This afternoon, at our Nomination Whist group, the conversation turned to Burglaries I Have Known.
I missed out on the start of the conversation as I was out in the kitchen
making the tea. Half way through our session, once we have finished the first of the afternoon's two games, we have a short break for tea, coffee and biscuits. It is quite a challenge, out there in the kitchen, trying to remember who has tea, who has coffee,
who just wants a glass of water, who takes sugar and who doesn't. I do have a crib sheet with everything written down: "Pat - tea, weak, with only a dribble of milk and no sugar." "Ted - coffee, strong, dash of milk and a spoonful of sugar." You get the picture,
I am sure.
I expect you think it must be easy, given that I have it all written down - but there is an important variable I haven't mentioned which is the question of who is sitting on which table. We have
two tables, the dining room table which accommodates six players and a card table around which four people can gather. We choose who sits where by drawing numbers out of a little basket which Avril made for me. So, you see, in consulting the list of "who drinks
what", I also have to work out which drinks go on which of the two trays. I do hope you are following all this but don't worry if you are not. It is, after all, incidental to the main topic of today's blog, which is burglaries.
As I said earlier, I missed out on the start of the conversation. When I entered the room, bearing aloft a plate of biscuits for each table (having remembered that Delia really, really loves her All Butter Shortbread) it was to hear Avril saying: "I've
only once come close to burglary..." Honestly, I nearly dropped the biscuits. Was it possible that Avril was a would-be burglar? When did she come close to such a deed? And what stopped her?
The truth was
somewhat more mundane. Apparently lots of houses in her cul de sac were burgled but she escaped. I was a trifle disappointed, if I am honest. I had a great mental picture in my head of Avril in a stripey shirt, with a black mask over her face and a swag bag
slung over one shoulder. I have always had, as you may have guessed, a Vivid Imagination. If you knew Avril, you would understand just how vivid...
Pat told us a great story about a burglary at her house.
Someone had broken into her garage and made off with a set of door knobs. She wasn't too worried because she had bought the door knobs only to find they didn't fit her doors, so they were only in the garage waiting for her to take them to the charity shop.
Then, guess what? One day she arrived home to find that someone had broken into her garage again - and returned the door knobs. One packet had been opened, indicating that the burglar had tried one on his / her door and found it didn't fit. Hence they had
been returned from whence they came. Such a good story, we hardly knew whether to believe it or not.
Margaret had the scariest of Burglary Experiences to recount. Someone broke into her house while she and
her husband were in bed. Her son, hearing something untoward, had called out and the burglar had fled, taking with him a glass vase from a windowsill outside Margaret's bedroom - which was how she knew how close he had come. We all shivered over our Twix finger
biscuits at the very thought.
This led to a discussion about whether or not we would disturb a burglar at work. I recalled the days when Mr B worked nights and I was Home Alone with four littl'uns. I would
never have been able to sleep had I thought about it too much so I didn't - but I do remember deciding that if I did happen to hear burglars ransacking the house downstairs I would probably leave them to it. Which is extremely cowardly but, possibly, sensible
in the circumstances.
Mr B is positive that we have had a break-in without knowing it. He points to the fact that his mobile phone is missing and has been missing for several months. However, as I have pointed
out every time he raises the subject, his mobile is so ancient that no self-respecting burglar in his right mind would steal it. What is more, it's Pay As You Go so the damage to our pocket is minimal. Plus, Mr B never used his mobile anyway, even when he
knew where it was. I think his main concern is that he used to use his phone as a paperweight to hold down the yellow post-it note on the kitchen surface, the note which reads "PUT RUBBISH OUT ON FRIDAY". Without the weight of the mobile phone holding it down,
the post-it note keeps drifting onto the floor where it runs the risk of being swept up in one of my regular morning Clean Sweeps.
I am quite sure that, if a burglar had effected an entry, found the phone
on top of the post-it note and made off with it then, like Pat's burglar, he would certainly have returned it, once he'd used up all the credit. Unless, of course he is using it as a paperweight for his own Rubbish Reminder.
You can never tell with burglars...