What Happened when a Bike was Stolen

Sunny days, sweet peas, borage, and nothing to complain about. Except, this week one of us lost a bike. Stolen from a city centre bike rack in broad daylight. It was only a bike, nobody died, and maybe the thief really needed it, but it is unsettling when a stranger takes a much loved thing. It makes you review security.  

Sweet Peas and blue sky

We hope it would be confusing for a burglar to consider this house. They would have to check routines of teachers, care workers, home workers, night owls, and even chickens.

Chicken hiding outside in the dark

They refuse to sleep inside in this heat. After dark they skulk around and, if you try to catch them, they dash between bushes faster than we can ever run. They would notice, and make a noise about it, if a stranger arrived in the dead of night.

Maybe it is not enough to be confusing, and we might have something that a burglar could use. Old photos, the collection of painted stones with funny faces, or the dishwasher than only starts if you poke a chop stick into the broken switch. All good stuff that we love. 

The Security Review

To do this you have to rack your brains and think of all the burglaries you have ever known.

Rock plant on the wall

This is a plant I stole from the side of a cliff.  It was loose and might not have survived where it was. So that was more rescue than theft. Look how happy it is here.

Back to the list of burglaries

The Burglary Next Door and Police in the Night. Years ago

In the olden days we were careless with keys, and forgot to lock doors, until 4am one morning, when the police came knocking.

Policeman at 4am. ‘We have been called out to a burglary nearby and noticed that your shed door is wide open.  You need to lock it up.’

Person who was up anyway because he could not sleep. ‘I am sorry about that, we must have forgotten and we will never do that again. I will lock it right now.’

Shed. ‘What are you talking about?  You don’t know how to lock me.  I have no lock.’

Burglar. ‘Why would I go in that shed? I don’t need 25 pots of dried up paint, a collection of plastic bottles, or string that might come in useful one day.’

contents of the shed. Old paint and junk

At least the dried up paint is all in one place so it is not a bad shed. We keep it locked now, to deter the police.

Imaginary Social Media burglaries. Last month

The village Facebook page has a neighbourhood watch section. If anybody parks a van and dares to get out, there will be a suspicious post within minutes. The apparently dodgy van owners are are often described as ‘foreign looking’, and when you read that you feel the dark side of living in Devon. 

It all came to a head this week, when BT Openreach sent two teams out, and strange men appeared in several places at once.  This drove people into a frenzy and culminated in a massive online row about ‘busybodies’ until the moderator took the entire conversation down.  So now it never happened

If you Think Somebody is in the House. They Possibly are. Decades ago.

Staying with family in London I left a window open, and went out to get milk. I came back, heard a noise upstairs, got scared because I was in the house on my own, realised I was being stupid, but scuttled out again anyway.

Came back eventually. The house was quiet so I decided it was safe and started reading a book until the family member walked in and said ‘Where is the TV? Why are the drawers open?’  That was the day I learnt that it is good to close windows and how to spot the difference between ‘untidy’ and ‘ransacked’.

Post Office Raids can Happen to Anybody. Olden Days

I was bored, queuing for child benefit, and reading birthday cards because this was before mobile phones. Sometimes is better to read birthday cards than your own mind. Minds can get full of worries, scurrying about and waiting for you.

Sweet post office

This is the post office now. It was just as sweet on that day, until two guys came in wearing Balaclavas.

I hardly had time to think ‘I know it is cold out there but is a bit stupid to come in here wearing those because they make you look like cartoon robbers,’ before all hell broke loose. They waved guns, shouted at the old lady in front of me hand over her pension and yelled at the post master to get the money out. She screamed ‘No, get out,’ and the postmaster said ‘I will not’ in a big voice, so they started smashing the unbreakable glass screen.

I hit the ground and slithered into a corner, hoping to turn into a small worm that was not worth any attention. Then they ran away.

It was an important 2 minutes of life.  Nothing felt quite the same for a few months.  I was left with a deep fear of the post offices, an impressive bunch of flowers from Royal Mail and a good story to tell. Looking back that was a lucky day. I am still here.

Daylight Robbery is Impressive. 3 Years Ago

My last holiday before the pandemic. Fascinated by two exquisitely beautiful women posing for selfies. Up and down the beach they went, throwing flamboyant poses, flinging arms about and prancing backwards for their phones.  It was a delightful piece of theatre, and I watched them for ages. It was also a decoy.

I wandered back to my bag, except I didn’t, because it was gone. A week later I explained to the insurance company that I had moved away from the bag because I was ‘watching something.’ ‘Tough.’ they said. ‘You are not insured for leaving your bag alone on the beach.’ 

I hope the person who took the bag enjoyed the saggy swimming costume and half eaten sandwich, and that they really needed the Euros.

Stealing Can be Helpful.

When the washing machine broke we dragged it out, ready for a couple of weeks of mental preparation for getting it to the dump.

With something like that you have to consider the argument about getting it into the car, and get nervous in case you are told off at the dump for taking it to the wrong section. So it is best to avoid going for a while. 

Imagine the joy when it vanished.  A helpful thief had walked off with it in the dead of night. Maybe they will come back? We are doing some renovation this year, so here are this month’s offerings.

Junk in the yard

They are still there at the moment. It is like putting dried cat food out when you see a hedgehog, and then feeling sad that he does not come back for it.

That is the End of the Security Review.

Conclusion. God knows.  Maybe avoid post offices and leaving things in stupid places unattended, unless they are things you don’t want? Stay away from social media in case you catch paranoia and don’t leave doors wide open all night unless you have at least a helpful chicken guarding the door.

And watch out for the real thieves, who are currently running the country, and taking everything they can get their hands on.

Pink rose
This is a rose in the garden. I don’t like roses because they stab you whenever they get the chance, get sickly spots all over their leaves, and are no use to bees. But this one looks pretty good today.

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