The tear of my left knee’s lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is only partial, according to Doc Russia. Nevertheless, it’s bad enough that I need 6-8 weeks’ “light duty” (as we called it in the army).

This means that I will not be able to make the Portledge high bird shoot in Devon with Mr. Free Market on Wednesday, because the shoot involves scrambling along muddy hillside paths and steep climbs and descents and both he and Doc Russia have banned me from any such foolishness. So High Bird Shooting will remain on Ye Olde Buckette Lyste until sometime in the future, and all my shotgun lessons at Barbury and Royal Bisley were for naught. (Not wasted, of course — lessons and practice are never wasted — but for this event, irrelevant.)

I’m even wearing a knee brace just to get up and down the stairs at Free Market Towers.

Other than a sprained ankle as a boy, this is the first time in my life that I’ve suffered any kind of serious physical injury.

And I don’t bloody like it.


  1. Piker. I was knocked un-conscious three times before I finished high school. (I grew up on a ranch. Large animals, tall trees, etc.). Snapped my left Achilles tendon in my 40’s doing yard work. Hurt. A lot. Spent seven weeks in a non-walking leg cast. Sucks. During that time, won a WWII history contest the prize for which was a ride on this ship—


    Get well soon. The birds await.

  2. No elevator or powered chair at Free Market Towers? Have his manservant carry you up and down. Or, you might request the upstairs maid help you up. She could also assist you on the stairs.

  3. Quitcherbellyacheing and remember, your right arm is not crippled. The local Ale is superb, the local whisky is excellent and you do not have to traipse over hill and dale trying to keep up with others.
    You will be warm and dry, well fed and inebriated. What’s to complain about?

  4. In the days of yore, when on bivouac, the warriors went out on patrol, and the halt and lame tended to the campsite – prepare meals, dig drains, etc.
    There will be a need to pluck, clean and dress the bounty brought home by the hunters. Don’t be a malingerer KdT – plucking awaits. ( Exit stage left to the song “I am not a pheasant plucker, I am a pheasant plucker’s son …).

  5. The only thing left to do is to procure a motorcycle with a sidecar, and shoot from the sidecar.

    1. Perfection. That black motorbike/sidecar the Two Fat Ladies used (Triumph Thunderbird with a double-wide sidecar) would be a delightful mobile platform.

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