Getting Out

One Saturday morning at 7am I got up and looked out of the bedroom window to see our next door neighbours standing across the road in their dressing gowns. I then noticed a fire engine standing outside their house. We had slept through the fire and the arrival of the fire brigade. A fire in their loft had prompted the hasty exit of three generations.

I sent Cyberspouse down in his dressing gown to bring them into our house, while I put some clothes and the kettle on. Over the next couple  of hours, other branches of the family, who luckily lived close, arrived and we chatted more to all of them than we had since we lived there.

IMG_0947 054

Fortunately ‘getting out of the house’ for most of us, most of the time is less dramatic, usually accompanied by cries of ‘Are you ready yet?’ I wonder why it’s so hard to get out of the house in time. I always end up rushing. If you were told you had five minutes to leave the house, leave the house forever because of imminent war or natural disaster, would you be ready, could you decide what to take? It takes me longer than that to get ready to go to the shops.



It is a wonder that anybody ever gets to work or school. Here is a handy list of items you need before you set off from home; delete those not currently applicable.

Door keys, car keys, keys for bike lock, watch, ID for work, bus pass /season ticket, lunch box, homework /briefcase, bottle of water, reusable coffee cup, mobile phone, phone charger, tablet – electronic, tablets – medicinal, inhaler, reading glasses, sun glasses, shopping list, shopping bags,  book/kindle to read on the bus /in the canteen, coat, umbrella, PE kit/gym kit, dog, children, baby. If you are a writer add pens and note book.


If you are a citizen of the the USA and believe in the right to bear arms you may have even more to remember. When Team G were coming back from Las Vegas for their visit I asked them to bring some magazines – think craft, gardening, cooking, lifestyle, culture – What I got was ‘Guns & Ammo’, I turned the first page to see this handy advertisement..

You say it to yourself every time you leave the house ‘Phone. Keys. Watch. Wallet. SCCY.’ You’re not fully dressed unless you’re carrying concealed.


I would be even slower getting out of the house if I had to remember my firearm.


Perhaps this one would fit in my handbag.

But even if you’re sure you have everything and your easy to conceal gun is loaded, it’s not easy to leave the house. Did you put the bin out for the dustmen, are all the doors locked, lights, gas turned off, toilets flushed, dog in, cat out, goldfish fed, plants watered. Interior doors closed in case fire rips through the house, burglar alarm set. We don’t have a burglar alarm, but I’m sure that would add more minutes and stress to getting out the door.

And as you finally close the front door and turn round to look at your home you realise there’s a window wide open upstairs. There’s  a big black cloud looming and you haven’t got your umbrella, but that’s okay, because as you re-enter the house you realise the baby is still in the high chair, so the cat must be in the pram.

23 thoughts on “Getting Out

  1. This reminds me of trying to leave when the girls were tiny. By the time I actually got everyone and everything ready to go and out to the car, the youngest would always need a fresh diaper. It was impossible. Now, I have an alarming tendency to leave with virtually nothing in hand. I think it’s an overreaction type of thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I enjoyed your piece, Janet. I got a chuckle out of your reference to “Cyberspouse.” He sounds like some kind of superhero! 😎

    Your story reminded me of an incident in my childhood from long ago. We were traveling cross country, and somehow, my parents had arranged with some old friends that we would stay in their house overnight while they were also on vacation. Dad was the master of saving money. I remember sleeping in the basement and getting up rather late. My brother, who enjoyed messing with me, told me the house next door had caught fire in the night. I was sure that he was teasing me. When I got upstairs, my mind was blown away by the neighbors’ half-destroyed house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad to hear the neighbours were fine. 😀 … I know the Americans must be used to it, but I find the prospect of opening up a magazine and coming across an ad like that to be slightly nausea-inducing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loved the humor in this. Hubby has a pellet gun, which is more like a BB gun of sorts, and he uses it to try to kill the mice that keep finding a way into our home no matter what things we have tried. We live in a mobile home, so there are plenty of places a mouse or other creature could use to find a way in. I think it takes longer to load a pellet in it than it is worth, but he seems to believe in it being a good way to do away with the mouse. I think the only one he ever managed to hit somehow was in the bathtub and couldn’t get out. And then he had to shoot it twice (yes, reloading it between times) before he ended its presence in our bathroom!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s