The thing about white canes is that they're not 100% failsafe. If you're using one properly then nine hundred and ninety nine times out of a thousand you'll get two paces' warning of an obstruction and hence avoid a collision.
Yesterday, in strange territory (to me, anyway), I encountered that one-in-a-thousand moment whilst en-route to record for an hour and a half at the BBC in Plymouth.
Trogging along at a moderately decent pace I smacked nose first and front teeth second straight into a lamp post, an immediate and copious nose bleed ensued making my hands look like something from the Red Hand Gang as the liquid stuff of life gushed everywhere.
A bit dazed and confused and very messy, I made my way as quickly as I could to the BBC, waved at the receptionist and told her I was booked for one thirty, but I'd clean up a bit first. After a few minutes in the gents' I looked slightly less bloodstained and signed in properly.
Simon Pauley and I did our thing and recorded six ten minute pieces for transmission over the next few weeks and then I made my way home complete with splitting headache and very sore nose.
Once I got home, Mrs The Millbrooker took one look at me and ordered me back to Plymouth and a visit to the minor injuries unit at The Cumberland Centre. Sad to report it seems I've busted my proboscis (although, this hasn't been confirmed and can't be until the swelling's gone down) and there certainly appears to be something of a sideways / leftward bent to the top bit of the old sniffer as I inspect my physog this morning, but very little (as yet) by way of bruising; two lovely black eyes will doubtless make their appearance shortly.
So - note to self: walk a bit slower, look in the direction you're going and if you want to look to the side - stop.
Now - about this evening, I'm Morris Dancing and whacking a big stick around aren't I?