Tag Archives: robbery

New Windows!

No, not the computer version, proper bits of glass. I’m struggling to find a subject for tonight’s post, so this is where I will start.

We now have windows in the shop, replacing the chipboard and angle-iron that we’ve had for the last month. There are a few odds and ends to clear up but at least people won’t keep coming in and asking: “Have you had a robbery?”

My suggestion to stop that happening was to play Vera Lynn records and claim to be re-enacting the Blitz. This suggestion was not taken up.

Nor was my suggestion of telling them to mind their own business. It seems that people have a right to ask questions. Even stupid questions that we’ve heard fifty times before.

The problem is that it isn’t really the weather for sitting in a shop with missing glass, and I still haven’t warmed up. It took three hours.

We now have armoured glass in the doors, which should resist an attack like the last one. However, someone with a little intelligence and a flexible blade could probably remove a panel in a couple of minutes. It’s all a question of how much effort people are prepared to put in, and how much time they want to spend doing it.

As we saw when viewing the recording of the last robbery, they like to be in and out in a couple of minutes. If you can hold them out a few minutes extra they will go somewhere else.

It’s tough luck on the people who are “somewhere else” but that’s life.

The peacock was in the farmyard at Gigrin Farm. I took it when we went to see the Red Kites. It’s the nearest thing to a window I have in a photo.

Tetchy Tuesday

Here goes, let’s see what happens as I embark on my new round of planned posts.

First, traffic. Yesterday there was just a light dusting of traffic on the ring road. Today there were even queues to get on the road. I didn’t immediately think anything of it as traffic can be slow sometimes and it’s not as if there was a choice of roads.The traffic system of Nottingham has never been particularly good and it seems to be getting worse every time they redesign it.

However, after twenty minutes we knew that there was a problem somewhere ahead. You can tell. I did see three accidents by the roadside but I think they were all caused by people queuing and running into each other. A lot of it is caused by impatience.

The hold up appeared to be a problem on one of the roundabouts. There was a large tailback onto the main carriageway and this was blocking one lane, at which point it all backed up for four miles. We’re not America so we only had two lanes to start with.

It took me over an hour to do a twenty minute journey. I then had to stop for fuel (the hire car was due back today) and make my way to work where I was due to swap cars. I was supposed to be there for 9.00 and finally arrived at 9.30. Not that it mattered – the recovery vehicle was stuck in traffic too and we eventually swapped cars at 10.00.

I like having my own car back. It may be unfashionable, boring, chugging, unpopular and battered but it suits me. I can’t see that a SEAT Ibiza would ever suit me. Apart from the size and build quality the name Ibiza just sets me on edge. And I couldn’t find Radio 4 Extra, Five Live or the World Service on the radio either. It did, to be fair, have Radio 4, but that can be a bit funereal at times and Women’s Hour on Saturday is so miserable it beggars belief.

I paid my £400 excess, muttering about car insurance and set to work.

Later, the owner got a letter. It was from the man who had popped by to give him a quote for a roller shutter last weekend. While he was doing the quote he did a bit of work to make the front more secure. He also left quite a bit of clutter, including screws and a broken drill bit on the front where we park our cars.

Despite coming out to give us a quote he has sent a bill for £120 call-out fee and £70 for an hour’s work. This proves beyond doubt my feeling that not every robbing bastard wears a mask or works at night.

Julia has just been watching the news – she says the cause of the traffic problems was a gas leak that caused a road closure. They still haven’t found the leak so it looks like my trip to hospital tomorrow will be fun and even Thursday could be a problem. On the other hand, forewarned, I may just pack a picnic and enjoy the delay.

Not sure about that header picture – a bear sniffing flowers in the sun is altogether too upbeat.


Bear in a tree

Smash and Grab

I was relaxing last night, having had an easy run up to Leeds, and a slightly less easy run back (rain, spray and lorries).

Number One Son is safely in his riverside apartment with half my kitchen equipment (Julia decided I didn’t need things if I hadn’t used them for a few months, though I notice her breadmaker is still here).

Julia was rattling round the kitchen, newly released from jury duty, and all was well with the world. Apart from famine, poverty and the shadow of Armageddon, but I normally manage to ignore that.

Then I get a phone call.

It’s from the owner of the shop.

He had left it till the end of my day off, but was just ringing to warn me the shop was in a bit of a mess after a break in.

A pair of robbers, who I sincerely hope will be afflicted by scabies and erectile dysfunction for the rest of their miserable lives, smashed their way in through two front doors and grabbed (a) the box of 50p pieces and (b) a random selection of coins.

The box of 50p coins probably contains £100 of coins. The random selection contains a rare 50p, and  other coins to a value of about £5,000. We think they were after the 50p rather than the other coins.

Of course, to do this, they had to smash the counters rather than reaching in through to open backs.

Considering all the effort he has put in to expanding the business, this is a real slap in the face.

Much worse than a car rolling away.

Sometimes you wonder why you even bother trying. A lifetime building up and two scrotes with a hammer can cost you thousands in five minutes.

The police have said they will get there as soon as possible.

The Moral Maze

I am in a quandary. When Julia went to work this morning she left five chocolates in the box from yesterday, and a clear explanation of what would happen if there weren’t at least three left when she returned.

An hour or two I found myself looking at an empty box. I’, mot sure what happened, and this isn’t really the place to discuss it, but we seem to have been the victims of some sort of specialist robber.

I bought a replacement box when I shopped this afternoon and the box is sitting on the coffee table waiting to be eaten.

The question is – do I eat most of the chocolates to reduce the numbers to five (and endanger my diet) or do I leave the box full and hope she doesn’t notice?

After all, if she sees it has filled up again she might think it is a magic box and might expect it to fill up every morning…

What would you do?

Some Thoughts From Last Week

Another week already, and I have a list of subjects to discuss from last week.

How about the kitchen gadget that tells you if you’re poor? It’s not another app, and it’s nothing to do with online banking.

According to one of the Mums on Mumsnet, it’s a tin opener.  If you own one it means you are too poor to afford tins with ring-pull tops.  If you really are rich, why are you buying cans at all? If I was rich I’d have domestic staff, so here’s one for Mumsnet – if you’re doing your own cooking you aren’t rich.

It also seems, from reading around the subject, that some users of Food Banks need ring pull cans as they don’t have can openers, either through poverty or lack of kitchen drawers (as in sleeping rough).

However, for me that’s only the first in a chain of questions. Is it just me or are tin openers getting more flimsy? I’ve taken several back but it gets to a point where I just can’t be bothered. I suppose that’s the idea – they are so cheap that most people would rather be ripped off than go to the trouble of taking something back.


Pizzas with sweetcorn and pineapple from tins

I have a good one at home. We’ve had it so long that I can’t remember where it came from. But ones I bought for the farm kitchen lasted months at best and one only lasted for one can. It wasn’t as if we used them much, maybe once a fortnight to open sweetcorn and pineapple for pizza toppings.

Finally – mixed news. Our court case about the attempted burglary has taken place and the malefactor has been convicted and handed a custodial sentence. This is good, because we feel like he’s been punished. However, it doesn’t get us back the £70 we had to spend on repairing the window.


CSI van investigating the scene of the crime.

The other problem is that I’m not sure that jail is the best place for him. Someone who is so far down the pile that he resorts to robbing allotments really needs hope and retraining, not time in jail.



Bad Start

When I dropped Julia off at work we noticed a table on the veranda had been knocked over.

“Must have been windy last night.” I said.

“Or we’ve been burgled.”

They had an attempted break in last week and she can sometimes concentrate on the negative too much.

I, on the other hand, can sometimes be wrong, and I was wrong today.

A person of low moral standards had indeed tried, unsuccessfully, to break in. They have wrecked the door handle, scratched the exterior, left boot prints all over the front and strained the window shutters.

What they didn’t do was gain entry. And if they had have done their haul would have been confined to a selection of second-hand gardening books and used wellingtons.

I imagine the police are looking for a youth of low intelligence and poor upper body strength,. He will be either unemployed or in a low-paid job.

“How,” asked my imaginary assistant, “can you tell that? (Apart from the fact the majority of burglars fall into that category).”

Well, he’s male because he wears big boots. He’s stupid because there’s clearly nothing of value in there. He’s not in a highly paid job, because if he was he’d have access to £10 and he could buy a decent wrecking bar. He has poor upper body strength because anyone with decent strength would have levered the door or shutters within minutes, even using a makeshift tool. And finally he’s youthful because nobody over 40 could lift his legs enough to leave boot prints that high up a wall.

The police, meanwhile, are going to come out and look at the damage.

They say the boot prints are unlikely to be of much value.

This is real life, not CSI – no database of boot prints for us.





A day of strange events

It’s been a funny old day.

It started normally, and as I parked to collect a prescription, although I did notice a police car parked by the side of the road. That’s slightly unusual.

I collected the prescription and drew cash from the nearby cash machine, which gave me four £5 notes with my cash. They don’t usually dispense fives, but these are the new plastic ones and I imagine they are trying to get them into circulation quickly.

Then I crossed the road to the jeweller’s to see them about some earrings for Julia, to find them giving statements to the police after fighting off an attempted hold up.

After buying the earrings I drove past a public toilet that appears to have been converted to a coffee shop (though it was closed). The link shows the sale was over a year ago, but I’m sure it was still up for sale last month. Maybe it was a matter of convenience, though there was reportedly no chain. I hope the new buyer is flushed with success.

Then, at the narrow entrance to the supermarket car park I had to take avoiding action as a determined elderly lady insisted on driving the wrong way and using it as an exit.

In the shop I discovered I had won the lottery last week. After buying a ticket for tonight I had sixty pence left. I’m still deciding whether to blow it on partying or invest it for my old age.

Finally arriving at work, I did some paperwork and assembled the wormery for next week (which will be described later) the day became more normal.