An Idiot Abroad
I know, I know, I promised you Paralimni football club and Cyprus McDonald’s but they have been just pushed a long the shelf a little. I’ve got other news.
In order to bring this blog to you there has been great sacrifice and death defying feats!
So far, in order to maintain my status as a man (there was a meeting and it was agreed I just about qualified), I’ve shuffled into a Mediterranean made for Polar bears albeit behind Michelle, who had already been in the water for ten minutes and swum. The head said no, the heart said no, my legs said no, but it happened, and I have now joined an elite band of stupid English people who knew they shouldn’t, but did!
Onto my next feat then! I can reveal to you at this stage that if there are any children reading the blog, you should not do this at home!
Late yesterday afternoon as the sun was setting, I was assisting my father-in-law on our top balcony (handing him tools) whilst he erected a washing line, when I saw this amazing cloud over the sea. As regular readers will know our weather had turned a nasty shade of black, but the blue sky was back and was winning the war. I ran downstairs (hobbled quickly).
“Keep it there, Mick!”, I said. “I’m going to get my camera”.
Mick had a word with the man upstairs and time stood still while I unhooked my phone which always seems to be out of charge these days. As I returned, I changed the setting to panoramic and caught the most amazing sight. Satisfied, I showed Mick who agreed it really was a masterpiece! That’s not daring I hear you cry! No, but the next part was. Mick looked up at the roof and said that I could get an even better picture if I stood on it.
“There’s a ladder downstairs” he said, appealing to that part in me which takes swims in the sea in January. It took me less than a minute to bring one of man’s worst inventions upstairs. Ladder makers everywhere should understand that if you build them people will step on them at unreasonable heights. They are death traps to fools like me who can go up but have a little trouble coming down!
It rocked as I took my first step, but I was determined. Keep staring straight ahead and don’t look down, I thought as Mick stood behind me pointing at places that I could place my hands and feet. The ladder steadied as he placed his foot on it and I was soon at base camp one (the adjoining wall) on all fours considering the roof in front of me. I inched forward, my heart already bursting out of my chest and took hold of the felt.
I stood up but could not climb up properly because of a pipe that was sticking out. I turned around and placed both of my hands against the felt and pulled my body onto the roof.
I then did the thing that everyone tells you not to do.
I looked down.
Pull yourself together, I told myself. People can see you! In truth, only Mick could and he had gone back to drilling and banging.
I was shaking. Take the shot, Mike, take the shot! I lifted the phone, opened the camera app and panned around carefully whilst trying to control the jitters. The sun was lowering on the rooftops and what I saw was magnificent! But was it worth it! I’ll let you decide. See picture.
Ok, got it. How’s my heart? Terrible! Oh dear.
“Right!”, I announced. “I’m coming down!”
“OK, Michael.” Mick said.
“Yes, I’m coming down.” I replied.
“Good” he said.
“I’m on my way”
“Get on with it then”
I walked over toward the edge and walked away again.
“You coming then?” Mick asked.
“Yes!” Bravado gone, a rabbit in headlights.
I moved back to the place I had heaved myself up and sat down.
Mick smiled at me. Now, before I go any further, Mick has spent most of his life on roofs having been in the construction industry for years. He had seen my sort of face before and tried the first step to talk me down.
I nodded and repeated that I was on my way, but after a few seconds had to admit that the committee may need to sit again and relieve me of my status as a male.
Mick steamed into action. He climbed into a helpful position as I made an attempt to lower myself onto the wall. Had I really just scaled that? My foot was inches from the tiny ledge and every part of me was yelling, NOOOOOOOO!!!
Touchdown, and I felt Mick’s steadying hand on my ankle!
From here, I moonwalked backwards on all fours (bet you’ve never seen that before) and was soon descending the ladder with Mick laughing at me.
Michelle was absolutely delighted when I told her the story!
Oh loyal, family and friends, I did all this for you!
A life without daring is no life at all!
I give to you this picture.
I’m here all week!