The one where I went back with a hacksaw and bolt cutters

If you either don’t follow me on Facebook (you totally should), or you didn’t see my status update the day before yesterday, let me relate a little story to you.

About a week ago, W discovered a job was becoming available at the local primary school. Given the time we spend at the school, invariably involved in fund raisers, or helping in the classrooms, it sounded like a perfect opportunity for her to go back to work.

She got as far as an interview, and we were fairly confident she had as good a chance as anybody else in getting it; how many schools can say their “lady in the office” is a fully qualified chartered accountant ? She already knew all the staff anyway from helping out all the time as mentioned earlier.

This Monday just gone I spent the entire morning gnashing my fingernails at work - wondering how her interview was going. The tension only increased at about 1pm when I received a text message saying “they want me to go back for a chat at 3pm”. Why would they do that? That’s got to be good, right?

Finally, at 4:30pm, another text.


Followed by…

“I’m a bit scared now”

I volunteered to buy a celebratory dinner on my way home - curry, wine, chocolate, and anything else I might lay my hands on at the various food shops in town.So it was that I arrived at Waitrose at about 6pm, chained my bike to the stout railings outside, and set about filling my backpack with goodies.

After wandering around the mercifully quiet supermarket, I put my bag down next to the bike, fished my keys from my pocket, and then staredquizzicallyat them in the manner an idiot might.

Where was the bike lock key?

Suddenly a flashback landed from the depths of my memory. I had taken the children Christmas shopping on Saturday. While waiting in a particularly long queue to pay for something, Little Miss 6 had been fiddling with my keys, which usually hang from a carabiner on a belt loop. I caught her just as my USB key fell to the floor, and told her off. What I didn’t notice at the time was the bike lock key vanishing.

So there I stood. Outside the supermarket, with my bike chained to the railings by a hardened steel tamper proof cable.


Trying to look like I meant to be doing it anyway, I stomped off the mile or so home, carrying my bike helmet, shopping on my back, fuming. I had visions of being arrested by the police while sawing my own bike lock off.

After arriving home and searching the junk drawer for every spare key we posess, I filled my pockets with them, found a junior hacksaw, and some bolt cutters from the shed, and set back off into town.

Luckily for all (particularly Little Miss 6, who will now live to be 7), one of the keys worked. I didn’t have to resort to the saw in the middle of the highstreet.

When she arrived home from her Christmas Nativity Play, where she had starred as the world’s first 4ft tall King with an impressively bushy beard (not unlike Brian Blessed in fact, and just as loud), W broke the news to her.

“Dad wants a word with you”

She looked sheepish.

“You know when I told you off at the weekend for fiddling with my keys?”


“Do you know what happened tonight?”


As I related the story to her, she began looking at the floor, and doing an impressive impersonation of a puppy sat next to a pile of it’s own poo.