Welcome Home

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I have my finger on the pulse – although I wish to make it perfectly clear that I am in no way medically qualified, so please don’t ask me to mop your brow when things go wrong, I cannot be held responsible for any mishaps that fall outside my official remit.  I read the papers, I watch the news, and I know that accidents are no longer the unfortunate whim of mischance – the result of ‘doing stuff’ – but are, in fact, the result of unmitigated hazard risk.  They are the trigger for litigation.  When the isolating horrors of Covid19 at last begin to ease, it will once again become tempting to consider inviting others – let us call them ‘friends’ – into our homes, only to afford them the opportunity to become the hapless victim of self-harm in the privacy of (hopefully) adequately insured home-sweet-homes.  Well, as a man who has yet to part with his boyhood woggle, I am determined to be prepared: I have purchased several hundred metres of hypoallergenic red ‘Warning’ tape, reams of white card, a big fat black marker pen, a biodegradable plastic clipboard and more brightly coloured post-it notes than you can shake a blunted stick at.  In case you should ever visit my ever more humble home, I would like to take this opportunity to herewith publish all my due warnings, which you may wish to cut out and keep.  (Please be aware that scissors can pose a serious cut risk, or, in this house, the promise of severe bruising.)

Dependent upon which door you use to enter the premises (please note: doors can close as well as open and may constitute a finger-trap risk) you might find yourself in the kitchen.  Under certain circumstances, the flooring in this area can be slippery when wet e.g. after the grandkids have had a water fight, washed the dog, or left the tap on after blocking the plughole with porridge.  You are strongly advised against pushing your hand into any drawers in this area as they are almost certain to contain unsheathed knives, some of which may be almost sharp.  Ovens and hobs can be hot – although, in my experience, seldom when you want them to be – and at least one of the taps could contain hot water just as soon as we’ve managed to track a plumber down.

If you should enter the premises through the alternative entrance, please remember that fraying doormats can constitute a serious trip hazard, particularly if you have previously partaken of alcoholic beverages (see below) elsewhere – in which case the owners of that establishment may well find themselves deemed to be liable for your inability to safely land one foot in front of the other.  Should you decide to switch on a light upon entering, please note that light switches may contain electricity which can be harmful – particularly if the faulty standard lamp has not already tripped the RCD.  Should you, however, decide not to turn the light on, please be warned that stumbling around in the dark, particularly if you are arriving from the aforementioned alternative premises (see alcohol – below – with brass-knobs on) can comprise many further risks – especially if the house you have entered is not your own, but one that looks ‘just like it’ after fourteen gins and a Drambuie chaser.  You should also note that the doorstrip has been loose for years (just ask my wife) and it is no-one’s fault but your own if you fall over it.

Please be advised that should you decide to enter the living area, you will encounter carpeting that has ‘seen better days’.  No responsibility can be accepted for ill-advised high-heels becoming entangled in bare patches, nor for any visual impairment engendered by the clash of colour in contrasting areas of faded and unfaded tattered weave.  You are reminded that various assembled rugs, coffee tables, cushions and kids’ toys can constitute a serious trip-hazard – even when you know where they are meant to be.

If your visit occurs after the sun has drifted beyond the yardarm, you may be offered alcoholic refreshments.  Please note: alcohol can increase the likelihood of walking into things, falling over things, erroneously inserting things and saying stuff that you may well deeply regret in the morning.  I (the householder) cannot be held responsible for morning-after headaches, cuts, bruises or instances of marital strife.  Non-alcoholic alternatives will always be available – just ask your host to have a bit of a rummage about in the cupboard under the stairs; I’m sure he’ll come up with something.

Should you decide to visit the upper storey, you are reminded that this is a jerry-built 1960’s construction and that the stairs have always made that noise.  No responsibility can be taken for the fourth stair from the bottom – especially if you attempt to use the righthand side where it abuts the dodgy banister.  This rail is fully fit-for-purpose as long as you do not put any weight on it.  Once on the upper floor, please do not attempt to close any windows.  We were assured by the man that fitted them that they were meant to be like that and anyway, we all know how important it is to have sufficient ventilation these days.  If you visit the bathroom, it is probably better not to flush, unless you have deposited something you would not want to share a swimming pool with.  Please be aware that the toilet lid has a ‘soft-close’ mechanism, which works perfectly well, up to a point.  You are advised to keep your distance and protect light coloured clothing wherever possible.  Do not open the under-sink cupboard – you have been warned!  When you come down the stairs, please be aware that the fourth step from the bottom will now be the sixth step from the top.

Should you require medical assistance at any time during your visit you will be asked to complete a full indemnity form and medical record disclosure.  NB in the event of the appearance of anything red and sticky, that clearly is not intended to be washing about on the outside of the body, all medical intervention is dependent upon the host being able to find the marigolds.  It is advisable never to eat anything you find lying around unless you are specifically told it is edible and it is suggested that even then you ask to see the appropriate sell-by date as the owner’s eyesight is notoriously dodgy since the incident with the pogo stick and the door jamb.

Thank you for your visit. 

Covid Warning: if you are suffering from lack of taste, you may well feel perfectly at home here. 

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