Good afternoon folks,
As you may have noticed, yesterday I didn’t get around to blogging. I was planning to write in the evening after a hectic day but I kind of ended up in inconsolable tears because of exhaustion, too much housework and missing my dead Dad. As much as I wanted to write and felt like I should write (so as not to disappoint you all, of course). I simply couldn’t bring myself to manage it. I was cold, exhausted and tired, and the best thing for me in the moment was sleep.
Yesterday morning, I was led on my bed and waiting for the nice Tesco man to arrive. I’d promised myself that, once the Tesco delivery had been made and the groceries were away, I would crack on and do some blogging.
That was when my phone rang.
“Hi, is that Helen?”
“It is, yes. How can I help?
“It’s the police here, I understand you reported an incident, I just wondered if it would be possible to pop out and visit you today?”
Suddenly, I was catapulted into a dilemma. The nice policeman officer wanted to visit me, but my lounge was a mess and I had oh so blogging to do. I had to make a snap decision. Think, Helen, think. Blogging or housework, what to do, what to do?!
I had to choose housework, and fortunately, my decision paid off. Drinking in the cosiness of my lounge, the new beat manager complimented my home,
“It’s nice though, isn’t it? You’ve obviously made it a home.”
I eyed the faux leather storage ottoman which I’d stuffed to the brim with sort-it-later bags, and smiled.
If only you knew.
After my neighbour’s gruff initial introduction, the beat manager was immediately wary of him. When he came into my home, he didn’t wait to ask if I got on with my neighbour. He challenged me on everything, the burglary, my neighbour, drugs in the area, everything.
Oof, so it’s like that, huh?
I denied all knowledge of where the drugs are in my street. I know where they are and I know what goes on, but it’s the whole adage of shitting on your doorstep. I know what goes on and I know it’s not legal, but I’m not going to go bothering them if they’re not bothering me. Naughty? Yes, but I need to put my own safety first. When I was young, I grew up in a household whereby my parents were quick to react to anything that our neighbours did wrong, and it created a lot of hostility which made the area difficult to live in. I’m not in any rush to make that same mistake here.
“Is that it or is there more?” he asked, watching the thirteen second clip.
Well, that was it.
Let’s be real here, I said that it was suspicious activity, not that he had successfully broken into our home. I said that I felt that the police should be aware, not to send out a forensics team. More than anything, I wanted the police to have an ID on him in case he tried to break in to anything or anywhere else. I mean, by all accounts, it is still an attempted burglary.
“Can you get a still photo from that video?”
I flipped through my gallery and presented the already-taken still photo, quite smugly.
“That’s good! Can you email that to me and I’ll send it out to the boys.”
I paused for a second but I decided to bite my tongue. I knew for a fact that there were at least two female PCSO’s in our local community but the threat of finding myself in handcuffs was not worth the comment.
And girls, I urged telepathically.
“Do you want me to say anything?” he asked, indicating to my neighbour’s rubbish in the shared front garden.
Ooh, officer, you are out for blood!
“He’s already been spoken to, so let’s leave it for now” I urged, I knew what would happen. The more pressure the local authority applied, the more my neighbour would whine to me. It was bad enough being the accidental double agent in all of this after what I now believe might have been a white lie from my neighbour in the first place.
After the beat manager left, I returned to the kitchen to make more lemon cheesecakes and tiramisus to freeze, ready to defrost and serve as desserts for the next month.
As I turned the food processor on to whisk the cream, a text message appeared on my phone screen.
It was my neighbour, the very same man that the beat manager wanted to speak to, and the very same man that my local authority now wants me to spy on because of his mattress in the front garden and piles of all kinds of rubbish at the rear. It was a horrendous position to be in, both the friend and the foe, simultaneously.
Yeah, fine. Just about last Thursday, I replied.
Everything was fine, because the intruder never did break in.
But you’re screwed, I thought.
Next week, I’ll share with you how to clean and prepare your home for guests to an impressive standard and in only 20 minutes, following on from my surprise visit!