Day 268 – safe on the street, Sunday….

Our street closed today for it’s autumn party.  Kids can cycle and skate all day (and jump on the bouncy castle for hours -> I don’t know where they get their energy from!).  Adults can chill and chat, enjoy shared wine and food, and generally gossip with their neighbours.  And we can all shout at the cars that try to come down the street, and form human barriers (or pile up the kids bikes!) to show our distaste (which gets more aggressive depending on the number of bottles drunk!).

Today, for the first time in years, the sun shone, and more and more people joined in the party, including neighbours (old friends and new) from adjoining streets who have now signed up onto the mailing list.  What amazes me is how it all started, and the dedication of a small group of locals who maintain the tradition.  My many thanks go our to my immediate neighbours, Pierre and Pascale.  Inheritee’s of the old family house next door to us, who dedicate so much time and energy to this event (and neighbour day earlier in the year).  Big Thanks! and keep up the brilliant community work.  I so love the result, and the fact that we speak to so many people in the street, socialise with some of them (playing tennis and girls nights out), and just look out for each other (including cat sitting and warning of impending car tow aways!).

It made Saturday nights shock a little easier to handle.  At some point on Sunday we realised our back door wasn’t shutting properly, and on further investigation realised that the door looked like someone had been trying to force it.  The outcome is (by Police and family deduction) someone came over the back wall early Sunday morning (landing on top of the chicken coop, leaving a hole in the mesh top – and probably a couple of shocked chicken/burglars), but gave up due to surprise or sheer incompetence.

It shook us up.  We generally consider (dangerous) that the back of the house being walled is quite safe.  But of course, you never know.  Changing unknown circumstances, including building works, renovations, fallen trees etc can change all that without you realising.  In the same way that we had to review security for the chickens back in May, due to the ‘Gruffalo’/not-so fantastic Mr Fox, we now need to look at our own.

As you can no doubt understand, I’m back on the internet, investigating an array of armed weapons, alarms, private armies etc, while locking the place down like Fort Knox at night.

Having people around you that you know and trust, makes things like this easier to deal with.  We can talk, and watch out.   And it stops you focusing on the negative animosity of a city which we often latch onto in times of trouble.  I feel safer tonight…….


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