ate last night I was woken up by a strange scraping sound outside. It was quite windy, so I assumed it was just a tree branch rubbing against the window somewhere, so (after trying unsuccessfully to ignore it and go back to sleep) I got dressed and went outside to investigate. And discovered it wasn’t a tree branch after all – it was part of the eaves of my house!
My section is next door to an alleyway which is a bit of a magnet for local kids to hang out in at night. Which would be fine, except they smoke (and then the smoke drifts in my windows), write graffiti on my fence and quite often try breaking loose palings off it. None of which I particularly want to happen. So when I had the house rewired I got the electrician to put a security light on the corner of the house nearest the alleyway, so that it lights up the alleyway a bit whenever someone walks down there, making it a bit less tempting for the kids.
Obviously someone took exception to this, because they’d ripped the security light down, taking a huge chunk of the eaves with it, and leaving a gaping hole into my attic. The scraping sound I’d heard was a chunk of board with the light still attached swinging back and forth on the (still live!) electrical cable and scraping against the side of the house. I’ve got no idea when they did it, because I hadn’t been round that side of the house to notice it until I heard the noise, but there was some other vandalism done around the neighbourhood on Saturday night so I’m guessing it was then. I was home on Saturday night and didn’t hear anything, but I spent the evening sewing, so between the noise of the sewing machine and the DVD I was watching (with volume turned up so I could hear it over the sewing machine) the sound must have been masked.
I was worried the weight of the light might pull the electrical cable out, which would have caused a bigger problem, so there I was in the middle of the night climbing a ladder to remove the heavy spotlight bulbs from the fitting and try and shove the whole thing back up into the attic space where at least it wouldn’t be hanging by its wire. This home ownership thing is fun, isn’t it?
Anyway, I rang the police this morning (just so I could tell the insurance people I’d reported the crime – I don’t actually expect them to be able to do anything, given that I didn’t see or hear anything and I’m not even sure when it happened), and then my insurance company, who were really helpful and quickly arranged an assessor to come round (I think they’re just relieved to get a nice simple claim that doesn’t involve EQC 😉 ). He rang me at lunchtime to let me know he’d inspected the damage and is going to arrange a builder to fix it, hopefully sometime this week.
So, apart from the little matter of having to pay the excess, and losing my no-claims bonus, it should all be sorted out without too much hassle. I’d still much rather it hadn’t happened at all, though 🙁