Thursday, 10 April 2008

Climb Every Mountain

Unless your mountain happens to be a set of stairs and you are all of a sudden given the green light for a stair lift. Whoosh!

Well ok, not whoosh. The rep showed me the seatbelt that is 'advisable' on 'helfnsafety' grounds. I laughed my head off and asked him what speed it does. "About one and a half mph," he said, with a perfectly serious countenance, which made me crease even more.

My brain has entered new realms of deep sea fog so I've not been keeping people up-to-date with developments this end. But now social services are all of a sudden (that's in terms of weeks sort of sudden, not months) giving me a stairlift and I feel compelled to share the news.

What astonished me is when they measured the incline of my stairs. I made some quip about staggering up at 45 degrees, and the guys measuring up shot back "No, actually they are 50 degrees."

Bloody hell. No wonder I'm so knackered. Apparently stairs just don't get built that steep these days. Forty degrees is about your limit. Gosh, it's amazing how an hour in the company of a stairlift rep and social services bod can teach you so much about stairs.

I knew they were a problem. And yes, it has been suggested that I move house. But I moved house a year ago, when I separated from my ex. When I looked round this place my mind was on a million things at once and the stairs...well I know it sounds stupid but I just didn't notice. I was thinking about how close the place is to school, the shop, the surgery, my son's friends. Now there have been many adaptations, like dropped kerbs, grab rails, and soon a talking toilet. That's what I've called it anyway. I can't remember what it does, but it seems to do everything but talk back to your arse, so the talking toilet it is.

A year on and thank goodness help is on the way. One of the main problems I have is memory lapses causing far more trips up and down the stairs than should be necessary. Forgot the phone. Bugger. Forgot my cup of tea. Bugger. Forgot to lock up. Bugger. Left lights on get the picture.

Soon I get to sit and glide, serenely I hope. And it has a key so I can lock it and stop it becoming an in-house fairground ride for my son and all his mates. But then at 1mph, it's hardly going to be a rollercoaster ride.

Bath running. Bugger.


Cusp said...

Bugger indeed dear! Whole business is a bugger

Can I suggest that you 'get a little man round' to install a muriel of Tyrolean mountain scenes on the walls of the stairwell.

I love the idea of you gliding up serenely whist warbling 'The Hills are alive........' or a medley from Sound of Music.

Alternatively you could get Tim Westwood round to do a 'Pimp my Ride' job on the know make it go 4 mph with falshing lights, leopard skin seat cover and furry dice ..... vroooooooooom !

seahorse said...

Stannah? Oh no. Mine's a Dutch model and my particular chair is the Mondriaan. I kid you not. My stairs are straight and he painted using a lot of straight lines.
The Van Gogh (and all these explanations were delivered by the rep with utter sincerity) is so-called because he concentrated on exteriors...not that the stairlift is attached to the outside of your house, you understand, but the track has a certain 'exterior' quality about it that I couldn't quite fathom. Something to do with outside bends.
And then there's the Rembrandt. For the inside bend, because he was an interiors sort of guy. And after all that I was expected to be able to concentrate on what colour I wanted.

Anonymous said...

Know the feeling - oops forgot what I was going to say.

The Goldfish said...

Is there a Rubens one for ladies with big bottoms? Or a Picasso stairlift which starts off at the bottom of the stairs but leads somewhere quite unexpected? Or perhaps a Dali stairlift made entirely from jelly?

Congratulations on the stairlift. :-)

Cusp said...

Silly, silly me. Now I know the model you must, OF COURSE, have a grid of black lines and blocks of primary colours up the stairs.

Perhaps you should sing Tulips from Amsterdam instead

seahorse said...

Kathy: my problem quite often too, sympathies.

Goldfish: They actually had to measure my 'lap' (which was a polite way of finding out how large my bum is) to decide if I was within the required dimensions. Which I am. Bit tall, but still relatively compact in the posterior department.
I fear a Picasso would leave me seated upside down hanging from the bathroom ceiling.
And as for a Dali, well the stairs would melt long before I'd had a chance to go up them now wouldn't they?

Cusp: Ohhhh, so that's Mondriaan. Do you think if I decorate accordingly I get to be in their next in-house magazine? I may even make it to Have I Got News For You's guest publication in a year or I really am getting above myself.
Singing? I'll be too busy trying not to spill my cup of tea.

Anonymous said...