It is a familiar practice on uncomfortably hot days to move the clothes horse out to the balcony to aid drying – and necessary with bamboo sheets that must be spun at 400 revs per minute instead of 800 (I am careful about these instructions, although my mother urges me not to be).
This morning, as I was discovering that one sock was missing, I went back from the balcony to get the other sock which I assumed (correctly) remained in the washing machine. However, to my dreadful shock, I found that I could not get out of the balcony as I had locked the door from the inside by tuning the latch! The first inclination I had was to try to climb down from the balcony to the courtyard below and get back inside from there. However, with my fat stomach and bare feet I knew three things:
- it would be tough to climb down the narrow holes
- I would risk breaking the ledges if I tried
- I would risk an ankle injury from landing on the hard bricks
|This is the bed of a Brother or Sister (celibate) in the eighteenth-century Ephrata Cloister. I imagine it easier to sleep on than the outdoors balcony I tried to sleep the day on waiting for my mother.|
I remained fidgety all along until I saw Chris’ neighbour, Lorraine, and a Chilean woman called “Coca” (full name “Catherina”). I told them what had happened and Lorraine said that being locked out was not a unique problem for me. When it was inquired how the police – who were slow to the point of some worry – would get in, I suggested that they climb the wall at the back of our house and Lorraine tried herself with a ladder she had – hoping in fact that the builders (rebuilding the Carlton Baths) would offer the police one for the emergency! It was thought that a big person could do it easily – and indeed when the police came they had no trouble at all and soon unlocked me, the weather already horribly hot!
I feel from this that I was dreadfully careless – and was in a daydream when I went out to the balcony! What lessons can be learnt from this unfortunate accident I do not know – since in many circumstances I would not have been able to call for help as I did.