Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Disturbed nights

When I see on the news dreadful accounts of house fires and it’s reported that the smoke alarms were out of action, I always wonder why. I think I may have discovered one answer to that question.

Last night, at 1.00 the smoke alarm started ‘chirping’ like a budgie. Oh, I thought, the battery is low – I’ll change that in the morning. However, an hour later when I’d still not got back to sleep, I tried to remove the battery altogether. It was jammed and without going outside to the garage to get a large tool to hit it with, there was nothing I could do, although the intention was definitely there.

As I lay awake, waiting for the next chirp, my thoughts went back to a night a few weeks’ ago when I was babysitting for my two eldest grandchildren whilst their parents were away over night.

Got them to bed, watched a bit of TV then decided to go to bed myself. Drifted off into a lovely sleep to be rudely awoken by an alarm going off. I should explain here that my daughter’s friend had left her car in the drive of a house down the side lane, the owners of which were also away that night. My first thought was, oh no it’s her car alarm. Looked out of the window but couldn’t see anything, except thick fog.

Lay there for a few minutes, mulling it over, the alarm still going loudly. Looked at the clock and it was 2 am. Decided I had to do something, so got up, put on my pink silk dressing gown over my pink silk pyjamas, my daughter’s boots (mine were still wet from an earlier adventure in a field!), got a large torch and the car keys, unlocked the front door, went out, locked the door behind me and set off down the lane in the fog, only to discover the car was fine, the alarm was actually at the house! I could do nothing about this, the house was in darkness with no visible signs of problems so trudged back up the lane, back into the house and back to bed.

After about half an hour the alarm stopped and I turned over to try and sleep again, worrying about a break in at the neighbour’s house and wondering if I should have dialled 999, only to hear a vehicle driving quietly up the road. Jumped out of bed, went to the window and saw the silhouette of a person dressed all in black wearing a balaclava and a head torch. My thoughts immediately jumped to – here are the burglars and this is the vehicle come to collect the loot! Felt rather foolish when the vehicle crept past the house to see it was the milkman!!

It was only the next day, when my daughter was horrified to hear of my escapade and said it was like something out of a horror movie, where the heroine/victim is creeping off to investigate something which you, as the viewer, know is going to be bad and your mind is saying ‘don’t do it, don’t do it’ that I wondered what I would have done if someone had been trying to take the car, or rob the house? I hadn’t thought that far – although I did have the sense to put my mobile phone in the pocket of my pink silk dressing gown!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, what exactly are you meant to do when these things go off? Call the police? Disable the burglars with your B&Q burglar disabling kit? Round here, the acoustics are such that it's impossible, from my garden, to tell where it's coming from; so in daylight hours I usually wander up and down the road till I'm sure it's not anyone I know, then ignore it. (at night I just ignore it, in the unlikely event that it's woken me up.)