Saturday, 24 August 2013

Bang Out Of Order!


A truly shocking week at Hedges Towers. Sometimes things occur that get you thinking about the Big Stuff in Life, like: Why are we here, or Where do all the teaspoons go? Or in this case: How lucky am I?

It happened last Friday. I'd just returned from wherever I'd been. Shopping was being unpacked, kettle filled when suddenly something hit the side of the house with an enormous bang. The cat freaked out and shot upstairs. I stuck my nose out of the kitchen door - we sometimes get birds flying into the patio glass as they don't seem to distinguish between glass (finite) and sky (infinite). There was an absence of dazed bird, so I shrugged and continued getting on with things

The second bang was so loud it was terrifying and unavoidable. Rushing into the living room I spotted a hole in the very thick double glass of the window. Cracks were running from it. As if someone had fired a bullet. First thought was: that's going to be bloody expensive. Second thought: what the.....?

Close examination of the patio revealed two large ball bearings, which had clearly been fired at the house from the cycle path over the back. Funny how in a crisis, one goes into total calm: I rang the police ... rang the insurance company ... rang Beloved Husband and Dear Daughter.

And then suddenly I found myself sitting on the sofa sobbing and shaking uncontrollably as I grasped the true enormity of what had occurred and realised that, had I been standing in the line of fire, given the speed and velocity and size of the ball bearing, my chances of living to see husband, daughter, son-in-law, pets and any possible future grandchildren would have been non-existent. Delayed shock.

At which point, DD rang. The problem with having offspring who spent several years living and working in a Middle Eastern country is that they take things like this seriously. Very Seriously. 'Close the curtains,' she said. 'You need to start being more aware when you go out,' she said. 'Keep checking behind you,' she said. 'You have made a lot of enemies with your campaign,' she said. 'Have you looked under your
car recently?' she said. Gulp.

By the time you read this, a week has passed. The police are still pursuing their investigations. The insurance company has refused to pay for the replacement window without upping our premium, leaving us with a bill of nearly £300. And I have discovered that the trouble with looking behind you is that there's always a ''behind you'' where you aren't looking. I'm still here though. For now.




52 comments:

  1. I am so glad you're okay. Not just because I still haven't kissed your tattoo, but because I like you. I also hope that the toe rag that did it gets caught, if not for your window, for something else, and gets a lesson in citizenship. Sorry about the insurance company, too. Xx.

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  2. That is horrendous! I hope the police are actually doing something to find out who it could have been. Somebody must have seen the perpetrator and as you rightly say, the next time they play around with a firearm the outcome could be more serious than a broken window. As for the Insurance Company, what is insurance for if it's not for this type of thing? I'm incensed... and relieved you survived. It's probably not personal. More likely to be random so don't let it play on your mind too much and TAKE CARE!

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  3. How awful Carol I'm so glad you're okay. Your daughter must have really cheered you up,look under the car look behind you. As for that insurance company I've just blogged about what I think of them. Make them pay out and then change to another company,there's always one that's cheaper out there. It's outrageous what they get away with. I hope they find whoever did this as they are dangerous as you said you could have been at the window.

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  4. Carol, this sounds horrendous. I must have missed something I'm really sorry. Were the ball bearing intentionally fired at you? Holy heck. What is the campaign you are working on? Best wishes,

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  5. Bl**dy H*ll Carol - do you really think the people you've upset in your snail-protecting efforts would do that? Or was it kids? Trouble is, you may never know.

    Do hope the police are being helpful - they may have no idea who did it, but they can be reassuring if they put their minds to it! You take care.

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  6. Thanks people. We suspect a group of ''youths'' got a lucky shot. Ball bearings were also picked up outside some disused garages. However, there are small children in the area, and pets! The local press did a splendid story On The Front Page (not naming me.

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  7. The horrible reality is....in this world, there exists a sub culture of absolute mindless little shits!! This species is indigenous to the planet 'Woteva' where they practice a life long tradition of not giving a bugger about anyone or anything outside their own vacuous existence.
    Unable to manage the complications of a civilised lifestyle they seek prestige of the 'gang' by doing their utmost to earn themselves the much sought after qualification known as the ASBO...which they then flaunt with copious amounts of misplaced pride! Sadly this seems to be the 'modern way'...*sigh*
    I'm angry with the insurance company for being as convoluted as they are...I'm furious with the vandals/miscreants/sods concerned...I'm frustrated that the police seem to take an age in resolving issues...but more importantly I'm relieved you're ok Carol.
    As Rosalind says...I too am sure this is a 'random' occurrence and whilst that doesn't reduce the horror of it...it, hopefully, will afford you some relief in knowing that it's not with malice aforethought...Right...must dash...I've a need to polish my catapult...:) xx

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    1. staggered the 'yoofs' didn't hit anyone ..there were small kids in adjoining gardens....and oldies where they struck earlier in the week (Pauline showed me an identical ball bearing they picked up in their road)

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  8. How awful for you Carol. Hope they find out who did it and can actually prove it. The thought of what could have happened is like an after-shock. Hope you're feeling ok now.
    x

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    1. I am Sue, thanks. But it is a reminder of how fragile we are and how much (including life) we take for granted.

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  9. I hope they are stupid enough to boast about their exploits and get caught... and then they can pay for the glass to be replaced!

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  10. What a ghastly experience. I am so glad you and cat were both unharmed.

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    1. Thanks. Took him several hours to emerge from under the bed. He was really shaken!

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  11. All I want to say has already been said by others. Thinking of you.
    Joy x x x

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  12. oooh Carol, I'm so sorry to hear about the ball bearings, and just the thought that you might have been hurt makes my blood run cold. Hope your cat is getting over it too?
    I have always been a believer in people getting their come-uppances sooner or later, as I don't think anything goes unpunished. BUT SOONER WOULD BE GOOD!
    Best wishes...

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  13. That sounds awful Carol. Pleased to hear you're okay. Insurance companies are such scum, so often NOT there for you in a crisis.

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  14. I know it must have been a dreadful experience, Carol dear. I'm just happy you weren't hurt.

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    1. Yup, that kind of sums it up nicely!

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  16. How awful for you. Glad you're ok. There are some awful awful people around. Insurance companies aren't much better. Happy to take your money but don't want to help when you need it. Take care x

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    1. They pretended they cared..after I'd dissed them on Twitter...but they still didn't back down. Moving companies next month!!

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  17. What a terrible ... TERRIBLE thing to happen. So glad to hear you are safe xx

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    1. Thanks..so am I. Cat took hours to come out from under the bed!

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  18. Carol, I've been on a dodgy connection so only just read this post and then all the comments. First and foremost, I'm so, so relieved you are okay, and that it was a window that got it and not you. Secondly, I'm outraged that this could happen in a suburb where people could get in the line of fire by chance. What on earth do these idiots think they are messing with when they do stuff like this for kicks? My goodness, It's too horrible to contemplate. These youths (and that's being very polite) need a salutary lesson in the possible consequences of their actions. Big big cyber hugs for you. No wonder you wobbled. It must have been a dreadful experience! xx

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    1. It was a salutory reminder of how much we take for granted...lives and safety being foremost. I was, in retrospect, amused by DD's response...once a security person, always a security person!!

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  19. As the step mother of delinquent boys, now mercifully boring fathers themselves I can testify that the Barnett Diabalo (catapult of choice) has an amazing trajectory. They aim at a cat or a pigeon without considering what happen when they miss. We had to buy a whole new stained glass landing window (double glazed) for a house in the next cul-de-sac and were lucky to get away without paying for psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress for the neighbour who thought he was being shot at. Don't worry - it probably wasn't personal.

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    1. I'm sure it wasn't...we know who the ''yoofs'' were...ball bearings were picked up in another area. I make no comment about the wisdom of parents who allow their offspring anywhere near a catapult...I think the comments on this blog speak for themselves (!!)

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  20. Good Lord Carol!!! Hope you've got over the shock, although I imagine it will stay with you for a long time. It will be interesting to see what the police come up with. Insurance -what a laugh!! Take care x

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    1. Thanks...fortunately, the shock was quickly dissipated by some other very good news (next week's blog!)

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  21. So sorry to hear that you've had to suffer through such a trauma. Weird, isn't it, how a random act (because it does seem the nightmare was spread around the area and not directed at you personally) can bring out such primal fear? Home is our supposed to be our sanctuary. It's hard, I know. I had a garden window destroyed by ball bearings a few years back and a picture window in the home before that. For a good week after each incident, I didn't want to step out onto my front step. Don't let these brats sully your feelings for your home or for your town. In a few years, they will be adults screaming over THEIR property being damaged by rotten youths!

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    1. It is karmic ..something will happen in this life, or the next to those who inflict pain/fear on others.

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  22. Replies
    1. and I have a picture of muddy pawprints and a recording of distant barking.....

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  23. Carol this is just shocking, terrible. I am so glad that you are OK and I hope the police are treating this as a serious crime, you could have been badly hurt. What is the world coming to when people can go around doing this. I hope they catch the person/persons responsible and a prison sentence is given. x You take care what a shock it must have all been x x

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    1. They are..I have been phoned, offered counselling etc...it was teenagers and locals know who...they got a lucky shot!

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  24. Glad you're ok.

    Even more glad you didn't try to borrow money from your bank to meet the repair costs. Banks are like insurance companies; they make a rule of not lending money to people who need to borrow it...

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    1. Thanks. You think we don't know this? BH runs small company....

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  25. Wow, Carol. I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you. Stay safe!

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  26. Appalling events. Reminds me of driving through Hulme in Manchester some years ago with my Dad when a bullet came ripping through one of the back windows. We went straight to the nearest Police Station to report the incden and were met by a wall of sheer apathy. Apparently, it goes on all the time!
    Hope you recover soon - I'm sure your brilliant sense of humour gets you through.

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  27. Oh Carol that's awful. Must of been so scary! To think what might have been! So frustrating too not to know who did it. If it was stoopid teenagers/kids even adults you want them to know how dangerous that was! Stoopid inurance company too! So glad you were ok though xx

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    1. It was kids! We are pretty sure who and have 'tipped off' the police. Crazy. What must their parents be thinking?

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  28. Shocking! I echo what has already been said here. Stay strong Carol. X

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    1. Thanks Maria...it was very scary and we still have to pay for the new glass!!

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  29. So glad you're okay and the cat too. Insurance companies are the pits (just had a bad experience ourselves!) but patio doors can be replaced, people and pets can't. Sending you lots of blessings and hope that the perpetrators are caught and punished.

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    1. You are quite right...and a sense of proportion was quickly reached!

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  30. Sorry, I've just realised, the person in the Harpenden newspaper article was YOU! Now I understand your comment about lack of sympathy! I only skimmed it and just thought you were posting it because it was a strange thing to be in the paper! Absolutely horrendous, sorry for my cynicism, must have been awful x

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    1. Having had a similar response from DD, I'd kind of accepted it as part of your dual personalities! It was pretty scary..and we have a bill for £250 (negotiated down) to pay!

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  31. Good grief! Horrid to feel so unsafe in your own house. I hope it was just kids on holiday being daft (still no comfort when you're left with a hefty bill) but better than thinking the worst x

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  32. How frightening for you and how dreadful that the insurance company haven't been more helpful when you need them to be. I hope the culprits are caught and that you're okay! x

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  33. Wow, Carol, how awful. Must have been very frightening. Glad you're still here though x And I hope they catch the bastards!

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    1. thanks honies! Am OK now, but poorer!!

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