I never intended to be a curtain twitcher, but jeez, I am!
After my shower, I was swanning around the dressing room, dancing to Andy Williams, thinking I’d better close the blinds (well, who wants to see this half naked wet, middle aged woman wrapped in a towel and ever-so-fashionable bath turban?). Well low and behold, I spied two men dressed in black, on tiptoes peeking over the wall of my nearest neighbours. You see, I’ve always fancied myself as a modern day Juliet Bravo (for those my age, an excellent cop show from the 80’s featuring a female police inspector)
Armed with just my iPad and quick wit, heart racing at the thought of nailing two hardened criminals caught in the act, I started snapping a series of photos of them. Let me set the scene, they are 200 yards away, I am crouching in my towel trying to hold the iPad lens between the slats of the blinds without being spotted. I mean, the zoom isn’t half as powerful as I need it to be, but my, the boys in blue are going to be impressed with me! I could almost hear my own heartbeat with the adrenaline that was flowing… like a river having burst it’s banks. Click! Got them …discussing their heinous act…Click! Yes! A (fuzzy) close up of their faces. I could almost see the Pride of Britain award already and planning an outfit in my mind to upstage Carol Vordermann, damn she looks good. Click! They’re jumping up, straining their necks to view the loot over the wall. The self congratulatory thoughts were coming in thick and fast when DH calls up to me “are you done yet, love? Blue Planet is about to start”. From me, silence; I couldn’t break my cover and thwart my plan. “Anna! Are you ok?, from DH again. I was holding up our date with David Attenborough and a bottle of red. For pity’s sake! I thought, leave me alone! ; I’m about to crack the local crime of the decade and he’s about to spoil it. I tiptoe down the stairs and recruit him to team Anna. Me, “put your shoes on and go outside, there’s a burglary about to happen, you can catch them and I’ll call the police”. Jeez, I love him and all, but there’s no sense of urgency; I show him my grainy pictures and fill him in on the details. Poor Derek, (the elderly neighbour), we can’t stand by and let this happen without doing our bit for him…so out we run, me in a towel/terry turban combo and DH, pyjamas and slippers. We arrive on scene.
“Hey you!”, DH calls out to the suspects. A pride swelling up in me that I hadn’t felt since, well goodness knows when. “My wife has photos of what you were up to and the police are on their way. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, he’s an old man” (the bit about the police was a complete lie, we hadn’t called for any help, apart from each other) Me, quite smug, “yes, it’s all been photographed. Thought you’d got away with it didn’t you? You’re disgusting!”. Out shuffles Derek from his beautifully kept, wisteria adorned bungalow on hearing the commotion. “Ah, (looking straight past us), you must be here for the trampoline, go around the back”. One of the suspects looks at us and says “you’d better get some clothes on, it’s getting a bit nippy”, the pair of them were laughing. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. Swallow US up . I’d made a terrible mistake. Dear old Derek was donating his grandsons redundant trampoline to another family and the two (now I could see close up, very smartly dressed) young men were here to collect it and had been checking that they had the right address. This explained the interest in Dereks garden. I am a complete fool.
The images of my accolade for bravery, championing community spirit, the dress, meeting Carol, the acceptance speech all went down the drain in a nanosecond. DH muttered and slithered away back home. Derek says to me, “Anna darling, would you be a love and get your John back to give these young men a hand, and anyway, why are you dressed like that? I made some feeble excuse about dinner being in the oven and made a quick exit and sent DH back to help the ‘burglars’ dismantle the trampoline and load up their Jeep. Spying them from my window again, all three of them still laughing at my assumption that the poor guys were hardened criminals.
Derek was thankful for the extra space in his garden, the ‘burglars’ were thankful for and extra pair of helping hands from DH, the receiving family were thankful for the trampoline and I was thankful not to have any other neighbours who might have seen me. DH saw the funny side. Oh, the things I drag him into..I suppose it keeps him entertained. Talking of entertained, Blue Planet was recorded and we watched it with an extra bottle of red to match my cheeks. I’ll leave the heroics to Mr Attenborough and his team.