I had to go out and do the chooks early as I was working that morning and had a conference call. I needed to get to the chooks and back, and do some preparation.
I carefully packed up some overripe tomatoes (from the greenhouse) for the Allotmenteers, and left the house to go to the Allotment. After shutting the front door - and pausing to to through my "Have I...?" checklist - I locked the front door. Except the key wouldn't turn.
I looked at it for a moment, wondering if I'd used the back door key instead. No. It was definitely the front door key. But it wouldn't turn.
And then I realised what had happened.
Our front door has one of those "features" where, if there is a key on the one, it's not possible to lock it from the other. I'm not sure why this is a good design feature, it seems pretty stupid to me.
Hmm. I didn't want to go out an dleave the house unlocked. Besides, I'd have to find a solution when I got back in. Luckily, a neighbour has a spare set of keys, so I walked over to her house and borrowed them, and a set of small stes so I could unlatch the gate.
I got back to the gate, stood on the steps, leaned over to unlatch the gate...and then I saw the padlock.
Bother, bother, bother.
My neighbour appeared, wondering if I needed a bigger ladder. I realised there was nothing for it, I was going to have to climb over. She went to fetch her ladder, and I closed my eyes and thought through the process. I'm fat, inflexible, in my fifties, so I like to think these things through before I start.
I pulled up the wheelie bin, and stood it next to the steps. The neighbour appeared with an old fashioned stepladder, which required opening and latching in to place. This meant it had to be opened and latched BEFORE I put it over the fence.
I climbed onto the wheely bin from the small steps, and attempted to lug the step ladder over. There was limited space, and I had to partially drop the ladder in to place. It teetered. It tottered. I cursed, as I watched it lurch over and fall against the side of the house.
From the wheely bin, I leant over the gate to try and reach it to right it. My lovely neighbour held on to my legs while I did so. Luckily for me, the steps had a grab rail. I grabbed them, righted them, and stood them up.
I swung one leg over the gate and put my foot on the step. And paused. I should have ut the steps sideways, to make it easier for me to put all my weight on the leading foot. Instead I was stranded across gate, wishbone style, with one leg on the wheelie bin and one leg on the steps.
My neighbour asked what the problem was, and I explained. She uggested I moved my step-leg back, and I explained that I didn't think that was going to be possible. .I tilted gently first one way, then the other, to see which way felt the least insecure.
I realised that if I sprung back from the steps, the force would probably push them over, this time away from the gate and out of reach. So, I took a deep breath, and pushed off from the bin. The steps stood firm(ish). And I was over! Yay!
My stupidity didn't quite end there.
My neighbour, pleased that I'd got in. Took the small steps away and went home. I unlocked the back door, marched to the front foor, and removed the key. Back through the house, I picked up the house keys which had the padkock key on, and opened the gate. I took the ladder out, put the bin away.
I put the house keys back in the house, set the alarm, locked the door, and went to go out of the gate.
Then I realised I wouldn't be able to lock the gate behind me. We always lock the gate because of the Girls.
So. I opened the back door again, picked up the house keys, locked the gate. Back in the house. Locked the back door. Unlocked the front door. Set the alarm. Went out. Locked the front door. I picked up the ladder and returned it and the keys to my neighbour,
I went to see the chickens.
The next day, I got several padlock keys cut including one for my neighbour's set of keys. I took the key round and asked her to add it to our keys.
A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. The neighbour held up the key. I looked at her, wondering what was wrong. "There's a key the same as this on the ring already" she explained. I was really surprised at this. "I was surprised too, after yesteray, so I went through my papers and dug out the emergency note you left me, and it says that the small key is for the padlock".
That really tickled me. I am one of life's Planners. I think thhrough possible outcomes, and plan for as many of them as I can accommodate.
I should have known that I would have planned for just such a situation.