So, 10:30 this morning saw me – busy, busy, with errands to run – quite literally stuck in the house. The other half, heading out early had reflexively double locked the door, forgetting I was still inside. I was now discovering that the mortice lock mechanism on the inside of the door didn’t work, or at least my increasingly frantic attempts to make it work weren’t having much effect. Gah. I searched for another means of escape. Our sitting room windows are actually French doors opening out onto a vestigial iron balcony that looms out over a long drop down into the area, and appears to be attached to the front of the house by not much more than rust and the force of habit. I wasn’t climbing over that. I stared out into the street, so near and yet so unattainable, and realised the downside of living on a quiet road. One elderly gent pottering deafly around his car. One young man on the other side of the street with a Londoner’s determination to notice nothing unusual, not even a damsel in distress signalling wildly from her balcony. With the other half not due back for hours it looked as though I was stuck.
Fortunately, help was at hand. Two Polish chaps busy replacing our genuinely old sixties-style concrete lamp-posts with ersatz Edwardian ones, film companies for the use of, finally noticed my feeble cries of ‘Excuse me!’* I handed one my keys so he could unlock the door – I managed to get the yale open from the inside before he forced it wth his shoulder – and thanked him profusely. God only knows what he thought of it all – his English (and my Polish) wasn’t up to the intricacies of crappy lock mechanisms and useless landlords – so I had to leave him under the assumption that he’d effected a daring rescue of a distressed female locked up by her cruel and thoughtless husband. Which isn’t when you think about it, all that very far from the truth. At least the thoughtless part of it, anyway.
*Phrase of the week.