Home from Abroad is that lovely poem by Laurie Lee that I learnt by heart for O Level Eng Lit. And here I am, skin not so much ‘well oiled by wines of the Levant’ as lightly tanned by Brittany sun… and rain.
I didn’t advertise my absence, though the more eagle eyed of you may have noticed a reduction in tweeting. I was a little concerned about alerting people on the internet to an empty(ish) Vicarage. As it happens, the internet was not what people were looking at.
It seems that some dodgy characters were observing a car with a roof box disappearing from our drive. And hadn’t noticed that our Ministry Trainee/lodger Happy was late back the day we left and out early the next. He had church folk over to dinner that evening and as they were leaving, there was a loud banging noise at our family room window.
Happy went into the room and was able to see at close hand a man with a hammer and chisel attempting to get in through the sash windows. When he saw Happy he seemed rather surprised. He had an accomplice with him in the garden and they both bolted off immediately.
They wouldn’t have had much luck getting in, as the windows are securely locked, so they’d have had to dismantle the structure of the window to fit through. But obviously it was pretty alarming for Happy. Thankfully, church family have been brilliant – our thoughtful Lay Reader parked her car in the drive for the remainder of our absence, and lots of folk have been phoning and calling in.
Although Happy got a good look at the chap at the window, he didn’t recognise him from our locality, and the police said the information would just remain on file.
Happy has also had Gone on the doorstep singing loudly at 6am, although he left and hasn’t returned. Not as bad as when we were on hols last year and Polly was confronted by a very nasty mess left by Gone on the doorstep, two days in a row. Our poor lodgers seem to really have a rough time when we go away.
We are grateful to God that the burglars didn’t get in, and that Happy was okay. We are also praying for our neighbourhood as crime levels seem to be increasing – this week a lady in our congregation was burgled by men who came to the door pretending to be from the council. We are hearing more and more about this type of crime. We are praying that people would be made new and stop stealing. Do pray with us.