Man down, man down…I repeat we have a man down!

Three weeks ago, just when I started breaking in my new boots, I thought this was the worse of it.

Morgan cut me…

No seriously, she cut me. I had to get three stitches in my foot.

I was being, admittedly, a slightly non present father, when Morgan was eating her porridge for breakfast. Surely I could multi task, feed Morgan and do emails at the same time.

Ok a little confession – Lauren had actually fed Morgan most of her breakfast, and had quickly ducked off to the other room.

Can you just watch over Moo for a second.

 Of course. I am DaDa. Hear me roar!

Morgan looked and me and picked up her porridge (which for some unknown reason was in one of our heavy ceramic bowls) threatening to drop it off her high chair table.

Morgan put that down.

The bowl went down, She stepped back from the brink, Crisis averted. Good Dad’ing Justin.


The bowl hurtled towards the floor, trailing porridge in the air.

With the reflexes of a well fed panda bear, my foot lashed out to arrest the falling bowl. The speed, the beauty of it all – I impressed myself.


That was not a good idea.

The heavy base of the bowl split the skin of my ankle exposing the bone to the light of day.

I screamed.

Morgan Cried.

Blood pooled on the floor.

Long and the short of it. I quickly rushed off to my sisters (she’s the world’s most qualified GP…Phd in Infectious disease and an MD) and her Anaesthetist husband Tim.

Within one hour, I had been stitched back up.

3 weeks on, apart form a minor infection, it’s healed well although sore to touch – I actually think there may be a loose chip of bone in there but she’ll be right – it just makes wearing in these boots a bit more fun.






It was the man flu that was, then wasn’t.

‘When you think things can’t get worse, they always will.’ – My good friend Murphy.

Last Friday, Lauren and I (and Morgan I guess) were cranking towards our goal of heading off to the Red Centre to start our journey THIS week. Our final trial to Stockton Beach was planned, the car was getting packed when I slowly felt a little sniffle come on.

‘Ah, ignore it Justin. Toughen up mate, she’ll be right’. I told myself.

After all I’m a tough adventurer. I’ve been pulling 18hour days the last month. No way this measly cold was going to take me down. I didn’t even get a cold in Antarctica. Keep pushing.

Then a headache.

Ok this isn’t part of the plan. But DRUGS! Panadol (tylenol for the Americans out there) will fix this. I laugh in the face of all adversity!

Geeez…is it getting colder in here? My North Face downy will keep me warm, no worries!

Errrr…but it’s not. Not even the jacket I took to Antarctica. The one that helped me stave off -40degree temperatures.

This could be bad.

By 6pm I was buried on the couch, under three layers of blankets, shaking like someone had  attached a ‘Mexican Shock Box‘ to me (no joke it’s a thing, my mates may have done that to me when I passed ou…I mean when I was sleeping at my bucks 3 years ago) and forgot to tell me.

Man Flu. The dreaded of all male ailments.

Ok, now even through the internet, I can hear and feel the ladies out there smirking. Man Flu huh….

 It’s a real thing. Men get sicker than woman when faced with the same ailment. Just ask ANY bloke…

Or read these lovely articles, that I refer to when I need to confirm for myself the severity of my sickness:

Why men might have a point about ‘Man Flu’ – viruses want to kill men more than women, scientists find.  

The truth about ‘man flu’: Does influenza make men more miserable than women?

I spent the next two days in bed, shaking, shivering, sweating, (vomiting) but surprisingly the sniffle didn’t progress.

Aha! I’m tougher than this cold. I will beat this Man Flu down!!

Monday morning my hands were sore to touch and walking was a pain. Blisters starting to form….wtf.

A quick call to my sister (did I mention it’s hyper convenient to have a doctor in the family) narrowed the symptoms to possible Hand Foot and Mouth disease!?!!!! and a quick trip to the local GP confirmed this.

I was officially a leper, and would be highly contagious for likely the rest of the week.

I was taken down by a child’s disease.

Retrospectively, Lauren and I worked out that Morgan had a “minor” fever the previous week for 2 days and was most likely an asymptomatic carrier of Hand , Foot and Mouth. She shrugged it off like a champion.

Meanwhile her tough Dada got beat down hard by it.

And probably for all the right reasons. It was a huge wake up call to me that I have been PUSHING way too hard and trying to cash cheques my body could not afford.

The enforced break and bed rest has to be viewed as an opportunity and not a hindrance. I needed this. And if I was going to break, I’m glad that it was now rather than on this expedition.

I suppose, also if we’re going to head out there and take our daughter on an expedition and expose her to all the positives and negatives of that then we should expect her to bring along some of the fun that comes along with being a child.

This trip has to be at a pace that we can all sustain.


So it wasn’t Man Flu .

But the symptoms were definitely bad enough to have been Man Flu. I’m lucky to have survived.