I was digging up Mama’s bottlebrush bush to replant it somewhere else in the garden. It had an insanely deep root system and as I was vigorously hacking downwards with my trusty spade, my upper body following on behind, I rammed my right eyeball onto a freshly pruned, crisp, sharp grape vine stem. From there on, the day deteriorated rather, as my vision became blurry in the extreme.
Playing tennis with Peter two hours later, I flailed wildly at what seemed to be two balls coming over the net towards me. I couldn’t focus my right eye at all. I lost the first set very quickly. It was horribly windy, which made things even harder. Good shots were sailing out; crappy shots were unlikely winners. Then it struck me that I needed to use the wind to my advantage. Basically, when the wind was behind me, I had to hit half cock shots, that only just stayed in, and forget about hard serves and lobs, since they usually went out. With the wind against me, the opposite strategy was called for: many lobs, wildly hard serves, vicious forehand thwacks; all went in.
At that point, 2/2 in the second set, Mama passed by and distracted our attention. To press home the advantage of having a ‘plan’, and to gain a breather after a tight bit of cross court running, I employed the well known tactic of retying my shoe laces. From then on, it was plain sailing for me, and Peter crashed out in dismal style. Back to the drawing board, he said!
In fact, he played better than I did. The wind won it for me, ruining his good shots and flattering my bad ones. Still, a win’s a win; and the pleasure of winning seemed to have a beneficial effect on the injured eye.