A girl with altitude

Forget Burberry, BlackBerry, Jimmy Choo and Green & Black’s. If you’re after real shopping satisfaction, buy a stepladder. You may well raise your eyebrows, but once you’ve handled that firm but lightweight body, got up close to its supportive side straps and appreciated its British Standards-approved build, you’ll realise life will never be the same.

You see, it’s all very well living in a character building, but with 13ft-high ceilings and me being just shy of 5ft 3, it’s character building just trying to change a light bulb. My floor-to-ceiling windows are impressive, but I can’t reach the curtains to take them down when they need washing, or comfortably reach the smoke alarm to replace the battery.

It was time for action and when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. It was time to resist the seductive pull of H&M, Next and New Look. It was time to say ‘no’ to a Greggs’ Steak Bake and a Costa coffee on a Sunday morning. It was time for this girl to grow up and go shopping for a stepladder.

Determined to get over my fear of all things DIY, I gingerly stepped into Robert Dyas, willing myself not to roll over and die of boredom at the sight of screwdrivers and spanners, Rawlplugs and white spirit. Then, hanging out with the laundry baskets, there he was, tall, strong, and ready to help a damsel in distress – my £43 Atlas five-tread aluminium stepladder.

It was love at first sight. I quickly took in his sturdy frame and swooned over his lockable platform and slip-resistant feet. Now all I had to do was get him back to my crib. I did what any woman in need (and in love) would have done. I paid my money, slung him over my shoulder and headed up the hill to home. Reader, I carried him.

Within minutes of getting back, I’d torn off his protective wrapping, got him into my bedroom and up against the wall. I gently caressed his unflinching frame and he stood proud and steady as I mounted him. Suddenly I was working my way up to heaven and my tab-tops were getting the attention they so richly deserved.

An hour later, it was all over. I was emotionally spent, physically satisfied and deliriously dreamy. My tab-top curtains had been safely taken down, washed, and were now clean and back up at the window. My bedroom was a haven of happiness and heavy with the aroma of ladder love and Bold 2-in-1 Lavender & Camomile.

And it won’t stop there. Now I’ve got a taste for altitude and aluminium, I’m going to be mounting my ladder at every opportunity. I’ll relish resetting the smoke alarm, painting peeling cornices and making light of blown bulbs. Mark my words, this girl’s going up in the world.