When we moved into our home a few months ago, spouse put quite a lot of boxes up in the loft, pro tem, with a view to unpacking them after I had finished writing the book I was working on. That time has arrived and so spouse was despatched to shimmy up and down the loft ladders to retrieve the boxes.
So, what goes up safely should come down safely and without any fuss, you would think. That's a reasonable supposition is it not, dear reader? Ah, but this is my dearest spouse we are talking about and where does reason come into that equation? Absolutely nowhere, that's where. And before you brim over with righteous indignation on his behalf, yes, I did offer to be at his side to help with the operation, but was airily waved away with 'I can manage perfectly well, thank you, I don't need your assistance.' So I trotted off about my own business. As my book was finished a little R and R was on the horizon for me - lunch at a very nice restaurant with a friend.
With hindsight, maybe there was the occasional squeak from the direction of the loft, but everything sounds different when you're under the shower. I put it down to the plumbing. Getting dried and dressed in the bedroom, I heard a few 'oomphs' and 'ouches' and shockingly dear reader, a few more colourful words which I will not sully your ears with here. Perhaps things weren't quite going as swimmingly as anticipated. However, as my offer of help had been declined I continued preparing for my outing.
Emerging from our boudoir, prinked, powered, pressed and dressed in my best, I sashayed along the corridor only to come upon a misshapen loft ladder with spouse marooned above it, apparently nursing an injured foot. 'It all went well then,' I remarked. 'No, it did not, as you can well see,' he replied through tightly gritted teeth. 'I had to alter the angle of the ladder in order to get my head into the hatch space and get the boxes out, so when I came to climb back down, the first ladder collapsed on to the second ladder and unfortunately, my foot was in between them.' He moaned gently as he gingerly tried to wiggle his toes. 'I think I might have broken my toes. I think you'll have to strap them up.' Dear reader, I did have sympathy for him but I don't think I helped matters when I said, 'No, they'll get better on their own in time. Toes don't get strapped these days.' Gritted teeth turned into the gnashing of teeth.
I sidled past the ladders and tripped lightly down the stairs. 'I have to go. I'm running a bit late as it is, Freya will be waiting for me. Have a rest and I'll see you later.' I called out. 'But what about getting me down from here?' 'Try the ladders,' I called back, 'that's what they're for. One step at a time, you can do it. You did say you didn't need my assistance.'
Was that a roar of an enraged man I heard as I headed off to the car? Or just a man with a sore set of toes? ... I'm not sure, but I'll tell you one thing dear reader, I had a wonderful lunch with my friend. You should have been there - the cheese souffle was amazing and the chocolate pudding, along with a lovely chilled white - all just divine. But I didn't tell spouse about it when I got home, don't think he was quite in the mood for that. His ham salad in ciabatta might have seemed a tad mundane.
His foot is getting better - just don't mention a visit to the loft any time soon ....