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choice words
couple of minutes
garage door
tool kit
haste
phone call
weather
Why You Really Do Need An Attic Ladder
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Why You Really Do Need An Attic Ladder

Just the other day, I needed to get a trunk down from my attic. Now that's a place I've not been in in many a long year and it occurred to me afterwards, that an attic ladder would be a good investment.

Let me tell you what happened....

It started with an innocent phone call from my son. 'Mum, I need to get my old box of Hornby railway engines out of the loft.' he says, 'They are all stashed in the old trunk, can I come round and I'll help you get them down?'

'Right ho' I said cheerfully and looked forward to his visit and also getting rid of some old toys.

Around he comes a few days later and we start on the job in hand. First of all we need to fetch the ladder from the garage, it's an old wooden one with wooden rungs and hellish long with it. Well the weather isn't too kind and it's lashing down with rain.

Out to the garage we go only to find that the door has been locked and we need to go back into the house to fetch the key. Not a problem and it only took a couple of minutes.

Now that we have the garage key, we can unlock the garage door but blow me down, if this isn't the time that the key breaks off in the lock. There we are out in the rain, locked out of the garage and half the key in the lock and the other half sitting on the keyring laughing at us! Still not a problem, though we are starting to get slightly wet.

Back into the house, where my husband keeps his tool kit. A quick rummage around in the tool kit to find something suitable for prising half a key out of a lock and out to the garage again.

Ten minutes and quite a few choice words later, my son manages to prise the broken half of the key out of the lock, but the lock isn't looking so good now. Never mind, we will sort that out later. For now we need to get our hands on that ladder and get back into the house where it's dry.

We take one end of the ladder each and start back toward the house but in our haste and with our heads down due to the rain, we fail to spot that the car is parked just too close to allow us to swing the ladder round and out of the garage and there is a bit of a bump which stops us in our tracks.

A quick examination of the car tells us that we have managed to scratch the paintwork, though not too badly, it will need some touch up paint on it. We'll deal with that later. for now, lets get on and get this train set out of the attic.

Carefully into the house we go and then we try to manoeuvre the ladder up the stairs. Well if you've ever tried to bend an 8' ladder round a 90 degree bend in a narrow staircase you'll know what a problem we had with it.

We didn't do badly, we only took two bits of wallpaper off the wall and although the landing curtain did get caught on one ladder, you wouldn't notice the tear unless you were looking for it.

Upstairs at last only to find the ladder was far too long to set up on our tiny landing. If we opened one of the bedroom doors then we could just about set the top of the ladder against the attic hatch while the other end of the ladder was half way across the bedroom floor. I stood at the bottom of the ladder making sure it didn't slip on the carpet, by keeping my feet against the wooden feet of the ladder.

OK, this will do. Let's get the hatch off and get into the attic, and get that trunk down.

Climbing the ladder in haste only led to my son bashing his head on the loft hatch. Not a problem, he quickly recovered and apologised for some more choice words.

The next thing was the loft hatch didn't want to move. It was high summer and the wood had expanded and warped in the heat.

Back to the tool box to select some more tools, different ones this time. I think a heavy duty hammer was selected.

Back up the ladder, hammer in hand goes my son and there I am stood at the other end of the ladder again to prevent slippage.

Bang, Bang Bang. It didn't take long. The attic cover splintered and broke. 'We'll sort that out later' I said, thinking of the trial of destruction that we had left behind us in our attempt to get this wretched trunk.

Broken bits of loft hatch lay sadly on the floor.

Into the attic now and there covered in dust was the trunk. Yes! nearly there.

Unfortunately the trunk was heavy. My son had been a very enthusiastic about his train collection as a boy.

Well there was this trunk on the edge of the attic, my son was at the top of the ladder and I was in the bedroom with my feet preventing the ladder from going where it shouldn't and we were stuck.

How on earth we were going to proceed from here neither of us knew and if fact after all that we had to admit defeat.

If only the ladder hadn't been so long, and if only I hadn't have needed to ensure that it stayed put, we would have been successful in our efforts.

Well we left the trunk and we sat and drank a mug of tea and thought about the error of our ways and it dawned on us that an attic ladder, fixed in place with secure rubber feet and a handrail would have done us proud.

No running out to the garage in the rain, no scraping paint of the car or tearing curtains from their fixings and wallpaper from the wall. The ladder would be in place where we wanted it and when we wanted it. Tucked out of sight when not in use.

The gift of hindsight is a great thing isn't it!


Street Talk

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