The pig "farmer" tried not to look down and ignored the slight swaying motion of the stack of bales as he eased the top off the large wooden box.
Twenty feet below, the concrete floor of the barn looked hard, very hard, harder than a gang of Millwall fans after a 4-0 defeat.
Then the phone went.
"Hi mum, lovely to hear from you, but can I call back? Bit busy right now trying not to fall to a grisly death."
Ten minutes later I started bagging up the barley.
Philip, a neighbouring farmer, had warned me that, although there was plenty of barley, it was "quite high up".
"I'll come and give you a hand if you're struggling."
But he was in the middle of his tea and my stupid male pride and all that sort of thing. . .
The barley was in a number of wooden chests, stacked on top of each other next to the aforementioned stack of bales. I found a ladder and, grasping my bucket and some feed sacks, started to climb.
Steadying myself at the top, I knelt on the straw and filled the first bag. The next problem presented itself - how to get a 20kg bag of barley off a 20ft stack of straw bales to the ground without spilling the stuff everywhere.
I gradually got into a lying position and, with one hand clinging to the wooden chest, I leaned over the edge and eased the bag down, swinging it onto the top of a couple of old oil drums, keeping a firm grip until I was satisfied it wasn't going to fall over.
I repeated this twice before deciding I'd had enough. My knees groaned as I whiteknucked my way down the ladder, my legs wobbled ever so slightly as I reached terra firma.
I hope those pigs appreciate the lengths I go to to get their tea.