Tag Archives: theft

A Bonus Moaning Day

I lost the list of postcodes I was going to do, and it’s getting late. As no plan of mine ever survives contact with reality for more than a week, this is about what I expected.

I’m not going to give in to stress and attempt the impossible, so I’m going to relate a story instead.

We had a visitor today, who introduced himself as a police Detective Sergeant. This was a pleasant surprise as we thought they’d forgotten all about us.

This air of positivity was soon dispelled when he told us he wanted access to our cameras and asked if they covered the other side of the road. The owner said no, they didn’t cover the other side of the road and the detective as good as called him a liar, saying he could see from our monitor that it did.

The owner explained that although they could show the other side of the road they couldn’t show the detail required for police evidence needs, as had been pointed out to us last week.

Actually, it seems, they are good enough when the police say they are good enough. It’s only when they don’t want to take action that the cameras become unusable.

It ended with the detective telling us that he didn’t appreciate the hostility and reminding us that he was a human being.

To be honest, if you walk into a shop with boarded up windows, where the owner was told in the last seven days that his crime won’t be investigated because CID is too busy to look at the case, you are unlikely to be welcomed like a long-lost brother (1).

If you then demand access to CCTV footage from cameras that were judged to be inadequate last week and tell the owner that they are adequate this week because you are investigating a serious crime, you are not going to be reducing tension.

I agree that he is a human being, and shouldn’t be met with hostility because of poor management and political interference, but as you can see from this pay scale, he’s a human being that is paid quite well, particularly as his job description seems to exclude catching people who rob coin shops. He will also be getting paid the same this year as he was paid last year, whereas the shop owner is looking at a bill of over £15,000 for lost stock, lost trade and extra security.

Anyway, end of rant. He got the footage he needed because we always try to help the police. This is, I think, the fourth time we’ve let them have footage – it’s just a shame they aren’t there for us in the same way.

Finally, a lighter end to the rant.

We’d been joking a few days ago that people in Nottingham would be getting fake Kew Gardens 50p pieces in their change after we had a box of them stolen. And sure enough, someone brought one in today. We can’t prove it’s one of ours, but it’s marked “Copy” like ours and it’s a bit of a coincidence that it cropped up in change locally.

I couldn’t find any photos suitable for “theft” or “police” so I went for a Robin.

 

(1) To be greeted like a long-lost brother you need to bring biscuits.

Razors, Lies and Misadventures

Contrary to my gloomy predictions, I didn’t sever an ear, so mentions of van Gogh proved to be premature. However, I did spend several minutes trying to shave my head without producing much result. A moment’s thought revealed the cause for the lack of progress – I’d neglected to remove the clear plastic safety guard. Well, it’s a very small, clear plastic guard, and I was tired.

I’ve had a variety of problems with razors, apart from stupidity. The main one is theft.  Even the most respectable people seem prone to criminality when faced by a bag of razors.

I the early days of our marriage I used to employ a razor once every couple of months to tidy up the edges of my beard. I would return to it periodically and always find it clogged with dark hairs and congealed shaving foam. This was strange, as I always clean my razor after use and have never had dark hair.

Julia, who I will characterise as a dark-haired woman with beautifully smooth legs for the purposes of this story, always denied any knowledge of how this happened.

For the last twenty years I haven’t bothered with tidying the beard, but I have shaved my head from time to time. I would have shaved it more but I never seem to have a razor when I need one.

The normal scenario for that was that I would decide to shave my head and find no trace of my razors, despite buying a bag of razors and using only one or two.

Further enquiries, including interrogating Julia and the boys resulted in no useful information. Either my two smooth-cheeked sons and my smooth-legged wife were part of a web of deceit regarding the theft of my razors or, more likely,  a local cat burglar was targeting my razors.

Obviously this seems unlikely but, as Sherlock Holmes pointed out “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

As a note for future generations, the car thermometer was reading 38.5 degrees C tonight on the way home. This is 101.3 degrees F. Julia recorded the same temperature in the gardens. This is hot for the UK. I wonder if someone, reading this in twenty years, will laugh ironically at the thought of this being hot.

At least, with no hair and a drastically trimmed beard, I felt more comfortable than I have done on previous days.

Larcenous Laridae of Llandudno

I refer specifically to the Herring Gull, or Larus Argentatus as its mother calls it. Other gulls are available and most of them have better manners. As you may recall, we had a trip to the seaside last week but couldn’t download the photos. I finally managed.

Part One is the gull special.We had a coffee after arrival, and I took a few photos of gulls as we sat round. I already had a subject in mind, as I’d been the victim of an attempted hit and run mugging five years ago when a gull had combed my hair with its feet as it tried to reach my chips.

Little did I realise, as I took a few general shots, that I was, within the hour, going to be the victim of another, more successful, attempt.

I had a strawberry and chocolate ice cream clutched in my hand when it happened.

There was a flutter, a flash of white and, when everything cleared, a distinct lack of ice cream.

It was lying on the pier, melting. And I was standing over it fencing with my walking stick so that the malefactor would not profit from its crime.

Bloody gulls!

 

A Sad Story of Modern Life

I stopped to take a picture of the war memorial while I was in Hardwick village (part of the Clumber Estate) yesterday.

There was something different about it but I couldn’t quite place it until I had a closer look.

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Hardwick Village war memorial

As you can see from the close up – the bronze plaques are missing.  According to the various newspaper stories the “engraved brass” plaques have been stolen. They were actually cast bronze, which is completely different, but I won’t waste my time discussing that. Like the teeth of hens and the droppings of rocking horses, the accuracy of journalists is very rare.

I’m not sure I want to live in a society where people deface graves and steal memorials for scrap metal. I had a wide choice of examples to use there – I selected Michael Foot’s grave as being suitably neutral. I could have chosen stories on Jewish graves or Muslim graves being attacked in the UK, or British war graves being attacked in Libya. It’s a depressing world.

Fortunately, the names are preserved for posterity, so at least the sacrifice will not be forgotten.

It’s tempting to hold forth on respect, education, crime, punishment and the decay of civilisation. However, whatever I say won’t alter the situation, even if I had anything useful to say.

Really I just wanted to write something as a (mild) protest at this sort of thing.

Sadly there’s not much else I can do.

 

 

 

Garden Centres, Disappointment and a Widow

We  went to two garden centres this morning. The first one was disappointing, with a closed cafe and a definite lack of things worth buying. The second was equally poor, despite promises of 50% off. At least the cafe was open, even if they did serve the cheese toasties with salad on a breadboard. Not even a traditional British breadboard either, but a modern pressed bamboo monstrosity.

Both of them seem to be plagued by thieves, judging from the notices stuck up around the centres. Hampson’s in Wakefield have gone as far as to install a security shed and employ two people to write signs telling you that “Your on TV” (sic), or in the case of the second person “You’re on TV”. I’ve never had the opportunity to write (sic) before; blogging is really expanding my horizons.

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Security shed ay the Garden Centre

The garden centre at Ackworth takes a different approach, having a sign up to ask customers to report each other if they see them stealing.

So there we were, with hardly an item purchased, nothing of interest seen and not much of a back-up plan. At that point we found the Ackworth memorial to local quarrymen. I’ve driven through the village dozens of times before Number Two son’s enforced retirement from Rugby League and never knew it existed.

It lists 15 men of the area who died between 1878 and 1935.

I had a quick look for John Desborough on the internet – it’s a reasonably uncommon name and it produces several results. Born in Lincolnshire in 1843, spent some time in Holbeach Workhouse with two brothers and a sister. He was an agricultural labourer until 1876, when he married in Ackworth, worked as a quarryman and had five children before being killied in a quarry accident on 17th  May 1889.

His wife Susanah did not remarry, and his three sons all went to work as quarrymen. Susannah died in 1916, and is buried in St Cuthberts churchyard.

Tough times, and an interesting memorial.

 

Theft, rain and Rainbows

I arrived at the farm on Saturday after dropping Julia at work, to find that the pink bale pigs guarding the entrance to the centre.

A couple of hours later I found someone leaving one of the polytunnels with a handful of tomatoes and chillies, all bright red and bursting with ripeness. I could have let it pass, but when you see the results of your year’s labour disappearing with someone else it’s difficult to stay silent. I was, however tactful.

It seems she had gone for a look round (people seem to treat it as a tourist destination) and found three tomatoes and two chillies on the floor. It was tempting to ask her if I could visit her house and purloin anything that was lying on the floor, but I didn’t. It was tempting to express scepticism, but I didn’t do that either. This turned out to be a good thing, as a quick survey of the polytunnel revealed that someone had indeed stripped the plants of all the ripe tomatoes and chillies.

It’s not the first time we’ve suffered losses, but it’s the first time someone has gone in and stripped a polytunnel. Well, they left the courgettes, marrows and cape Gooseberries, but they stripped everything red.

It’s annoying, but I have a plan. Actually I have two, but Julia won’t let me inject laxatives into things…

The group has been seeing to the poultry today, a some needed moving out into a larger pen, and found the smallest egg we’ve had so far. They have also picked anything else that is  nearly ripe in the garden, done the composting and helped prepare for the Rainbows who are coming tonight. We are now planning what to do on Wednesday – it’s a good activity for a cold, rainy afternoon, as it makes Wednesday more productive and keeps everyone dry and warm.

 

I’ve made a replacement for the Wheatsheaf Loaf that broke at the Flintham show. I have to have one for the church at the weekend and need one for our visit to the Care Home tomorrow so I daren’t not have a back-up. As a bonus I made two small ones, which we can leave at the home tomorrow. The pair of them took me less than an hour to make, whereas the big ones are still taking nearly two hours despite my efforts to speed it up.

The only trouble with the small ones is that the mice are really tricky!