The next door neighbour locked herself out of the house, with her children (or at least one of them) locked inside. I could hear talking to the child to calm her down and knocking on neighbours doors so I went out to see what the problem was and if I could offer assistance.
'Excuse me,' she was calling from further down the street, she continued without pausing for breath, 'I've locked myself out of the house and my baby is inside can you climb over the fence and open the door for me?'
Feeling a little cheated at not having the opportunity for gallantry and still processing the infodump she had offered I repeated back 'Can I climb over the wall?' More asking myself the same question than implying that she should be more proactive in rectifying her problem. I do have pharyngitis you know, and I'm not as young as I used to be.
'I'm pregnant I can't climb over the wall.' She qualified her position.
'Okay,' I shrugged. So I went into the back garden and looked at the fence. The tall, flimsy fence. I went and got one of the dining chairs and put it in the garden, took a step back and looked at it.
It really didn't look like the ideal aid to overcoming this obstacle so I went and looked in the dining room again. I actually had to stop myself picking up another chair, which would clearly have been useless. Instead I went back into the garden and thought to myself standing here looking at it is never going to give me the belief I can do this. So I did it. Balancing atop the fence like a Christmas Tree fairy I looked into the neighbours garden to see a small child stood looking at me with an expression of absolute horror.
'It's ok,' I said as I tottered, 'don't be scared I just need to open the front door for your Mother.'
'Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!' said the child. Then she continued to say 'Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!' repeatedly whilst running in and out of the house.
Landing in the back garden; in my socks; in a puddle; I quickly went through the house to open the front door. The child meantime was beating at the front door in abject terror trying to get to her mother and preventing me opening the door. Sadly the irony was lost on her.
Anyway I let the Mum in and myself out and now here I am back again. It's as my dear old Nan used to say; 'We don't go far but we see life.'