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.
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.