Archive for thumb


Posted in Kids, Mountains, Running with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2022 by xi'an

Not that it really matters, as for most anniversaries, but it has been 9 years since I had my climbing accident that left me with 9 digits. In retrospect, it had a very limited impact on my daily life, as I resumed climbing to the same (mediocre) level, did more cooking, remained hopeless at handywork (incl. changing punctured tubes). If anything, the experience made me more laid-back. With sometimes an irrational feeling that this is connected with the repeated blood transfusions I received. (The accident also presumably contributed to our daughter choosing medical studies!)

another tee-shirt issue

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2018 by xi'an

I bought this burgundy mountain equipment tee-shirt last time I was in Coventry as I found the play on the seam as a crack rather clever. (As if I needed new tee shirts!) I later reflected that the posture of the climber is quite wrong as this climber should not be holding the rope when falling: as I became rather painfully aware a few years, ropes can become dangerous when stretched in the vicinity of fingers… So I dropped a line to the company, which kindly replied to my email that they had digitised an actual picture of a falling climber, hoping no one would take this tee-shirt as a recommendation for lead falls! (Their site actually opens with a great picture of a climber on the iconic Totem Pole, Tasmania.)

thumbleweed [no] news

Posted in Kids, Mountains, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2015 by xi'an

Just realised today is the second year since my climbing accident and the loss of my right thumb. Even less to say than last anniversary: while it seems almost impossible not to think about it, the handicap is quite minimal. (Actually, the only time I truly forgot about it was when I was ice-climbing in Scotland this January, the difficulty of the [first] climb meaning I had to concentrate on more immediate issues!) Teaching on the blackboard is fine when I use a chalk holder, I just bought a new bike with the easiest change of gears, and except for lacing my running shoes every morning, most chores do not take longer and, as Andrew pointed out in his March+April madness tornament, I can now get away with some missing-body-part jokes!

thumbleweed [local] news

Posted in Mountains, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , on April 14, 2014 by xi'an

It has been exactly a year since my climbing accident and the loss of my right thumb. Time for a quick recap (for anyone still interested!): Looking back over that thumbless year, I cannot see a significant impact over my daily life: I can essentially operate the same way as before, from climbing to cooking, from writing to biking, from driving to skiing, and the few inconveniences I experience are quite minor. Not large enough to rely on the prosthesis I received a few months ago. I do not particularly suffer from the right hand in cold (or hot) weather and my ice-climbing trip in Banff last month showed I could stand temperatures of -30⁰C with no difference from the past. I never experience “phantom thumb” sensations and rarely notice people taking stock of my missing thumb. Hence, while it has been an annoying accident that has disrupted our lives for a few weeks, the long term consequences are clearly minimal.

thumbleweed news [short story poll]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by xi'an

Although I alas received only three submissions (#a, #b, and #c), following my call for thumb-related short stories, I may as well go and have a poll (for two weeks) as to which one was most appreciated by ‘Og’s readers… (I just noticed you cannot put links within the poll answers, most annoyingly!)

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