I like order and sense in my life. I like to know what I am doing and when and I make lists. I don’t always follow them but I always make them. Then something comes along to throw me neatly off balance … and this is result …
It is a cold autumn day, the windows and doors are open to give the place an air, the cats are frolicking about in the leaves and I am sitting in front of the PC, in two draughts, which is doing me no favours. Teeth chattering over and hands warming on a cup of hot tea, I decide to give up on the job search and sit in front of the fire in the front room. Soon joined by several soggy moggies (I refuse to refer to them as damp pussies :-)), I am dozing lightly over a book and my tea and my phone goes.
“Hello, this is (unnamed security company) I believe you are a keyholder for (unnamed neighbour).” I agree. “Her alarm has gone off and the police are on their way, we can’t get hold of her, so we’ve called you.”
“No problem, I’ll go and check” I respond, grab her keys and shoot out of my door. No alarm is sounding and I remark on this to the security company. I am told it is the silent alarm. I didn’t know there was one (the one I have set off unintentionally previously is rather ear splitting and diffidult to miss).
I note the door is unlocked (although the yale is on) and proceed to search every room, with the security company warning me to be careful. I let them know that as I am full of ire at the moment, the burglar is probably onto a losing streak.
Downstairs is secure and I proceed with caution upstairs. Careful not to touch anything, I enter the younger girls’ bedroom, check their bathroom and then realise that the ED (Eldest Daughter’s) bedroom door is closed. Ah – she must be there and asleep. No need to go in like the lone ranger and give her the heebies, I’ll just enter quietly.
On quiet little feet, with my mobile raised behind my shoulder ready for a quick smack in the face and a gentle finger push, I open the door. As suspected, the ED is sparko. I wake her up kindly, explain the situation and also explain that the police are on their way. We agree that the ongoing internet and phone problems they are having might have kicked the alarm off.
It’s clearly a quiet day at (unnamed location’s) nick, because no sooner have I put a foot on the stairs, there are two nice policemen at the door, as well as two police cars blocking the road. I open it, identify myself (the Neighbour) explain the situation and Nice Policeman Number 1 asks us to provide ID so he can be sure we are not squatters. I stifle a giggle as I am dressed for a day in front of the PC and ED is in her dressing gown. This is however a quite sensible request and I depart, sail down the pathway and up mine and discover …
In my haste to leave my house I have left my own keys indoors. I can now not provide the identification NP No 1 wants. I start to laugh and yell for ED. The policeman is now looking rather suspiciously at me whilst I try and explain between giggles that I have locked myself out.
ED is rooting through her bag for her own ID and takes a short while to appear. “ED love, could you please fetch my spare keys. They are in the (usual unnamed) place.” ED looks at me in complete disbelief. “You haven’t?!” she says. “Oh yes I have and now I can’t provide ID for NP No 1” I finish. ED starts to laugh and gets the keys.
“Oh” says NP No 1, “no problem”, I can see the way it is. No need for the ID”. “Are you sure?” I ask, “do you want to watch me unlock the door, you know, just in case I might be squatting here?”. And I smile, sail indoors and put the kettle on. A bit unfair of me really and I should have known because …
I then get on the phone to my neighbour, so she doesn’t panic when she picks up her voicemails from the security company. The security company call me during this and can’t get through so leave me a message to call them. I do so, they inform me that the alarm has tripped again. I explain that the phone is playing up and I think it is tripping the system. They ask me what the panel is saying, I say hang on, sail out of the door and knock.
ED answers, the security company have also called her so I end my call and turn to go back home. I got as far as the front door before I turn round. One look at my face and ED knows – I’ve done it again. She sighs and goes to fetch the spares for the second time that day.
One day I hope to actually be the responsible adult that everyone thinks I am :-).
* With a nod of thanks to the incredible Mr Terry Pratchett