All my life I’ve loved ladders; from being a 4 year old toddler climbing up the diving board at Bulwell Lido to a life on the Fire Service, then doing the Barn Owl Project; ladders have always played a big part in my life. I’ve been up them all, from precarious Hook Ladders that hooked into windows on the building you were climbing, Roof ladders that you had to manhandle onto roofs from another ladder; 50ft Escapes, the ones with  the big wheels to 100ft Turntables that disappear into the night sky; I loved em all!

50 ft Escape Ladder

The good thing is that I’ve never fallen off one; this can be quite serious and to be avoided at all costs.

Yesterday, for the first time, I fell off a ladder. Neil and I were erecting a box on a tree on a field edge at Kinoulton; Neil was pulling the rope on the hoist while I was up the ladder guiding it onto the headless nail that we use to hook the box onto before nailing into place. However; the box slipped on the rope and swung into me, knocking me off balance. I grabbed for the ladder and missed and went out backwards like Tom Daly doing a reverse dive but without the double somersault piked!! Not to worry, I was aware that there was a wide Hawthorn hedge below me; I put both arms out, relaxed and landed flat in the hedge. While my body dropped down in the middle, my legs got caught in some brambles so when I stopped, my legs were stuck up in the air. It took a bit of time to extract myself; I told Neil I was OK but he couldn’t help as he was still holding the rope to stop the box from dropping down.

Trimming the hedge

We then saw the funny side and started laughing, then I remounted the ladder and we got the box up onto the tree!! My dive scored 6.5 from the judges and 5 on the Richter Scale!!

We had a couple of mornings putting up boxes this week; Gordon and I went to a farm to move a box that in 12 years had never had a Barn Owl in it; guess what flew out of the box; yup, a Barn Owl. I removed the Jackdaw nest from inside to give it a bit of room and hopefully it’ll stay to breed next spring.

We also went to Holy Cross Convent to put a 2nd box in their orchard; they have a box there that’s regularly used and a second box will give the owls another roosting place and an alternative box that might encourage a 2nd brood.

Der Eulenwagen

While here, for the first time ever, the old G Wagen; Der Eulenwagen refused to start. I called the AA man who diagnosed a sticking petrol pump, gave it a tap and away we went!!

Thanks AA for a speedy turnout!!


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