You may have been expecting me to come back from Lancaster full of exciting tales of life up North but instead I have a tale from the south for you.
My paternal grandparents are wonderful people. They live in the suburban town of Crayford on the edge of London.
Now though it doesn't have the lowest crime rate in the country Crayford is not considered a hotbed of organised crime. However last week my Grandparents found themselves the victims of what they guessed to be Gang crime.
It all started with the delivery of a car.
My Granddad has driven a large car for many years now but my dad and his siblings have long thought that the old couple needed a smaller, safer vehicle. So my aunt has given them her Nissan Micra. Anyway all this results in my grandparents regaining use of their small garage. This has stood empty for years, as the car was too big to fit into it.
So my Granddad wandered around to the garage, which hadn't been opened since he had had an impenetrable locking device put on the door over a year ago.
He opened the door to find that it had worked perfectly. The door had not been opened since he had last touched it. However someone had got around the lock by simply stealing the rear wall of the garage.
Where before there had been a wall made out of long beams of concrete now there was nothing. Nothing except of course a fence, unbroken, all of six inches from where the wall had been. The concrete beams were nowhere to be seen. That meant that whoever had done it had stood in a six-inch wide space and taken apart an 8-foot high wall made of four 2-foot tall beams, a foot thick each, (using brute force) and had then stolen the beams.
I would love to shake them by the hand. They should make it a reality TV challenge. Steal the wall in difficult conditions without anyone noticing.
Anyway, naturally my grandparents rang their insurers to get the wall replaced ASAP.
They said they needed a police report so the next day my Granddad rang the police and two of them came round and they escorted the old man around to the garage. According to my Nan they were both over 6 feet and towered over my Granddad who looked like he'd been arrested.
.Anyway he opened the garage and the police checked out the back wall and said that they would tell the insurers all was in order (or rather not in order but in the right way).
However the story does not end there. For when he took the police to the garage my Granddad had found the garage was no longer empty.
In there were three suspicious black sacks. He had told the police this but they said it just looked like rubbish to them and declined to look in them.
Back at home the old couple fretted. What was in the bags? Who had put them there? Would they be back?
They started inventing scenarios. They thought maybe illegal immigrants were staying there. Then they considered whether gangsters were storing stolen goods there, or maybe they had dumped dead bodies in the garage.
My Grandmother decided something had to be done. She knew they could not leave the bags there without investigating further. Her decision made she put her plan into action immediately.
She sent Granddad down to look in the bags.
So down he went, into the garage again and approached the bags nervously. Leaving the door open so he could turn tail at a moment's notice.
He didn't want to put his hand in the bags in case there was something terrible there. He also didn't want to touch the outside of the bags in case he could feel something inside. So he decided the best course of actions was to kick one of the bags over.
He took a deep breath and kicked.
The shocking contents spilled out across the floor.
There on the floor were hundreds of the strongest hardcore porn mags direct from Holland.
And the door of the garage was still open making my sweet, innocent, granddad, as he shovelled the mags back into the bag, look like the dirtiest old man in suburbia.