Further to my previous post, the Saturday wasn't much better in terms of business at the craft fair.
So there I am sat twiddling my thumbs, a rather large lady from across the hall comes stomping across and asks if Wendy (on the next table to me) wouldn't mind pulling the curtains across a bit as the sun is shining through and dazzling her.
I should explain at this point that the hall we were in is a Methodist chapel and the ceiling is about 25 feet high. The windows go right to the top and the drapes SHOULD be operated by the use of a cord at the side.
Quick as a flash Wendy grabs the curtain at the bottom and tries to swish it across. WRONG! the side of the curtain is pulled off the rail and is now hanging down precariously. OOoer! The large lady, rather cowardly I thought goes stomping back to her table as the hall's caretaker lady comes charging over from the back room.
"That's going to cost you £35!" She yells. "We have to get a man out every time that happens to go up a ladder to fix that!.....blah....blah....didn't you see the sign on the wall about using the cord!....blah....blah" on and on she went.
"Calm down" says Wendy. "We'll fix it ourselves, I've seen that you have a set of long ladders out the back by the loo. I'm sure Peter can nip up there and put the curtain back up" The caretaker is in a right strop, a real 'job's worth'
"Meanwhile" says Wendy, "Why don't you go and get yourself a cuppa tea and calm down" As the ogre walks away I hear Wendy mutter "......and slip into something more comfortable while your at it....like a coma...."
I'm in hysterics now, but then it dawns on me that I've been 'volunteered' to go up the ladder.....hmmm .... I don't mind heights but at the moment I have a dodgy knee which is swollen like a balloon and pretty painful. However as I'm the only bloke there apart from Steve who has had serious heart problems recently, and Richard who is 67 and about 20 stone, ever the unsung hero, I decide to give it a try and off we go to fetch the ladders..
"I'll need some of you to hold the bottom of the ladder" I say, rather surprised how weak and reedy my voice has become. No problem they reply and so, with heart in mouth I start on my way up....one rung up with my good leg....bring the other up to join it.....next rung up with my good leg....etc. etc... Pausing about half way up I look down to see that everyone in the room is staring up at me, including the large woman who instigated this situation earlier. She's leaning against a decorative wooden rail which goes around the room above the radiators. Oh dear....can't chicken out now.....onwards and upwards I go.
At the top it's easy enough to fix the curtain back and so slowly and feeling rather proud of myself I make my way back down.
Just as I get about half way down there is a really loud crack and the decorative rail snaps where the large lady is leaning. She goes crashing down to the floor, everyone rushes to her aid leaving the bottom of the ladder unsupported. Thanks a lot ladies!
By the time I reach the ground the ogre has returned and is starting to have a right go at the large lady, now sat on a chair recovering from her fall. Wendy steams in to her defence saying "Leave her alone! Can't you see she's had a nasty fall? Lets just hope the baby is OK....this place is falling apart, you might find yourself in trouble if she's not OK."
The ogre retreats to her back room, me and Steve set about fixing the rail and I hear Wendy say to the large lady in her best 'soothing' voice "When's the baby due anyway?"
"I'm not pregnant" she replies...."Just fat."
I have to leave the room........