Caroline Verdon: Your stories of DIY injury disaster made me wince

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This week my husband nearly put a stop to us ever having more children once and for all.

It’s not something that’s on the table for us at the moment for a whole host of reasons but it’s something that’s on a back burner perhaps for a few years time but one trip and it was nearly a definite goodbye to an expanded family.

We’ve got the decorators in next week and so are trying to get the house in a state to be painted. This week that’s involved my husband going up in the loft and trying to get electricity tables into the cavity so that when you look at the wall our TV is on you can’t see any wires. There have been many shouts and grunts involved in this process as it turns out that quick and easy 30 minute job was nowhere near as quick and easy as he anticipated.

It culminated yesterday in a blood curdling scream as he tripped in the loft and landed legs akimbo on top of the claw end of a rather large claw hammer. After a pained cupped crawl out of the eaves he gingerly dropped his trousers for me to check nothing had been punctured…he’s fine, just somewhat bruised!

We played a game of DIY injury Top Trumps on air this week and wow was it an eye opener (and in some cases an eye waterer!) Jackie in Seacroft has done the lot – she’s stood on nails, dropped hammers on her toes, the works. She’s basically a walking DIY disaster. John Bird in Normanton got in contact to say that only this week he ended up in A&E after missing with a 4lb lump hammer and his finger getting in the way. Painful. But fairly normal injuries. Then we had a phone call from Mick from Wortley and he made us both wince.

Mick isn’t a fan of grass so decided to concrete over the whole of his back garden: “Once I’d finished and it was all done I realised I hadn’t left a hole for a rotary clothes line so a few weeks later I got out my drill and went into the garden to make one. The drill bit bent and whirled around and hit my leg and it was so fast it probably hit me 4 or 5 times before I was able to jump back and stop it. Luckily I was far enough away for it to only cause grazing so I cleaned it up and put a plaster on it and thought that would be the end of it. Only it wasn’t. Turns out I hadn’t cleaned it well enough and it ulcerated and then took 14 weeks of hospital and doctor visits involving dressing changes and medications for it to clear up.”

That sounds hideous. But Mick did not win our game of DIY injury Top Trumps. Not even close.

Let me introduce you to Tom in Crossgates. Tom was helping a mate out with some DIY when the unthinkable happened: “I was stood facing the wall when my mate walked towards me with an automatic nail gun only he tripped and as he fell he accidentally pulled the trigger and fired nails into my lower back”. Argh! FYI he didn’t get it looked at, instead his mate just pulled the nails out and then they carried on!

Tom was in second place but standing tall with the worst DIY injury ever is Anthony Dodd in Bramley: “20 years ago I was putting a picture up and I drilled into the wall and hit the wire that I was plugged in to. I got thrown across the room and I landed on a chair which I broke and I fell. I nearly died, was rushed to hospital and they fitted me with a pacemaker – 20 years on and I’m now on my third”. If there ever was a lesson on getting someone else in it was that one but no, Anthony soldiers on “I still do the DIY but I’m now very very careful and I always use an electric cable finder.”

I think if any of the above had happened to me I’d just call it a day. I’d either save up the money and get someone in or do what Ant does and use sticky pads. He is Mr Ant DIY and so all of the photos, shelves and mirrors in house are held up by command strips. His mirror has fallen down three times since he moved in in December but he’s currently blaming that on ghosts…

Weird things done for cash

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for money?

For me hands down it was when an old boss offered me £50 to go on a date with him. Not with him with him. He was going on a blind date with a listener and he paid me and another colleague to go to the restaurant too and sit at the table next to him. Not in a hand holding way but because he was concerned she might have only agreed to the date to pull some sort of trick (#lowselfesteem) and so wanted proof that he’d never been alone with her.

Not really the best way to start a relationship and funnily enough they didn’t go on a second date. Ant once took £20 to deliver a sideboard to Oldham only he drove a Vauxhall Corsa, it barely fit in it and it cost him more than that in petrol. Our favourite story on this though came from Laura in Morley and she had us howling. When she was at Leeds Met many moons ago she took some temping jobs and one was doing flyering for a local business. She turned up on day one and was expected to be handed leaflets but instead was given a globe costume and told to put it on: “It was huge and only my legs and arms poked out of it. I was meant to go out around the city with this guy who was given the flyers to hand out only at one point he nipped in to a shop to get a sandwich at which point a group of kids seized their opportunity and tried to knock me to the floor and roll me down a hill” You win Laura. You win!

Would you be a naked cleaner?

An advert went out this week looking for cleaners who’d be up for cleaning naked in Leeds.

I know there’s a school of thought to say that the human body is natural and we shouldn’t have to hide behind clothes and I hear that but if ever there was a time to pop on a protective layer surely it’s when cleaning?

I would have thought that holds true even more so when it’s a stranger cleaning your house?

I don’t know about you but I don’t want someone’s dangly bits perching on my dining room table as they stretch to dust the curtains, I’ve got to eat off that!

Reverse the role and I certainly don’t want my own bits coming into contact with bleaches and oven cleaners.

I hunt out marigolds and put more clothes on when using bleach, I certainly wouldn’t take the rest off.

Still, if it’s not hurting anyone then each to their own. Plus they’re offering £45 an hour.

Caroline Verdon is one half of the breakfast show on Radio Aire. You can hear Caroline and Ant between 6-10am every weekday morning.