Thursday, February 16, 2012

Every one needs good neighbours

Des and Joan lived next door to Mother when she moved to her house some thirty five years ago. Joan left Des and he was lonely. He brought out a Filipina bride and she and Des lived next door to Mother for many years. They had their own children. Des died, leaving his widow to her own devices. Like many Asian born women, she is quite competent at looking after herself and now at the age of around sixty, she is still working.

Des and Joan showed Mother many kindnesses when she was on her own before she met Step Father. Step Father was kind to them too when he came on the scene. When Des was left alone, Mother and Step Father were very supportive, as they were when he brought his Filipina bride to live with him.

When Des died, Step Father especially and Mother were very kind and supportive to the FB. When Step Father died, FB was very supportive to Mother. They are now two widows living side by side who had very different beginnings in life, but are connected in their loneness and they know they need to help each other. So much for Mother's statement so many years ago, 'ah, Des has got one of those Philippine users from Thailand or somewhere'. I guess you well and truly have the gist now.

The FB returned last week from the hospital where she works and then popped down the street to get some items from the supermarket. Within half an hour she returned home and when she opened her front door, things were scattered on the floor and she could hear noises. She relocked the door and went into Mother's and they called the police.

The police could not immediately attend so Mother and FB bravely or foolishly went inside the house. Of course the robbers had long gone, seemingly bolting after hearing the door the first time. There was no cash to be had, only some expensive jewellery, which they missed and three expensive watches and a new camera, which they did not miss.

Two old widows slept alone that night, separated by a paling fence, both with their windows closed and lights on. FB summoned her daughter to come and stay with her. Mother summoned ABI Brother to come and stay with her.

As for the police, fail. They arrived two hours after being called. Widows afraid and in distress are apparently not a high priority for the local and probably understaffed police station.

'Mate, did a burg today, but fuck all there. Just a load of shit and useless fuckin' watches. Fuckin' shit town with nothin' worth stealing. Fuckin' Asians are suppose to keep cash in their houses. Fuckin' nothin'.'

Ah well lads. You did achieve something. You traumatised two older women. Nice work.


  1. There really are some useless people in the world. This is a sad story, not only because of the burglars but also because the police took so long to respond.

  2. Yep, there's a lot of parasites and scumbags in this world who are way too lazy to go out and work for a living who instead steal your property that you've worked hard for :-).

  3. Good neighbours remind me of Australian suburbs until the 1960s when no-one ever moved from their first house, children played in each others' back yards and neighbours did the shopping for the elderly. Up till 1960, when there may have been only one tv in a street, all the children were invited to watch.

    Your mum has been very fortunate. She hasn't moved and the neighbours haven't moved, and they seemed to have functioned as a mutual support system.

  4. Rubye, I saw it on tv, so it must be true. In the US cops are always at trouble spots within minutes. Seriously, I think you have more police per head than we do.

    True Windsmoke. The real problem is the effect of such a thing on older people. They lose confidence and become unnecessarily fearful.

    Hels, actually even newer neighbours who Mother doesn't know have been helpful at times. Mother does play the helpless widow well. TV? In the early sixties? Luxury. Even our neighbours didn't have one.

  5. Being burgled is a vile feeling which does not pass for a long time.
    Older women living alone should even lock their doors when gardening or hanging the wash, as my burgled friend in Kensington found. Her audacious drug addled perp snatched her handbag off the table while she was home.
    It's always druggies. they have to do 5 B&E's a day to support their habit.
    Sympathy to your mum and her nice neighbour.

  6. Em Stacks, she is pretty careless about locking up, except at night time. I think she will be more conscious of it now. Tradie Brother is going to fix one window that could be forced open.

  7. Stacks is right, druggies. True burglars go in, disturb nothing and sometimes it's weeks before you realise those pretty jewell boxes are empty.
    True story, it happened to neighbours about 10 years ago.
    They try not to hurt anyone either but strung out junkies will do anything.
    I always seemed to be the one who fed every cat while the owners were on holidays and I always left the front door open when I went in, a nice clean getaway and no injury to me.

  8. There's one thing to be learned from that story... all fb aren't gold diggers.

  9. So sorry to hear of what must have been a traumatic experience for your mum and her neighbour. I wonder how we can let our elected leaders know that we'd rather have more police on the ground than sports stadia, car parks, visits from Oprah and the like??

  10. I not acquainted with any burglars - well, not knowingly anyway - but I imagine they give little consideration to the impact of their actions on their victims.

  11. Jah Teh, no one trusts us to feed their cats but good advice about leaving the door open.

    Indeed not Bliss. It is a complex area, but FB was a success story.

    Red, we are getting 400 or 600 new police soon, plus guards on every railway station. But it is catch up really. It is up to us to complain and protest and I have just decided to contact the police station to tell them of my disappointment in the response time.

    Of course Victor. I suppose that is why victim and perpetrator meetings are sometimes organised. It helps both parties understand.

  12. I guess the police have their own triage system, and when two older ladies ring about a burglary that is finished with no one hurt, it's not going to be a priority 1.
    Unfortunately, unless someone is directly under threat, the next issue is how much can be achieved as a result of the paperwork involved? If there is unlikely an insurance claim etc. etc. not much point.
    However, now that the Vic Police have withdrawn all their 5 million ads for admin assistants, things can only improve - not.

    As your mum and her neighbour were not physically harmed, this was a pretty good outcome. On the other hand, we can't buy peace of mind so easily as it can be snatched away.

  13. I understand the triage thing FruitCake, but there needs to be more police so that a response can be quicker. When Mother and FB went back into her house, the robbers could have well still been there. A slim chance admittedly, but if there was a quick response, the burglers may have been caught

  14. I think you'll be doing the right thing by protesting at the response time. Even if the police just showed up quicker and did a drive around the block and backyards check to ease your mum's mind and that of her friend. Excuse me while I go and check that my doors are locked...

  15. River, it is all about the moment. A quick show up and come back later for details is what should happen. Essentially law abiding people need confidence that the police will be there if they are victims. As always, it is about perception.

  16. Sorry, didn't mean to sound as if I approve of the police inaction, just rabbiting on about my own experiences of their responses.

    The size of the force is laughable. [OMG I hope they are not thinking of privatising that!]

  17. Not at all FruitCake. It is not until you need the police that you realise there is not enough of them.

  18. ugh burglaries are bad enough, but when they're done to the elderly there's that extra edge. My Nan I'm sure lives in fear coz 2 of the units in her retirement home were recently burgled. She's installed extra window locks because of it. I hate that she worries about stuff like that at her age :(
    I hope your Mum and FB get over their fear quickly.
    Also disgusting the police took so long to appear. :(

  19. Fen, while we had intruders into our back yard in Balaclava, no one got inside the house as we had window locks and dead locks. They could have smashed a window, but they would have to take the stuff out the window too.

  20. A copper once told me that to get the police there tell them you thought you saw one of them with a gun!!They come poste haste

  21. Excellent idea MC. I will tell Mother.