Happy Birthday Elaine

Today My Best Friend was still a lot younger than I am.
Elaine, her daughter Georgie,one of our other friends, Karen, and me, all went out for a meal at prezzo – which was lovely. Very fast and friendly service although slightly heavy breathing from the waiter, I think it was a problem with his nose rather than lust for the diners – although I could be wrong.
We went back to Elaine’s house to watch a DVD but I had a stinking cold and had to make my excuses and leave early.

We was robbed!!!

Well, legally we were burgled.
Got up yesterday morning as I was sure that I heard someone banging on the front door. Went downstairs and to the door – nobody there, but neither was Phil’s car. It took a couple of minutes for my brain to compute – Phil was upstairs – I had just left him in bed – therefore car should be there – no-one else can drive it apart from me, and I am still there – therefore – CAR HAS BEEN STOLEN! The forcefield has been breached!
(The personal ‘nothing ever will happen to me or mine’ forcefield that we all believe in)
I ran up to Phil and asked him where the car keys are, as without car keys the insurance company won’t believe that it has been stolen. Cannot find keys.
Thorough search of pockets, places keys are usually left, places keys arent usually left – final confession from me that the spare key had been left in hotel room in France and should have been posted back to us by now by Holiday Inn but hadnt been received as yet. The postman must have the car!!
Phoned Police to report theft of car. Did not mention guilt of postman.

Phil went out in my car looking for his car – and found it in the car park of a block of flats within sight of our house. (the flats are within sight, the car park is around the back) Flats are locally known as Fagins flats from the reputation of some of the residents.
Phoned Police to report finding of car. Told them could not find keys so please would they recover.

Went downstairs for further search of keys. Thought logging into computer might help (the internet always helps) No computer monitor. Yelled at youth element to ask why they had removed monitor – youth element made vigorous protestations of innocence – looked around room – package on settee which had been on a shelf was there torn open and the contents taken out – Mother-in-laws present had been opened and cast aside – vast feeling of relief – we had been burgled and therefore were insured.
We have a nasty habit of leaving the back door unlocked – I was scarred for life by watching Towering Inferno and don’t like sleeping in a locked house, and also our back garden is well nigh impregnable with banks of brambles around the allotment, bolted 6′ side gate to the side alley, 6′ fence to one side and wall to Barry’s garden and several other gardens to the other side. Couldn’t think how they could have got into the back of the house.

Phil now remembered coming back from dancing on boxing day and ejecting me from computer to cook the dinner and obviously must have put keys and wallet next to computer. No wallet either!
Phoned Police to upgrade offence to burglary.

We set a watch on the drive to Fagins flats and waited for the Police to arrive – while doing so talked to Barry next door, who went downstairs to find that his shed had been broken into and so had the neighbour on his other side. We looked more carefully in the garden and found the one place that anyone could have got over the wall between us – with branches broken off and mud trampled down. Will have to plant something spikey there!

Police did not arrive but Ontime recovery with a very nice man arrived, drove straight past and only stopped on his way back because I ran into the road waving my arms – he had been told to look for the car on Upper Fant Road, not in any car park.
He noticed that a blue towrope had been tied to
CSI came out – another very nice man – found prints on the DVD that was in the opened package.

Nothing heard from Police.

Today a child in a uniform arrived at address – clutching crime report which still had offence as taking without consent. Asked why it had not been changed to burglary he said that this would be done when he had made some enquiries. He then made us feel as if we had cooked up the whole incident – despite the finger prints on the DVD and the fact that two other people had been broken into. He asked if there was any chance of the offenders being friends of our children. He asked if our pin numbers were in the wallet – as ‘old people often do that’ -then presumably at the sight of our aghast faces – backtracked and said ‘not that you are old, obviously’ nervous laugh.
He then took a trip down the back garden – took a glance at the place where we believe that the yobs came over and then went to the end of the garden and kept asking where they could have got in. We again pointed out the spot, and the chair leg that had been dropped there. Phil told him that our newsagent had been told that a local drug addict had been trying to sell a flat screen TV in the street (probably our monitor) but he said that that was third hand information.
Not too impressed!

Now to commence battle with the insurance companies!

We was robbed!!!

Well, legally we were burgled.
Got up yesterday morning as I was sure that I heard someone banging on the front door. Went downstairs and to the door – nobody there, but neither was Phil’s car. It took a couple of minutes for my brain to compute – Phil was upstairs – I had just left him in bed – therefore car should be there – no-one else can drive it apart from me, and I am still there – therefore – CAR HAS BEEN STOLEN! The forcefield has been breached!
(The personal ‘nothing ever will happen to me or mine’ forcefield that we all believe in)
I ran up to Phil and asked him where the car keys are, as without car keys the insurance company won’t believe that it has been stolen. Cannot find keys.
Thorough search of pockets, places keys are usually left, places keys arent usually left – final confession from me that the spare key had been left in hotel room in France and should have been posted back to us by now by Holiday Inn but hadnt been received as yet. The postman must have the car!!
Phoned Police to report theft of car. Did not mention guilt of postman.

Phil went out in my car looking for his car – and found it in the car park of a block of flats within sight of our house. (the flats are within sight, the car park is around the back) Flats are locally known as Fagins flats from the reputation of some of the residents.
Phoned Police to report finding of car. Told them could not find keys so please would they recover.

Went downstairs for further search of keys. Thought logging into computer might help (the internet always helps) No computer monitor. Yelled at youth element to ask why they had removed monitor – youth element made vigorous protestations of innocence – looked around room – package on settee which had been on a shelf was there torn open and the contents taken out – Mother-in-laws present had been opened and cast aside – vast feeling of relief – we had been burgled and therefore were insured.
We have a nasty habit of leaving the back door unlocked – I was scarred for life by watching Towering Inferno and don’t like sleeping in a locked house, and also our back garden is well nigh impregnable with banks of brambles around the allotment, bolted 6′ side gate to the side alley, 6′ fence to one side and wall to Barry’s garden and several other gardens to the other side. Couldn’t think how they could have got into the back of the house.

Phil now remembered coming back from dancing on boxing day and ejecting me from computer to cook the dinner and obviously must have put keys and wallet next to computer. No wallet either!
Phoned Police to upgrade offence to burglary.

We set a watch on the drive to Fagins flats and waited for the Police to arrive – while doing so talked to Barry next door, who went downstairs to find that his shed had been broken into and so had the neighbour on his other side. We looked more carefully in the garden and found the one place that anyone could have got over the wall between us – with branches broken off and mud trampled down. Will have to plant something spikey there!

Police did not arrive but Ontime recovery with a very nice man arrived, drove straight past and only stopped on his way back because I ran into the road waving my arms – he had been told to look for the car on Upper Fant Road, not in any car park.
He noticed that a blue towrope had been tied to
CSI came out – another very nice man – found prints on the DVD that was in the opened package.

Nothing heard from Police.

Today a child in a uniform arrived at address – clutching crime report which still had offence as taking without consent. Asked why it had not been changed to burglary he said that this would be done when he had made some enquiries. He then made us feel as if we had cooked up the whole incident – despite the finger prints on the DVD and the fact that two other people had been broken into. He asked if there was any chance of the offenders being friends of our children. He asked if our pin numbers were in the wallet – as ‘old people often do that’ -then presumably at the sight of our aghast faces – backtracked and said ‘not that you are old, obviously’ nervous laugh.
He then took a trip down the back garden – took a glance at the place where we believe that the yobs came over and then went to the end of the garden and kept asking where they could have got in. We again pointed out the spot, and the chair leg that had been dropped there. Phil told him that our newsagent had been told that a local drug addict had been trying to sell a flat screen TV in the street (probably our monitor) but he said that that was third hand information.
Not too impressed!

Now to commence battle with the insurance companies!

Annual Mother and Daughter outing

Every year for the past few years Jilly and I have been going to Hampton Court for the Christmas season. We always enjoy it – they have actors playing different scenes in the main palace and also cooking in the Tudor Kitchens. Last year Green and Blacks were the sponsors and they were making chocolate from beans, and giving away cups of Green and Blacks hot chocolate. (It is the best!)
This year we were going to go on the 29th, as we were going to visit family in Hemel – but because of the burglary (see following post) we couldn’t go to Hemel, so left Phil guarding the house and changing locks, and set off.
It was a lovely day and an easy drive around the M25, got to our usual car park only to find it full for the first time ever. The paying car park (not that I would have PAID to park!) was also full, so we drove a bit further out and parked in a cul de sac – still only about a ten minute walk. We were a bit worried that the palace might be really busy, but most people were on the skating rink.
We went straight for lunch at the tiltyard cafe, I had a mushroom parcel thingy and some Royal ale (not very good, and £3.50 a bottle!) and Jill had a turkey dinner.
We then went into the Palace, and went up to the Great Hall – there they were debating the different religious views on the bible – it went on a bit too long, so we went back to the courtyard and saw Queen Catherine (Howard) and Dereham.

Talked to Dereham for a while and warned him about the errors of his ways – but he wouldnt listen to us. The actors are brilliant at staying in character.
We went back up to the Great Hall for the dancing – joined in the first, and then sat out the second dance. The next was a farandole – it was fantastic as we were led out of the hall and down the passageways, down stairs and into the courtyard.
Afterwards we went to the kitchens – they have changed some of the exhibits – the dead deer and swans arent there anymore – they must have been pensioned off.
We talked to one of the cooks who is there every year – he makes his living out of historical re-enacting and gives talks in schools as well as appearing at the Royal Palaces. We saw him last year and he gave us a bar of the chocolate they had just made because we supported the Yankees in the American Civil war!
He gave me his card as I was telling him about the cruise lectures – but have put it ‘somewhere safe’ and now cant find it.

A rose in the tiltyard