I’m connected to King Henry VIII

Over the holidays the New Zealand Herald asked its readers if any of them had connections to any famous people. A large number replied, mainly people who had met famous film and television stars.

I resisted the temptation to inform the Herald that I now have a connection with King Henry VIII. The connection might be slight, but it is nevertheless real.

To explain the connection, I need to explain that on Christmas Eve   I needed to examine a small antique that was residing on the top of a large china cabinet.

As I do not now possess a step-ladder, I decided the easiest thing to do would be to stand on an ordinary kitchen chair and reach out for the object.

So far, so good. As I was about to descend with the object in hand, I mentioned to my wife that one of the biggest danger traps for people like us, who (to put it politely, have just passed middle age), is the problem of falling.

Busily engaged in talking, instead of watching what I was doing, I looked around and then fell with a heavy crash. So heavy, in fact, that in my fall I shattered a part of the dining table. My head was left aching, and so were my arms, but the biggest wound was in one of my legs.

It was only later, while visiting the excellent Anglesea Clinic, that the connection I had with Henry VIII became clear.

Sometimes around the age of 40, the king had a very bad fall during a jousting match. He was clad in armour, but this was unable to prevent him from having a wound in one of his legs.

This wound festered and festered, and one of the tasks of his last wife was to daily gently bathe the affected portion.

The king and I each had a fall. Each of us suffered a wound. Each of us then suffered Cellulitis as a result of the wound.

The main difference between myself and the monarch is I have the good fortune to live at a time in which antiobotics have been discovered.

In those days, little could be done when people were wounded or very sick. Today we are much more fortunate.

I cannot defend King Henry for his number of marriages, except perhaps to say he lived in an age when people were obsessed with obtaining a male heir in order to preserve their particular family line.