on the other side of the show-jumping fence.
I just had another chat with an old friend who is in a rehabilitation unit up in Dublin, after falling from her horse at show-jumping event, about a month ago. She broke her neck and seriously damaged her spinal cord. She is left paralysed from the chest downwards, and the doctors and physiotherapists are telling her to be prepared for the idea that she will never walk again.
Prior to her accident, she was the most active and determined person I knew. She stands 4 foot 9 inches tall, has never had a live-in partner and runs a successful horse-riding school with a stable of 8 horses single-handedly. I get tired just thinking about the hard-slog she puts in - often up to 18 hours a day - just to make her living!
It was sad to hear her sobbing on the phone - telling me that the State, the banks, and even some of her family seem to have left her in the lurch without any concrete offers of support - financial or material. She has no idea how she will fend for herself, after she is discharged from rehab in November.
Next time I moan about a tight deadline, a late-night call to take a shot for the paper or don't feel up to a long day visiting pretty Irish villages taking photographs or asking a beautiful model to "let me have that big smile again", all I need to do is think of my friend, and my tiny concerns will be put into BIG perspective!!