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More Breaking And Entering

My recent experiences with breaking into our house a couple of weeks ago have inspired others, I'm afraid. When Mrs.B opened the living room door this Monday morning, she found her purse upside down and the contents scattered over the floor. At first she thought the cats had played with it, but then she noticed that all her cash was missing. In the dining room, she found my wallet with the contents spread out next to it on the dinner table. Again, the cash was missing.

Moments later, I dynamically stumbled down the stairs, alerted by her calls. It quickly downed on us that we had had some nightly visitors. They had forced the garden door's lock to gain access. Our cowardly guard cats had done nothing to chase them, kill them or even warn us. When they saw the thieves left their dinner bowls alone, they'd escaped from the house.

But all in all, we've been very lucky. The thieves made their escape with about 25 Euro in cash, leaving Mrs.B's laptop, my photo camera, our brand new film camera (with manual and cables still in their packing) and the car's GPS, all conveniently arranged on the cupboard next to Mrs.B's purse, alone. They'd taken a small box with a silver cup out of the cupboard, but left it on the window sill for some reason. They did steal Mrs.B's car keys but left without the car. So the biggest nuisance is that we have to change the car's locks, and I had to replace the back door lock of course. But we've could have lost a lot more valuable things.

When browsing for a new lock in our local DIY shop, I met an elderly gentleman who was looking for the same item with his son. He told me that the thieves had broken into a large number of houses in our part of town. Every time the thieves had gone for the cash and the car keys, leaving other valuable items alone. One man had lost thirty thousand Euro in cash with which he was going to pay for his new pool the next day. So all in all, I guess we've nothing to complain about.

Breaking And Clambering

After two weeks of parental leave, it was time to return to work on Monday. So armed with my lunch-box and a magazine, I got onto the train to Brussels. But I'd barely installed myself when Mrs.B called me with a bit of panic in her voice: she'd left the house to bring Wolf to school and had closed the door behind her... leaving the keys on the inside.


So while I quickly got off the train and took a bus home, I considered the options. We bought our house from an old couple with a very negative view of the outside world and of their fellow men. As a consequence, our house is built like a fortress. And with both the back and the front door closed with the keys in the locks, there weren't many options. My only chance would be to climb through the open bedroom window on the first floor.

When I say 'open' I mean that the window was wide open, but the blinds were almost completely lowered. We still have good old fashioned wooden blinds, that weigh about 500 tonnes. Another minor inconvenience was that the floors of our house are quite high, higher than my sorry old ladder. The neighbours on the left have a long ladder, but they were already at work. The neighbours on the other side took even more drastic measures, and moved out a couple of weeks ago. Luckily, I had more luck at the next house because they were at home and they had a ladder. A very very long ladder, suitable to replace aircraft warning lights on big antennas installed on skyscrapers.

The ladder was in their garage further down the street, and although it was made out of aluminium, it weighed as much as one made from wood. We were barely able to get it up with two grown men, but at least it got all the way up to the window sill. Then I had to lift the blinds and prop a wooden stake underneath, hoping that it wouldn't slip away. Otherwise those blinds would chop me in two like a blunt guillotine.

As I clambered through the narrow slit that had opened into our bedroom, I reminisced about my lost youth and how much easier these adventures were  fifteen years ago. It wasn't exactly a stealthy ninja that made his way into the house. But once I wriggled my big butt through the window, the rest was a piece of sachertorte. Moments later, I triumphantly opened the door. Sadly, there was no cheering mob (Mrs.B and Tyl) to greet me, as they were invited in by the neighbours.

So without further ado, I marched back to the bus stop to go to work.

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