11 December 2009

Safe as Houses?

I have a few 'worst fears'. One of them is being attacked in my own home. This fear has intensified since I had children.

If someone broke in during the night and I was alone what would I do? Which child would I grab first? Where could we hide? What if the one of the boys cried?

Yep, unfortunately I don't tend to daydream about fluffy kittens and hot sandy beaches. My day dreams are usually tortured. I annoy myself with it.

When I watched the first episode of 'Survivors', the series where 99% of the population is wiped out by a virus and all infrastructure vanishes, I spent most of the night wide awake. I planned what I would need to loot from the shops to ensure my boys could survive (water, batteries, long-life milk, tinned food, tin openers, first aid supplies, the entire Milton range, petrol in cans, gas stoves, candles, matches, clothes, blankets, biscuits). The last item was for me - it would be a stressful time!

Now I've written this down I feel like a bit of an idiot.

That said, I still worry about nightmare scenarios. Andy has only stayed away overnight once this year. This week he went to London for his work Christmas party. I had the responsibility of looking after my children on my own.

I'm happy with my own company, I'm never bored (for a start my Google Reader is never empty!), but I hate being in the house on my own. Andy also works from home so there is usually someone here. So it was really quiet here on Tuesday/Wednesday.

My mind wandered to what I would do if one of the boys had an accident and we had to go to hospital. Luckily when Presley bashed his face on the sideboard and later kicked Cash in the head there was no harm done.

I take my hat off to single parents, what a responsibility you have.

I didn't sleep well on Tuesday night, more terrible thoughts of violent masked men, but otherwise we had a quiet night.

I had been thinking to myself that I'd been worrying over nothing, that crimes like these are the stuff of movies, but then I heard what happened to our friend S on Tuesday night.

Two masked men broke into her flat, while she was alone in her bed, and beat her up. They had been (unreliably) informed that there were drugs in her flat. Once they realised their mistake they apologised and left.

S found their apology rather surreal. She had to go to A&E. She has a black eye and bruising. She is now terrified of sleeping in her flat alone - and who can blame her?

What an awful thing to happen. Shocking.

We've since had our burglar alarm serviced and we're much more security minded. The best we can do is not make it easy for criminals to break in. We don't keep valuables on display. Our ladders are safely locked in the garage, along with our car. Our car keys are out of sight overnight, as is my handbag. We don't deal with cold callers on the doorstep. We're a member of Neighbourhood Watch.

Sorry neighbours, but I'd rather the criminals took one look at our little fortress and went next door.

As they say on Crimewatch: Don't have nightmares.



  1. I try not to think about it too much otherwise I would scare myself silly I think. But I do think I should perhaps be more prepared than I am.

  2. Oh my goodness. This is why we have a dog. I do have nightmares - especially living in London - so do everything possible to make sure we're safe. Always, always check that smoke alarm.

  3. Having spent most of my life in the rural south west, and even now living in a village I can honestly say I don't know of anybody who has been broken into. I think it is for this reason (and two big dogs) that I don't worry about it. Which is just as well, 'cos I'm an expert worrier ;-)

    I do think it's good to have a plan though, so good for you for thinking about it x

  4. I have a vivid imagination and conjure up all kinds of terrible scenarios, it really annoys me - I wish I too could dream of fluffy kittens!
    It sounds like you have the security on your house more than covered so try to let that give you piece of mind.

  5. We were broken into while we were asleep. I'm so glad they never came upstairs.

  6. we had someone sneak in through the back door and i heard them walking through the kitchen, thankfully i scared him off but i didn't sleep well for months!!!!! You are right to be security concious especially around this time of year i'm the same when it comes to locking up etc xx

  7. How awful for your friend....so frightening.
    I have a larder full of supplies- just in case. I'm sure lots of people have. x

  8. haha you remind me of me!

    I watched Survivor too and went through the same crazy things in my head. I like to play out all possible disaster scenarios and think about what I would do. It makes me feel like I will always be prepared for the worst. I do it for house fires (escape routes etc), choking..just everything. I really must stop :)


  9. I am terrible and not security consious enough , i never worry home alone with the kids and always feel guilty about it. I know my sister is terrified of this , the world can be a scary place

  10. Sandy..I hear exactly what you are saying, you sound a bit like me, I worry if I have nothing to worry about...sleep tight.

  11. Obviously break-ins like that do happen and how auful for your friend, but I think they are relatively rare. I'm on my own every night with a 6 year old. All I can do is make sure the doors and windows are locked. Everything is else is beyond my control. If I thought a bout it too much I would drive myself completely mad! Easier said than done though.

  12. I used to keep a baseball bat under the bed, until the wife found it and told me what a fool I was being. Not sure she was right, but thats only because she's not standing over my shoulder. Whatever makes you feel safer has to be a good thing in my book.

  13. So sorry about your friend, it puts my worrys in to perspective. On the worrying front, I have CBT to help with my worries

  14. I too fantasise about how I would cope in an emergency situation...my obssession though is how to survive a zombie attack! I still haven't figured out how I am going to get our 25kg dog up into loft (my escape route). Sorry to hear about your friend, hope she starts to feel better soon.

  15. Ang, it's difficult to get a balance between being prepared and worrying too much!

    Liz, a dog would be great if I had someone to walk it. I have enough trouble getting us all washed and dressed in the morning without dog-walking too! You're spot on about the smoke alarm. I've planned for how we would all get out if there was a fire. We had a (free) inspection from our local fire brigade and that was excellent, loads of great advice. I can feel a post coming on...

    Geriatric Mummy, with two big dogs you'll just have to find something else to worry about! x

    Make Do Mum, yes, we couldn't do any more than we have security-wise.

    Mwa, oh my goodness. Well I suppose if you are going to have a break in, it's good that they left you alone.

    Amy, I remember you telling me on Twitter that time our alarm went off. It's a horrible feeling x

    Chic Mama, Andy laughs at my siege mentality when it comes to stocking the larder, but you never know...

    WADs, I think it's good to be prepared, but perhaps we go too far sometimes! x

    Laura, perhaps you have the right attitude. Why worry until there's something to worry about?!

    Lorraine, these days I'm too tired to lay awake thinking and worrying, perhaps that's a good thing!

    Rosie, I know. You're right though, so long as the house is secure you can't do any more. x

    Jamie, hmm, hadn't thought about weapons! They say you're more likely to have it used on you. I'm hoping our complicated stair-gate will defeat any intruder!

    The Mad House, S is doing well. I've heard good things about CBT, I hope it's helping x

    Suki-Lou, zombies! I hadn't thought about zombies! I think you should install a hoist for your dog ;-) S is a lot better now thanks x

  16. Sandy, I've worked for years as a journalist and although I've reported on all kinds of shocking crimes, I have to say the other thing they say on Crimewatch - "serious crimes like this are extremely rare" - is true. The papers are always full of stories about victims and court cases and so on, and this can give the public the misconception that such crimes are happening all the time, when they're really not.

    And whichever way you look at the figures, and whichever figures you choose to believe, crime has fallen steadily and significantly over the last 20 years.

  17. I'm exactly the same! I think about what I'd do in a fire, in a flood, in a tsunami, if I was given a week's notice before the end of the world, if I was given just a day's notice, if someone broke in, if someone tried to steal Sam etc.
    I try not to think of it as being paranoid, more as a security back up. Craig thinks it's strange that I always have a holdall packed with clothes for all 3 of us in my wardrobe. It's just in case, I've had a bag packed since I was about 12. It's good preparation!

  18. You would probably hate it here in SF, where we have to worry about earthquakes! You've reminded me I need to get my earthquake preparedness kit sorted out, I'm the opposite of you, I never think about worst case scenario and am unprepared!

  19. Richard, thank you. It's good to know these incidents really are rare.

    Not Such a Yummy Mummy, wow, I thought I'd covered everything! You're right, it's good to have a plan.

    Geekymummy, oh my goodness, earthquakes! Thank goodness we hardly ever get those here!


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