Laptop thefts 1: Monday morning

I have not been blogging for a few days. I try to post daily, unless I’m travelling. But Monday, something else happened. I did not feel like blogging. I’m still upset.

My morning had already started weird. Monday, I woke up far earlier than usual. I thought I heard something a floor below me. So I got out of bed to check the living-room and kitchen: nothing. Instead of going back to bed, I showered, dressed, decided to sort through clothes: what remained; what would go to charity.

That finished, I locked the room and went down to my living room. The evening before, I’d started a sewing project and knew I’d put both clothes together the wrong way. So instead of leaving the house at my usual time, I got busy putting things right. Once everything was sorted, I started sewing things together using my sewing machine.

Suddenly, someone started pounding my door.
Irritated, I got up and opened – expecting to see one of my neighbours with some silly request or complaint.
Window cleaner: could I close my windows and did I know if the tenant right above me was in?

According to me, I had heard her leave during a break in my sewing. I described her.
He agreed: she’d passed him at the front door or in the hall, on her way out.
He said he didn’t understand it: he was called to come window cleaning – on the Sunday at that – but she passes him in the hall and leaves the windows open.
Did I have a spare key?

I have nobody’s spare keys and had no idea if anybody else was home.
He said he’d try upstairs. He just didn’t understand it: the person who’d called him, had arranged date and time. He rings her bell, nobody there. He calls her: she’d gone off to work. So he and his colleague had had to wait 15 minutes, before she showed up.
Then all the windows are open. She passes him, yet leaves her windows open.

I agreed it was stupid, but it didn’t surprise me. I wondered what would have happened if I’d gone off and left the windows open. After all: I’m usually not in, did not know the windows were going to be cleaned, and what if mine had been left open?
He wouldn’t have cleaned.
He stomped upstairs.

I went inside to close the big windows.
His young colleague stood waiting downstairs, ready with a brush on a very long pool connected to a hose. I waved and got my keys to close my open sash window upstairs.
The older man came down the stairs. He was lucky: another tenant had a spare key and she would close the windows.

Once upstairs, I think I noticed the door of the room right above my living room was open. I presumed the tenant with the spare key was inside, closing the windows.
I unlocked my room, slammed the sash window shut, locked the room, went downstairs, into my room, continued with my sewing machine.

During the sewing, I was vaguely aware of the traffic noise.
It was louder than usual. This means the front door must have been left open.
Water was running down my windows because higher-up windows were cleaned.

I got to a tricky bit of sewing and decided to do it by hand.
So I went to sit in my armchair, next to the windows.
Water streamed down them, as the brush moved up and down and they were cleaned. Then the brush, hose, pole went out of sight to work on windows at a lower floor.

A bit later, I heard voices high above me. The spare key tenant was discussing something on the roof terrace, with a young man. I paid no heed and went on with the sewing.

I was too far removed to hear anybody going up or down the stairs. I heard someone walking above me, so my upstairs neighbour must have returned. The window cleaners must have left. I was happily sewing, till I noticed I had made another mistake.
It could be corrected, but by now, I wanted to get out and go into town.

I needed a jacket, so went upstairs.
Downstairs, I heard two of the tenants and a man talking.
When I unlocked the door of my upstairs room, I noticed the door of the room above my living room.
It was flung wide open. I could not see inside the room.
It was unusual for my upstairs neighbour, to leave her door wide open.
Especially, when she was talking downstairs.

I grabbed a jacket, locked the door, went downstairs.
There I grabbed my bag, locked the door, then went down the broader flight of stairs to the large marbled hall.
On the other side of the glass-panelled double door, four people were standing. My upstairs neighbour; her friend who had used the spare key; the older and the younger window cleaners.


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