I can't decide whether I'm just one of those supremely lucky individuals or supremely stupid (or more likely - a little of both.)
It's either that or by some great twist of fate, I happen to live in one of the safest neighbourhoods in all of London (a touch ironic given we were a stones throw from those horrible riots last year - but a fair point nonetheless).
You see yesterday, through some incredibly massive oversight (though I would swear to the contrary - and am continuing to do so) I must have left our door unlocked when I hustled my three little boys out into the lacklustre Sunday afternoon drizzle to head to our local Pizza Express for a late lunch.
The husband was away on some punishing six hour cycle race (he's clearly insane) and I had promised to take the boys out for lunch as a treat. Plus, after a whole morning spent inside I knew we'd be in danger of heading into tantrum territory and a potential freak out (and that's just me). So off we went.
The strange thing is that I vividly recall locking the door and staring at said locked door, given that Dumpie and I were engaged in a battle of wills over the fact that he refused to put his little rain jacket on and I threatened to go back inside and cancel the whole excursion until he relented.
Anyway, a few hours later, after a long and leisurely lunch (where the most exciting thing to happen was a free piece of fudge cake being proffered to Egg by our overly flirtatious Italian waiter), we headed home the long way, stopping en route for groceries and general browsing.
Upon arriving home I was excited to see that the husband had arrived back safe and sound, as our front door was wide open.
Sticking my head in to surprise him I found the entrance empty and no sign of a cycle. Strange.
Then it hit me. My husband was NOT home...so why was our door wide open?!
So much for being the calm cool voice of reason in a crisis. I freaked out, pulled the pushchair back outside into the rain and demanded the boys stay outside while I checked things out.
"Mama is there a 'burga-ler' inside?!" Dumpie asked terrified ('Burga-lers' are his biggest fear these days. Unlucky.)
"Umm...I'm not sure Sweetpea" I hesitated, a sick look of panic crossing my face. "If you guys hear me scream just yell for help okay?" I instructed (in hindsight perhaps not the wisest thing to utter)
With that I quietly began my ascent upstairs, waiting for some 'hoodie' to jump out brandishing a knife - my laptop in one arm and the husbands Rolex in another.
Speaking of the husband, I thought it only fair to alert him to the fact that his wife might soon be potentially raped and murdered and that he may be looking at single parenthood if things didn't pan out well, so dialed his mobile and scared the heck out of him as the line inexplicably went dead mid-conversation. Ooops.
All the while, as I flung closet doors open, slid open our balcony door, peeked into showers and behind doors with baited breath, I could hear the hysterical cacophony of Dumpie and Egg wailing and sobbing in panic downstairs. Screaming my name, they were getting increasingly wound, not hearing any response to their wails, and as I was too busy trying to stealth my way around our home, I couldn't exactly answer back so who could blame them for imagining me dead upstairs in a pool of my own blood?
Long story short, no knife wielding 'hoodie' was unearthed, no laptops were harmed or stolen in the telling of this story, and despite living in Central London, it would appear that in some areas at least, it is absolutely A-Okay to leave ones door open for several hours and return to find ones valuables untouched.
Postscript: When I later relayed the story to my father he didn't sound as perplexed as I imagined he would.
"Remember the time you took Eggie to school when I was visiting and must have thought you locked the front door but didn't and I found Dumpie on his scooter on the sidewalk outside?"