Friday, November 24, 2006

Call the Fire Brigade!

Whew, what a day off this has been! Aside from nearly being looked-at to death by a couple of junkies builders (who, as it turns out, are friends of my landlord), I also got trapped in a cold stairwell in someone else's flat!

Scott and I are considering moving to a bigger home, now that Schmooker has come into our lives, so today my landlord took me to view one of his three-bedroom flats in the West End (hoorah). The flat was actually really, really cool - big, airy, well-lit, massive kitchen, super-sized oven/stove, loads of storage, good security...

Too good, in fact.

The flat is an attic flat which is over a dentist's office and another residential flat. The stairwell (close?) is shared by the two residential flats. At some point, while I was oohing and ahhing over the space, the kitchen and the massive cubbards, the second-floor-flat residents must've left the building...

And locked the door at the bottom of the close.

When we were through viewing the place, we walked down the stairs. Suddenly, I felt confused. How do we get out? I thought, as I couldn't remember having to open any doors on the way in. I tried the door first, then Davy tried it. It was locked. Davy pulled out his bundle of keys and tried them all, just to discover he did not have a copy of that door key.

We were trapped.

I suggested we go try knocking on the second-floor-flat door to see if anyone was in. No one was in.

Luckily, the flat is actually owned by Davy's daughter so we thought we'd just call her. Only Davy left his mobile in the car. And didn't know her mobile number by heart.

I started phoning the people in my mobile, hoping someone would have her number. We got no response. Finally, after calling about three or four different places, we got ahold of Davy's wife at her work and she got us their daughter's number. She was out and told us she didn't have a key for that door either, as she's never known it to be closed.

Twindle thumbs.

Davy finally asked her to get her husband to come down with a crowbar and break us out.

As we waited, Davy kept looking out the window (about a story and a half high, we were), then suddenly tried opening it. It opened.

"Hey, I can jump out the window and go get a ladder!" he suggests, brilliantly.

Pause, as I weigh the options.

I could either be stuck in a cold stairwell for heaven knows how long with my landlord or climb down a ladder at seven months pregnant.

Definitely the ladder.

So Davy jumped out the window and returned minutes later with a ladder. (The flat is just down the street from our church, and coincidentally there was a ladder in the church.)

I was terrified.

He put the ladder up to the window and climbed it to try its strength and stability. He took my handbag, put it on the ground and then climbed again to help me out the window. I paused and told him I needed to pray first, which I did, passionately.

Then he began directing me on how to get out the window onto the ladder. I climbed up over the railing, and managed to get into the windowsill facing out. I crawled over to the far edge in order to give my huge body enough room to turn around. He stayed on the top of the ladder to keep me steady. He directed my first foot onto the top rung. He stepped down a few and directed my second foot. The whole way down he stayed right behind me which was conforting; he's a big man, and if I fell, I'd at least be falling onto something cushiony.

At last I reached the ground. Nervous laughter ensued. Davy commented that Scott was going to kill him. This is very possible.

It feels good to be on solid ground again. I'm much less likely to fall. Actually, that's entirely not true.

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