A week or so ago I moved into my new house in Nottingham. It was supposed to be fresh start of sorts, buoyed with independence, a garage for motorcycles, more than enough room to swing many cats and right next to a tram, which could take me to the train station to see the important people in my life. It was my new place. A place to be happy.
Moving into an empty house required furniture to be brought, so IKEA was the order of the day. My new possessions amounted to a desk, a bed and a wardrobe. This was combined with everything I could jam into a suitcase, clothes, a laptop and an iPad.
My first night in the house was restless, needing to be at Leicester Royal Infirmary at 0845 in the morning I was up at five, walking to the station. The next day, with an adjusted body clock I was up at five again. So I jumped on a train to see someone special. On having a wonderful day, I arrived back at 2330. Nothing was amiss at the time. I went into the kitchen, took a glass of milk and went upstairs.
On entering my room, I looked for my iPad, left on charge. I was gone. I then looked across the room. Drawers were open, items dumped on the floor. Though they hadn’t touched my shirts, they’d rummaged around my t-shirts. Looking further, my OSM laptop was gone. I had used that laptop through travels in Kenya, Tanzania and Europe. It was the laptop I designed maps with, used for uploading OSM, punting pictures upto Flickr. It was set just how I wanted and needed it, encrypted and password protected it’s £200 paperweight. Opening my drawer all the foreign currency that I had was missing. Files and paper were strewn across the place.
At the time I rang the police, informed them that I had been burgled stayed relatively calm. I opened the laptop I had taken on my travels and opened the ‘find my iPad’ page, over a week later and nothing has been found. That night I slept, it wasn’t a good sleep. It was one taken through exhaustion and medication awakening as tired as I had gone to bed. Locks were replaced, visits from forensics and officers and no word on the burglars.
In the days afterward the house became a quasi-fortress. A portable alarm is now in the room where they got in. All internal doors are kept locked and I keep a chair balanced on my own door to give seconds if another intruder comes into my domain. What was once considered a perfect house has become desolate and lonely, as have I. I carry all items of value on me, instead of leaving them in the house, I already feel the slight shoulder twitch of carrying too much. But the thought of leaving them behind for another person to invade and violate is too much. On the occasion of nipping the shops it becomes an annoying but compulsory task.
I find that I choose which rooms I enter out of necessity, not through functionality. I move between my room, bathroom and kitchen. The dining room with its wood floor is nice, but I prefer to eat in my own room. I hope this changes, but I will see.