Monday, August 06, 2007

Banged Up!

I’m locked in! How strange is that? This afternoon, while I was out, somebody tried to break into my flat.

They got into the communal stairway I share with the flat above me but didn’t get any further into either of the flats. What they did do, trying to force my door with brute strength, was royally fuck up the Chub lock so it wouldn’t unlock.

Luckily I had left one of the bedroom windows open just to let some air in while I was gone. Before you say, well that’s a dumb thing to do, the window looks directly at the side of the M&S food hall right next door. From the outside, you can only see the window if you’re standing directly outside it. I can be dumb, but I’m not that dumb.

Unable to get through my front door, I had to borrow a ladder from the owners of the ground floor unit below me, get onto the flat roof of their extension. Because it was an A-frame instead of an extension ladder and not tall enough to reach, I had to balance precariously on the narrow handle above the top step and, Health & Safety be damned, take a leap of faith to haul myself up onto the roof. It wasn’t pretty.

Covered in all kinds of dirt and crap, I then had to climb up onto the higher flat rectangle the bedroom window and adjacent kitchen window look out onto. Pulling the window as far as it would open, I boosted myself up onto the ledge, squeezed through and then hurled myself, puffing and panting, onto the bed with the same lack of dexterity I had shown the moment I stepped off the ground.

I tried the lock from the inside. The fucker still wouldn’t budge! Since it’s a rental I called the estate agents who handle everything for the landlady. I’m a great tenant; they hardly hear a peep out of me. But even then, this late in the afternoon, they wondered if I could wait until tomorrow for a locksmith. Since I’m an obliging kind of guy, no problem.

Except, once I put the phone down I remembered my bag with my mobile, Filofax and all the paperwork from today was still out on the landing and out of reach. More importantly, the cigarettes were also on the other side of the door. Shit!

I went back out the window, back onto the roof and... found the ladder had been removed. I sat there for about half an hour before someone eventually came along. Explaining what had happened, unable to keep a straight face, I dropped them the keys. Very obligingly, they collected everything from upstairs, came back down and threw it up to me.

I’ve lived in London since 1984 and this is the first time anything like this has happened. I guess that would make me very lucky. Hopefully the locksmith will turn up first thing. There were less cigarettes in the packet than I thought.


At 8:35 am, Blogger Lee said...

ne incident in 23 years is very good going. But I know how vulnerable having someone try and break in can feel. When I lived in Fulham, I got home from work one day, and someone had done the same thing - kicked in the front door to the building, but not had any luck with mine or my upstairs neighbours' front door. Still couldn't go out again until we got a new door, though.

It was a pretty incompetent job, really, especially since my ground floor bedroom had an ancient bay window a five year could have jimmied. I had to break in myself once or twice!

At 11:14 am, Blogger potdoll said...

oh dear. hope he's turned up by now!

At 1:37 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Freedom! I never thought I’d be glad to breath “fresh” London air. God, it’s horrible.

The guy’s coming back to put in a new lock tomorrow. Luckily, the main front door hadn’t been damaged badly. They got it open because some complete maroon (who could that be?) didn’t lock that one with the Chub so the bastards got that open without damaging it too badly.

Not to get all Sherlock Holmes, but what first tipped me off to something amiss was the light over the stairs was on when I got home. There’s enough natural light coming in through the fanlight that I never need to turn it on during the day.

That could have been turned on by the owners of the flat above – which is currently vacant – but if they had come around to check out the property they would have picked up the post which was still on the stairs.

Then, trying to open the door I noticed flakes of paint scattered across the carpet that had cracked off the frame and been dislodged by them walloping the door in their attempt to get it open.

It really is a case of observe rather than simply look. Still, I have no idea how many windows there are on the front of the building.

At 11:40 pm, Blogger potdoll said...

would that complete moron be you by any chance?

At 1:25 am, Blogger Jaded and Cynical said...

Ah, the joys of city living.

One evening a few years back, as a young dude in the capital, I was walking down a side street carrying two large bags when four teenagers shoved me into a doorway and produced a gun (it was probably just an air-pistol, but I was very keen not to test that theory).

'What's in the bags, man,' demanded wiseguy number one.

' laundry.'

'How much money you carrying?'

'£1.50 for the washing machine and 60p for the drier.'

The thought of them heading back to their lair and having to split £2.10 four ways still brings a smile to my face.

At 7:01 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

The only time I got robbed out on the street was in New York. Early hours of the morning, I had my pocket picked by one of the hookers loitering just down from Central Park South.

It was only the few bucks left for cab fare and the way she distracted me... It was worth having to walk the twenty blocks back to the apartment on the Upper East Side.

At 9:15 pm, Blogger Jaded and Cynical said...

A fair exchange is no robbery.

And on the subject of people who'll do anything for money, what about Sir Ben Kingsley signing-up to play Davros?

Obviously the chance to star opposite Catherine Tate was too good to miss.

At 10:22 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Hey, I almost suffocated with my head pushed into her magnificent breasts!

Kingsley playing Davros? Oh, Jeez!

On the way to see Metallica, the subject of Who came up and the Bubbly Blonde came up with the best descriptions of all these people who guest in the show.

She called them STARFUCKERS!

Technically it may not be right, but it works for me.

At 8:07 am, Blogger wahab said...

Locksmiths London
These locksmiths have a skill of their own. Pretty amazing how they can open doors within minutes without keys or forcing their way in physically.


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