25 August 2015

Ladders

Have you ever climbed high up a ladder? Perhaps I should change that question to - Have you ever climbed high up a ladder to do some work? It's not the nicest thing. To be thirty or forty feet above the ground holding a paint pot and a brush or leaning over a gutter to clean out leaves. It can give you the heebie geebies.

When we lived on Leamington Street in the Crookes area of Sheffield, I clubbed together with some young neighbours to buy a pair of extending aluminium ladders. The first job I planned was to paint the pebbledashed rendering on the front of the house. We weren't happy with the original pale pinky colour and decided to turn it a deep brick red. 

This was the very first time I ever worked up a ladder and I can tell you that when I reached the guttering to dab away at the rendering beneath I was almost frozen with terror but gradually my confidence grew and before too many days had passed I was scaling those ladders like a seasoned fireman. 

Soon after we left Leamington Street, I heard that a fellow who lived round the corner on Warwick Street had fallen from his ladder while painting and was now wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. My own brother - Paul fell about twelve feet from a ladder whilst at work in his mid-fifties and broke his hip. I believe that the complications with blood clots caused by that fall may well have killed him a few years later. 

We moved into our current house twenty six years ago - hell, it seems like yesterday! Soon after moving in I opened up the front room fireplace to discover the original 1925 fire behind - still intact! We could have coal and log fires! But one problem. The chimney had been capped.

Instead of paying somebody to do the job, I hired a roof ladder and hoisted it up to the eaves. Then I pushed it on its handy little wheels right over the ridge tiles before somehow clambering over the wooden guttering to get on our roof and up to the chimney. When I think of it now it makes me deduce that  I must have been stark raving mad. The neighbours were out watching the daredevil lunatic and I was determined not to have wasted my money on hiring that roof ladder. I took the cap off the chimney and five minutes later I was back at ground level. Job done. Disappointed neighbours retreating indoors.

I was much younger then. In six weeks time I will be an old geezer of sixty two. Maybe I shouldn't be going up ladders any more but at the weekend I was up those same aluminium ladders at our son's house near the Bramall Lane football ground painting the messy cement rendering at the back of the house white. I found myself getting higher and higher till there is now only about a metre more to do under the wooden guttering.

Surely I can do it - just three more rungs up the bouncy ladder but I must have somebody at ground level standing on the bottom rung. Shirley will be at work. Any volunteers? This may be my last post. Gulp!

26 comments:

  1. I hear you Yorkie about ladders. Only ever spent a tiny amount of time working up ladders, I get awful vertigo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah,Ladders and vertigo do not make a good mixture Leishy.

      Delete
  2. I'm usually the bottom rung stabilizer, due to my bottom.......
    Ill be over there next month, can it wait until then ?
    ~Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer Jo. I will get back to you on that. Hope you have pleasant times back in Blighty.

      Delete
  3. I do climb ladders but not so high . Yes, it's a good idea to quit some things. I'm 75!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I manage the job and survive I pray it will be the last time I ever work at the top of a ladder Red.

      Delete
  4. Have you not seen 24hrs in A+E?...and has anybody 'footing' a ladder ever saved anyone? p.s. funny to read Leamington and Warwick in your post...my home area.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Footing the ladder prevents slippage Libby. Fortunately I haven't seen "24 hrs in A&E"!!!

      Delete
  5. I absolutely hate climbing up ladders.....

    Ms Soup

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ladders on stockings are sometimes worth ascending Alphie! (perverted laughter!)

      Delete
  6. My suggestion is...don't do it! Just don't do it! I've changed my mind...it's not a suggestion, it's an order...don't do it!!!!

    And that is all I will say on the matter of ladders and you considering climbing one. Tou know I'm thinking lots more without me having to say more! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually very serious...I've heard of too many people falling off ladders and injuring themselves badly; particularly if they insist on scaling ladders as they get older. There is no way I would climb a ladder these days.

      The father of a friend of mine about 18 months ago did permanent damage to himself when he came off a ladder...and now for the rest of his life he will be in care.

      There is no "losing face" realising we've reached an age when some things we used to be able to do, we no longer should do! Pride, it has been said, comes before a fall!!!

      It's not worth it!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your thoughtful concern Lee. I had imagined you'd be saying "Be a man you wimpy pom and get your dumb arse up those ladders!"

      Delete
    3. I thought you understood me better than that, Yorkie. :)

      Delete
  7. My daughter sees the results of lots of falls from ladders where she works in Intensive Care so I think their use should be left to professionals who know what they are doing. Luckily Tony is very tall and can reach most things in our lowset house without resorting to using ladders. Time to quit while you're ahead Y P.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am quite tall too but I am not thirty feet tall unfortunately. Trouble is I need to finish off that back wall Helen. I wish I knew someone who could call round to do it.

      Delete
  8. You should always have someone holding the ladder. I don't mind climbing a ladder indoors, but outdoors at heights I get this sensation that I will have some out of body experience and jump off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Partly, climbing ladders successfully is about confidence. After ll we don't think about falling off when we are two or three rungs up.

      Delete
  9. I cannot Do Heights.....therefore
    I DONT DO LADDERS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your plane to Australia will be so high up that no ladders could possibly reach it. Let's hope it doesn't try to do a loop the loop over The Persian Gulf!

      Delete
  10. I managed a private psychiatric unit and we opened a head injury unit a little later... our patients in the HU were all male, the young usually with the effects of road traffic accidents, but it seemed that every adult male had fallen off trees, garage roofs, ladders etc. If you'd seen the ruined lives I saw then, you'd see the sense of hiring scaffolding, however expensive.... Don't risk it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gulp!... You really got me Anna. I think I will heed your advice. Thank you for your concern and your warning.

      Delete
  11. I have to clean the gutters and was waiting for a friend to come and hold the ladders for me. Until I read your post I'd decided to do them this afternoon anyway. A friend I shall be visiting this afternoon fell off a ladder a few years ago and it was touch an go whether he lived or not. He did and made a remarkable recovery. Perhaps I'll give it a miss this afternoon even though I know that I am very careful to concentrate, not to over reach and all those things. But it just takes one slight error....... I wish I hadn't read this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Graham. I am feeling the same about some of the comments here.

      Delete
    2. I was lucky. A friend visited and held the ladder for me!

      Delete
  12. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. Intellux nice information its usefulness and significance is overwhelming the way you covered all the basic necessary information is really impressive good work keep it up.http://www.supplements4help.com/intellux/


    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.