A couple of days ago when Zoë and I came back to the castle after we’d been out for a drink, we had a bit of a shock. We’d just come in and I’d turned off the burglar alarm when I heard a loud and unfamiliar noise coming from my bedroom. I felt nervous for a moment because it sounded like there was someone there, but I quickly told myself not to be ridiculous and wobbled off to investigate.
I found myself standing in the doorway of my room clutching the grab rail and staring at the source of the noise – a young man in the garden frantically levering at the window frame in an effort to remove the whole pane.
Surprisingly I didn’t overreact. I went back down the corridor and calmly told Zoë what was going on. We went out into the communal hallway and Zoë shut and locked the door while I called the police and then Leftwing Idiot for help. I even remembered to explain to the police that I had Tourettes – something I’ve neglected to do before.
The police arrived quickly but the burglar had already gone. He hadn’t made it into the castle but he’d done a lot of damage to the window and the top pane was completely shattered – it was making a weird clicking noise as it went.
On the advice of the police I arranged for an emergency glazier to come and board it up. Leftwing Idiot painstakingly cleared away all the broken glass and a couple of hours later it was all sorted and I could climb into bed.
I didn’t feel upset despite the shock of the break-in and the close encounter with the burglar. I knew I was alright as soon as my tics started passing comments on the situation:
“He should have broken the bottom window, then I wouldn’t have to look at the lamp-post.”
They went on:
“Lamp-post you’re a rubbish guard dog.”
“Lamp-post what were you thinking?”
“Lamp-post I don’t pay you to sit there.”
Needless to say, I’ll be reviewing security at the castle in the next few days. Poppy’s already made a few suggestions, all of which were inspired by the booby traps in Macaulay Culkin’s 1990 film Home Alone:
Glass Christmas decorations lined up in front of every window
Hundreds of toy cars on the floor in the hall
Hidden swinging paint tins
Hot knobs on every door
Obviously most of these aren’t Tourettes-friendly but it’s a start.