house – day 70 – alarm!

Halfway though our Everest Inn curry last night, my mobile phone rang. It was the alarm receiving centre to say the intruder alarm had been activated at the house. They couldn’t identify which sensor had gone off, so it was difficult to know what might have happened. I’d already had a couple of pints and a glass of wine with the curry, so it wouldn’t be safe for me to drive. I just had to leave it until morning, there was nothing else to do.

I woke up around 4:00 am, worrying about what might have happened. I wondered if it might have been a false a alarm as I’d removed the doors to the downstairs rooms and that could have disturbed something. I’d actually mentioned this to Fiona yesterday. On the other hand, it could have been a real break in. I had no way of knowing without going there. After two hours, lying awake fretting, I just had to go. Fiona said she’d come with me, but I said that wasn’t necessary. If it was a false alarm, she’d have nothing to do, naturally, there was plenty of work for me to do.

Anyone living outside the southeast would be surprised at the amount of traffic that you get on the roads into London, even at 6:00am. I must have driven past at least seven miles of very slow-moving traffic on my way to the house. I took it easy driving there, no point getting a speeding fine, although it wasn’t until I got close to the house, that I started seriously to worry about what might have happened. However, when I got there, after a quick look around, everything was in order. It had indeed been a false alarm. I couldn’t see what might have triggered it, the control panel told me the number of the sensor that had been triggered, but I didn’t know which sensor that was. I called Fiona and told her the good news.

It was a beautiful, cool, sharp, sunny morning, so I walked to the shore and stood looking at the sea for a while. There was nobody else around, a few yachts were sailing way out on the horizon and the sea lapped gently on the shingle, it was very peaceful. It’s a great way to relax jangled nerves. I took a couple of snaps of the scene with my iPhone. Despite less than three hours’ sleep, I felt refreshed. I walked into the town for juice, coffee and a pastry at David Brown’s excellent deli, then back to the house to get on with some work. The guys had arrived by the time I got back and they were helping Marc unload materials for next week’s plastering work.

I got on with more door stripping and the guys finished the work they could, prior to the kitchen getting plastered next week. Fiona rang in the afternoon to tell me that the hall sensor was the one that was triggered last night. Looking around the house I realised that where the bricks had been removed from the back wall of the kitchen, there was a hole big enough for a cat or fox to get in to the house. We boarded the hole, to prevent this from happening again (if that had happened in the first place) and, just to be sure, I closed the newly-reinstalled kitchen door, blocking the way into the hallway. I was so tired and relieved, I forgot to photograph any of today’s work.

I ended up leaving at my usual time. It had been a long day, but, thankfully, it had turned out OK.