We had a fancy dinner party last night. Lots of silver, crystal and china. Linen on the table. Fully stocked bar. Fussy (but delicious) little canapes. Lots of wine followed by tawny port.
About two hours before the guests arrived I was peeling potatoes. Midway through the second one I managed to peel off part of the nail of the little finger of my right hand. I would like to say that the blood spurted across the room, decorating the shiny fridge with artful splatter.
But instead it just welled up and out in a steady stream. For a couple of seconds I just looked at the blood dripping in the sink. I was hoping that there was just a bit of skin missing and not part of the nail. I held it under running water. It hurt like the devil and I was afraid to look.
You see, losing a nail is one of those things I’ve always dreaded. The thought of that exposed skin just makes my toes curl up under my feet. I have this image of exposed nerves just dangling there…waving in the breeze. Ready to latch onto whatever germ comes its way.
It didn’t stop bleeding for a while and I went through several bandages before my company came.
I managed to finish cooking. I was telling my guests about the mishap and explained that because of the accident their potatoes would be served with the skins.
“Whose skin?” one asked.
I’ll never tell.