Thelma from Todmorden reminded me that accidents happen in relation to ladders and DIY projects.
This is why I am being ultra-careful about climbing up onto the scaffolding that currently surrounds our house. When I am working up there, I feel very safe but getting from the ladder onto the scaffolding and vice versa gives me a small attack of the heebie-jeebies each time I do it.
Many years ago, when I lived in a bedsit on Harcourt Road, I heard a crash and someone yelling from outside. It was a Saturday morning and the live-in caretaker at the house next door had fallen a short height from a ladder while painting the canopy over the doorway.
He had been using a pot of blue gloss paint and I don't know exactly how this transpired but that paint can must have ended up on his head because when I got outside, he was sitting on the doorstep covered in the stuff. He was like an alien and forever after that we referred to him as "The Blue Man".
Shirley was on an early shift at The Royal Hallamshire Hospital that morning and witnessed the arrival of "The Blue Man" in an ambulance. The first job the Accident and Emergency team needed to work out was how to get all that sticky blue paint off the fellow. Fortunately, he wasn't badly injured - just some cracked ribs and a broken wrist. They sat him in a bath and cleaned him up with mild solvents and soapy water.
When Shirley and I got married in 1981, we lived in an end terrace house on Leamington Street. We didn't like the pink rendering that a builder had applied to the property so I bought some brick red masonry paint and climbed a lofty ladder to paint the front of the house. I tell you, it's no fun being at the top of a ladder with a pot of paint and a masonry brush - hanging on for dear life.
I completed the project and survived but a neighbour - just round the corner on Warwick Street - attempting a similar task - was not so lucky. He slipped and fell and ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Today, Day Three, I spent seven hours on the scaffold. The front and side of the house are done with just my flaky wooden noggings to paint black. Tomorrow I won'f finish the back of the house but I hope to make good progress and in addition I plan to be extra careful at the corner where the scaffolding boards do not meet the wall, leaving a man-sized void for the unwary.
Someone asked Google at what age you should stop climbing ladders and the answer came back - 65! Errr....