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Sunday, 11 September 2011

I'm Over 30 Feet Up And My Ladder Is Slipping! OMG

Here is my good old faithful triple extension ladder I used for my painting and decorating work.  See the wheels at the top?  If I wanted to hoist the ladder up further I would simply wheel it up the wall and in this way I could get it up very high without damaging the painting area. Over the years my arms and legs became very strong with moving the ladder all day long and climbing it endlessly - no wonder my hip wore out and well done the other one for surviving so long.
(Like the biceps? Now look, this is not a photoshop job either LOL)

I would never go up a ladder unless I knew it was completely safe and in later years I fitted special rubber swivel feet with a large surface area to give a lot of grip and stability.  Loads of painters and window cleaners who saw it were interested and wanted a set and I sent a lot of chaps to the ladder shop to buy some.  I was a bit slow there wasn't I?  I should have asked the shop for some commission. I could have made a fortune.
 (How's that for increased grip?)

In my early days before I fitted the swivel feet I was painting the walls of a large house with exterior brilliant white Weathershield.  This house included a chimney, also requiring painting, and it's top was about 40 feet above the ground - Oh Lawdy Me! Another fine mess I got myself into LOL - might be easier walking on water.  The back of the chimney was to be reached using my roof ladder.  Here it is - now in my garage and not used for a few years and serving very nicely to help to store some of my junk.
Back to the job.
I had to carry this long roof ladder up my ladder and get the wheels onto the roof so I could push it up the tiles until it reached the top. Then I had to turn it over and pull it down the roof until I met resistance - it was now hooked over the tile ridge and ready for me to board.  I had to make sure my ladder reached higher than the roof ladder so I could climb onto it from my ladder, carefully remembering which foot went where so I could do the reverse when I came down. We couldn't have me making a 999 call to the Fire Brigade to get me down, could we?  Of course I couldn't anyway because this occurred long before we had mobile cell phones.  Oh, yes, I had to carry some paint and a roller up as well and use a special bucket which hooked onto the normal ladder or roof ladder. It all sounds like a Buster Keaton movie doesn't it?  Well, that was the plan. On this particular occasion I was addressing the outside of the chimney and I was about 35 feet up and my ladder was fully extended.  It was a beautiful day, as I remember and I had just cut in all the top brush painting and was about to use the roller. I had my roller pole all ready and I happened to glance at the ladder wheels and got the shock of my life!!  The wheels were slowly turning . . . . . . . . .  and turning in a . . . . . . help! . . . . . . . in a downward direction. "OMG!" I said to myself, and I had not even got a parachute with me!  I thought it could be either that the ladder was sinking or, worst case scenario, the base might be slipping outwards, away from the house.  I was worried to say the least!   I had to move very, very gently because I feared the latter was the case and if so the wheels would accelerate at a rate I would not appreciate, causing me to travel rapidly in a southerly direction. "Don't panic!", I said to myself.  I left paint in the bucket on my ladder hook and ever so slowly I descended and got down safely.  I was relieved to find the ladder had simply sunk about 6 inches into some soft ground, which actually could still have been dangerous.  Fortunately both sides had sunk equally because if they had not the whole thing might have tipped sideways in which case, "Bye Bye Eddie! - hope you have a soft landing!".  I suppose I should have realised before I went up the ladder it had been raining quite hard recently and the ground was quite soft.  After a while I regained composure and found some wood planks which I put under the rungs to stop it slipping further.  I jumped up and down on the bottom rung to test it and the ladder did not sink further so I ascended 'Jacob's Ladder' as I affectionately called my ladder and got on with the job, fortunately with no further mishaps.

The house in question was owned by a GP and his wife and my darling sister, Maggie May of Nuts In May,  had recommended my services to them at her church.  They had a rather interesting story because the gentleman some years previously had a serious back complaint and had visited a well known Christian Healer called Ian Andrews at a special healing service.  Ian had prayed for healing and the doctor's back was healed but he did have the occasional twinge now and then. I had already at that time some interesting healing tapes by Ian Andrews and the doctor and I discussed these sometimes during various coffee breaks.

I suppose if Newton's Law had chosen to propel me quickly in a southerly direction Ian Andrews might have come to my rescue LOL. My, I've met some interesting characters, haven't I?


  1. You certainly have! lol Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  2. Oh my! I could not have climbed up these ladders at all! Me and heights are not friends at all!!
    Glad you were spared his healing ministry!!

  3. Nice guns, Eddie! Had I known you had arms like Hulk Hogan, I wouldn't have insulted you so much :-)

  4. Suldog ~ So watch it mate or you'll be mashed!!! LOL

  5. I'm glad that there is a happy ending to all of your stories!

    xoxoxo, cd

  6. Eddie...I am having trouble visiting Maggie's blog. Something about malware. I don't know what Blogger's problem is!

    Will you please let her know I am not avoiding her, but I just can't see her posts? Thanks!
    xoxoxo, cd

  7. Hilarious story! You certainly have good luck when it comes to avoiding injuries! And your biceps are incredible! You are such a hoot! LOL

  8. Hi Eddie, I'm having the same problem that Clare above reported on Maggie's site so if you could let her know that I'm also not avoiding her blog that would be great.

    Love your blog posts and this is no exception, you certainly do meet some characters don't you? :-)

  9. that's really OMG! (i mean the biceps!)haha I thought you'd fallen, good thing you haven't! Goodness dear Eddie be very careful! :)

  10. Pity you didn't invent those rubber feet and patent them. You would be a bit richer by now, wouldn't you?

    That poor doctor went on to damage his back (long after the original healing) by doing some heavy gardening and then there followed years of pain, suffering and operations.
    It is more bearable now and he has moved away into a beautiful house overlooking the sea.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  11. Eddie...great photo of you in the "strike a pose" photo, Mr. Muscles.
    You have the most unusual episodes to share with us concerning your work, Eddie. Thankfully, all has turned out well for you. Continue to take care. Gravity continues to take its toll on all of us. :)))

  12. got the guns...smiles. got to watch those ladders...and thank you very much for the kind wishes on the milestone....

  13. I yiyi-- With my fear of heights I'd have never been able to get up that ladder so high. Glad this story had a happy ending.
    Cheers, jj


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