Wednesday, August 3, 2011


So... the other evening I was sitting at the computer when my husband came home, said hello, wandered off to the kitchen, made himself tea, came back, and said "There are literally 11 police cars parked outside."

I think this particularly dramatic story needs to be told in the form of a, well, drama, and so from this point it will be.

ME: Literally as in "I literally died laughing" or as in literally literally?
HUSBAND: Literally. I counted.
ME: What?

ME peers out of the window. There is a police car. ME walks over to MOTHER.

ME: Mother, Husband says there are 11 police cars in the road outside. He counted.
MOTHER: Let's go outside and look!
ME: Are you mad?

We walk all around the house, peering out of windows.

ME: Let's go outside and look!

We open the back door, making sure that the dog doesn't get out, and creep round the side of the house. There are indeed a lot of police cars in the road. There are also heavily armed silhouettes standing in the bushes in front of the house.

ME: Sorry, can you tell us what's going on?
ME: Yes, um... what's happening?
COP: We're looking for a suspect.

Points towards a house. Happily, not our house.

ME: Thanks. Well... erm... I guess we'll go back inside now...
COP: I think that would be a good idea.

We slink back indoors.

And that was basically it. The cop cars stayed where they were for a couple of hours while we tiptoed around our house with most of the lights off, trying to get hold of my father and tell him to come home by the other road, and then they quietly drove away. We have no idea what happened, whether they got the suspect, who it was, what they did, or anything else. I just need to add two important things:

One, this is mainly for my international readers: Nothing like this has ever happened to me before! It was a really dramatic occurrence, particularly because it was so unusual.

And two, dear polite cop silhouetted in the bushes: Thank you for not shooting at my mom and me when we loomed out at you from the darkness. I would totally have shot me if I had been you. And much gratitude and support to all our police officers - your job is dangerous, difficult and disgustingly underpaid. And all the cops I've interacted with have been sweet, lovely people (see above). So yeah, thanks!


  1. I witnessed an unusal police event just a couple of months ago out my office window. More than a dozen cars swarmed from every direction to shut down a main intersection and pull a small car over with three men in it. Guns were drawn. The car and all three men were searched. It was quite amazing.

  2. I wonder what they were suspected of?

  3. My officemates at work thought I had gone completely off the deep end as I laughed like a hyena at my desk. So funny and evocative. I actually saw the film at 11 in my head ;-).

    "And much gratitude and support to all our police officers - your job is dangerous, difficult and disgustingly underpaid."

    THIS - as a US citizen settled in the UK, this. Would that they, doctors, nurses, teachers, soldiers, social workers, etc. had the salaries professional footballers get.

    Thank you for this. xx

  4. "laughed like a hyena at my desk."

    My work here is done! :)

  5. Hey Lu :) Found yours too! I'll be posting here about the trip in the next couple of days.