective back blows but I am convinced my back is still bruised!
Of course, if the back blows had not worked, Mr M would have needed to administer some abdominal trusts (think Mrs Doubtfire!). Fortunately for both of us, this was not needed. All this before we even opened the tearoom last Wednesday morning!
Are fruit and vegetables good for you? I have my doubts! I can honestly say that I have never choked or been close to choking on a piece of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. I know which I will be sticking to in future.
On a more serious note though, I do believe that everyone should have an understanding of basic first aid. You never know when you might need to help somebody – your child, your wife, your husband, your friend, a stranger on the bus.
I joined St John’s Ambulance as a cadet many, many years ago as a youngster in Halifax and over the following years attended various First at Work courses. Meeting Mr M I discovered he was a volunteer First Aider with St Andrew’s Ambulance. It just seemed natural for me to join St Andrew’s and become a volunteer alongside him. This was great fun and we attended many, many different events as volunteer first aiders. These included football matches at Park Head, Ibrox and Hampden, many different Highland games, cycling events, walking events and we even found ourselves at a Proclaimer’s concert.
We still feel very proud that we were able to do this and also to delivery First Aid at Work courses in our training company. How many people have we helped? I am not sure but I would encourage everyone to get themselves a basic knowledge of first aid.
Here in Scotland, you can attend courses with many different companies, such as
Alba Care, https://www.facebook.com/albacareltd/?ref=hovercard
and of course, there are the charities of:
British Red Cross, https://www.facebook.com/BritishRedCross/
and St Andrews Ambulance, https://www.facebook.com/standrewsfirstaid/
Now, where is that Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar? This week, the answer, of course, comes from Bob Dylan, Blowin In The Wind.