Ipple-Pen Diary. Strangers Beware

I guess there are a number of ways of deterring a burglar who is intent on entering your home uninvited the easiest being to simply leave the front door unlocked and even open.

Who in their right mind wouldn’t think, even the most assiduous of burglars, that someone must be at home so I’ll give it a miss.

Another method of course which those with children will be able to find a very reasonable excuse for doing is to leave it in such a mess that any intruder who does enter will think the place has already been “turned over” and leave empty handed cursing whoever got there first.

It is one of the unusual and yet delightful things about living in a village in the South West that their reaction to everyday disasters or calamities is met with a shrug of the shoulders.

Even the latest mini-crime wave that has seen not one but two locks removed (stolen) from the allotment gates has been met with a shrug instead of the call to bring out the CSI and MI5 to find the culprits.

Mrs P’s reaction to such disasters is to bake and we know as do the neighbours when she is baking by the sound of the fire alarms going off which she apparently now uses as a food timer.

And of course without everyday calamities what an earth would people gossip about?

“Have you heard”… well “let me tell you about….”

And while I’m on the subject of gossip why is it than when a group of old gimmers and maids get together the conversation always (and I mean always) turns to death and ailments which end up being all about whoever has the floor at the time.

I long for the day when I hear the words, “well that’s enough about me , how are you,” to which I will almost certainly reply, “great, brilliant never been fitter or felt better”.

Good grief how those present will be deflated and it will at least kill the death conversation for at least a nano-second or two.

There are other topics of conversation of course, the deafening sound of the church bells on a Sunday morning and from Thursday night practice which upset some of the city folks who have moved to the rural (yes rural with animals and tractors et al) village for peace and quiet.

The sound of tut tutting in the Co-Op at the new size of Wagon Wheels, “how much bigger they were when we were young” and don’t get them started on the reduced size of chocolate bars or tins of Roses chocolates unless you have at least half a day to spare.

We even have women in Ipplepen who hang their washing out on the lines in full public view for crying out loud.

Not satisfied with their perceived role as a modern day mother and the knowledge that their kids clothes are clean they feel the need to let everyone see that they are clean.

The advantage of all of this is of course that everyone knows everyone else or knows someone who knows someone so the arrival of a stranger in the village with or without a bag marked ‘swag’ on his back is likely to be noticed pretty quickly.

Which is why intruders and burglars are very rarely – if ever – seen in Ipplepen.