This past week I've experienced a different view of day-to-day life. Literally. That's because the woman who lights my fire has injured her back and been told to take it easy.
This means still moving as much as is comfortable but also remaining upright as much as she can so as not to aggravate the issue.
Naturally, having signed a contract many years go to be there 'in sickness and in health", I have stepped up to make sure her recovery runs smoothly.
Now I say "stepped up". What I should have said is "bent down" - basically because I seem to have spent a large portion of the last seven days dealing with stuff needing attention in the lower levels of my usual operational sphere.
I have to admit the amount of this low-level involvement has caught me by surprise.
I mean, I'm six foot two in old money, or 180-something centimetres in new, so beyond an occasional quick bend of the spine to pick up something off the floor – usually a pair of socks or something I left there the night before - most of my days are spent blissfully unaware in the rarefied air of the upper regions.
In fact, I've spent so much time doing all Mrs P's bending stuff lately I've got a bit of a backache myself now.
I mentioned this while kneeling at her feet the other day putting on her shoes and socks.
My simple grumble turned into one of those general "you men don't know the half of it" retorts which branched off into a list of all manner of domestic duties which required bending of the back and which, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, I hadn't really thought about.
For starters there's the bend for the vacuuming, the bend for getting the stuff out of the new front loading washing machine, the bend to empty or fill the dishwasher, the bend to make the bed, the bend to get the pot out of the drawer, bending to put the plug in the bath . . . In fact, she said, it was just about everything.
While the list droned on, I thought of firing back with all the stuff I did outside the house myself which could potentially give me a backache.
Unfortunately, all that sprang to mind was mowing the lawns. Well, more specifically emptying the catcher from the lawnmower after I'd mowed them. I decided against mentioning that while she had the bit between her teeth.
We live on a postage card sized section and if my lawnmowing duties result in a single catcher of clippings I regard it as a bad day.
Likewise, it didn't seem appropriate to mention I have to bend down to pick the ball out of the hole at golf. I mean, do that 18 times in one four-hour round and your back muscles certainly let you know about it that's for sure. It's almost enough to put you off your beer after.
I did my bit for my beloved and the household and emerged at week's end perhaps a little more understanding of what goes on far below my usual head space.
I must admit to stifling a little smile of relief on the last day as I tied up her shoelaces – double knotted lest they came loose and I had to bend over and do them again.
Mrs P had already indicated her back felt sufficiently improved to get back into the general swing of things, so when the second and final lace was knotted correctly I bounced up quickly to celebrate the end of my contract.
Unfortunately, I came up too soon and Mrs P had to take evasive action to avoid the top of my scone delivering an uppercut to her chin. This meant she had to step back quickly. In doing so she managed to trip on George The Dog and fall backwards.
Thankfully, her tumble was broken by the couch behind her but the sudden jarring movement was most definitely not what the doctor ordered and she tweaked her initial back injury.
The upshot of all this is she's now got to take it easy for a few more days and let things settle down again. Groan.
Seeing as I caused the problem, I've agreed to Mrs P's demand for me to take care of all the domestic duties for the next three days. I have also had to agree to dance in a near total state of undress at some stage though the full details of that part of the arrangement are confidential.
And while that little bit of the compensatory contract may put a smile on Mrs P's face, I'm sure the trials and tribulations of the next few days will be enough to just about send me round the bend.
• Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to email@example.com (Kevin Page in subject field).