15 minutes past midnight, and found another bit of nonsense. At least it seems so to me. Perhaps because I've always had a good head for heights. People with short legs usually have good balance. Remember that the BBC's, Roy Noble and I were discussing starting 'The 29 inch inside leg club' a few months back. So I have no problem climbing ladders - to any height. OK, so I nearly did myself serious mischief once when I fell off a ladder, or more accurately the ladder fell off me. I was picking apples from the tree, and had hung the basket by an S hook from the branch which was bearing them. The transfer of apples from branch to basket had no effect whatsoever on the height of the branch from which I was garnering the fruit - until I lifted the basket, whereupon the branch rose above the top of the ladder. Just managed to grab and hang on to the branch to save myself. Not even a bruise which is more than you can say for the apples.
Until today, I'd always put this near-accident down to my own stupidity, or to not having paid enough attention in my physics classes. But No. It was because I hadn't received any 'ladder training'. I hadn't read the booklet published by the Health and Safety Executive called 'Climbing Safely'.
Reason this is an issue is because another Telegraph story which appealed to me today was about a school caretaker who is suing Hampshire County Council for £50,000 after falling off a step ladder. In fact it seems that he had received some 'ladder training', but not enough to ensure that he didn't fall off and injure himself. In future, there will have to be two men in attendance to hold the step ladder before anyone will be allowed to use such a dangerous piece of equipment. Wouldn't surprise me if one of our newer universities doesn't start running a degree course in Ladder Use.