Fall from grace 

Well, just as you think you’re really hitting your straps, along comes a minor disaster to keep the hubris at bay. As I was standing atop my 6′ ladder with a full 4 litre can of acrylic Dulux Antique White, busily painting the largest of my bedroom walls, I was thinking about how my dad, who is a still sprightly 75, would be up here painting, but that if he fell it would be a serious accident. I thought about how fortunate it was that I hadn’t had a single fall in 5 years atop this old ladder. I was happily engaged in this thought when I fell. With a full can of paint. Onto the floor which was only partly covered with a light canvas drop sheet. The paint went everywhere. Onto the floor. The drop sheet. The furniture. Splashing onto the walls. The oil-painted bedroom door which was about to have a new coat of oil paint. Me. 

As I was doing the large rear wall I hadn’t covered the furniture with anything, which wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t fallen. But even the new quilt cover got a little splash of paint. Well. I picked myself up. Adrenalin was pumping so hard I couldn’t tell if I was injured, but I knew I had to get the paint off the floor before it dried. The furniture wasn’t too badly spattered; a few little drips that would peel off when dry. But the wooden floor. OMG. I frantically started to paint the walls with the paint that had glopped on the floor. I was wet, sticky and cold with paint in my hair, hands, clothes and feet. I couldn’t tell where I didn’t have any paint! The door, splashed with half a can of paint it seemed is now half painted Antique White. Not sure how to fix that except paint it all and sand it back slightly. I was working so fast that I was very slapdash, but actually the speed worked for me and the paintwork looks fine. I got most of the paint onto the walls and then I called for my daughter to get a bunch of towels and stuff to help me clean the rest of the floor. Actually I think I probably screamed at her, but she was very good about it! She got me a heap of warm soapy water, some Brillo pads and a mop, and between her on the outside of the room and me stuck inside we managed to clean up the paint. You can hardly tell where it has been, except for a couple of cracks in the floor between the floorboards where the paint got in. 

I am unutterably grateful for the excellent polish our floor sanders applied so well 5 years ago. The acrylic paint literally just lifted right off. The blue Brillo pads helped lift the dried bits but without even scratching the floor polish.

I am also unutterably grateful to my daughter, who brought me cups of water, coffee and a Tim Tam as well as replenishing the mop bucket with fresh hot, soapy water. Even when I screamed at her. Because panic. (Of course I apologised later!)

And after I had finished cleaning up the floor, I cleaned myself up, had a good long sit down and started to feel very very tired. A body response to adrenaline. Well. That threw a spanner into my time frame! 2 hours to clean it all up and only 1 bedroom wall is painted. So today I’ll finish painting the other 3 walls (they’ll be a bit quicker because less wall). To make up for lost time last night I patched some of the ensuite woodwork which speeds things up a bit. Whew! What a day.

So last night I watched a lot of renovation shows (what gives, USA, about those house flippers?!) cooked my usual roast dinner and made Rocky Road for the first time. With cranberries, pistachios and some broken up Tim Tams alongside the usual marshmallows. And had a big drink of Shiraz! 


Today is a new day. With a bruised elbow the only human suffering apart from my bruised pride. Onward and upward. On that ladder. With a dented can of paint and newly acquired extra caution. 

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3 thoughts on “Fall from grace 

  1. So glad your fall didn’t cause a serious injury. My fall from a 6′ ladder caused 5 surgeries and put me in a wheelchair for 6 months. So count your blessings and be careful up there, 🙂

    1. Oh my word. This is what I’m talking about. Here I was, so puffed up that I hadn’t fallen off that when I did it could have been so much worse! I’m not doing the ceilings, I’ve decided, without a serious ladder upgrade. Or I might hire a painter to do those bits. I’m glad you recovered, Curt.

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