Stealing cyclamen is almost an oxymoron. ( seniors)

IMG_0829The Salvia

Could a gardener have stolen these cyclamen?

One would not think that stealing cyclamen is common. It defies logic. Why steal something so beautiful and totally free to look at? Is it true that the temptation to steal a beautiful object is in some people very strong and so overpowering it overcomes their moral stance and honesty?

We woke up one morning and after a good coffee went outside. It is a rather nice exercise, and we often look for new buds or growth in the garden. Our garden at the front is small. Through the years, Helvi managed to make it a small piece of paradise. We also have a small white painted cane table outside under our two windows on which we had three beautiful cyclamen. One really deep red-purple, a pink and one glorious white one. All flowering profusely and some twenty centimetres is diameter each. They were resting on ceramic dishes from which they were free to quench a thirst. The plants themselves were also surrounded by ceramic bowls. All scrounged from second hand places. The bowls and saucers were somewhat rare and beautiful but not in a pretentious manner detracting from the beauty of the flowering plants, they always would have first ranking.

Note how I wrote ‘had’ three cyclamen. As we looked around, and as it was raining, Helvi asked me if I had put the cyclamen in the rain. We both looked at the cane table and all was gone. It seemed empty. No matter how hard we looked, they did not return. We were stunned. How could this be. We looked in the bins next to the garage. As if they would re-appear, and after apologizing, somehow get back on the white painted cane table.

Both of us felt almost sick. They had been stolen. Unbelievable. Who would go and steal flowering plants? I mean, we could understand vandals stealing and throwing them about. We walked around the block of our eight town-houses in the hope of finding them alive and intact. No. Our sadness turned into anger. Who would do such a thing? As I was casting around again and looking opposite to the garden of our neighbour I notice that her ceramic angel’s head was gone as well. The three cyclamen and an angel head in one hit would not have been the work of school kids or any young person. It would have to be the work of an adult. Did the thief drive by and loaded up his/her car? The neighbour opposite told us that the Angel head was a gift from her mother twenty years ago.

After overcoming our sadness including dejection we decided to take action. We went to the local police station. After a few questions the police woman was going to write a rapport. I showed proof of identity, and supplied all the information regarding size, colour and details about the plants and the ceramic items, including their monetary value. We ensured to the police, it was the horror of the theft more than the value. She was understanding and fully understood.

As we got back I printed five posters;

“Thief Alert.” “You have been reported to the police”. “Please, return the items.”

All in very large lettering. I stapled the notices around our compound with one at the front on the street near the letterboxes. I felt good having done this plea to the thief’s conscience. But… much to my surprise, I was angrily reprimanded by one of our less convivial neighbour last evening. She bailed me up driving to the shop to get a bottle of well-earned good Shiraz. All red in the face, she was. “Why do you put those posters up?” This was followed by, ” I am a single woman and live alone with my children.” “I know delinquents, and you are inviting them with your silly posters.” I was listening and gave her the time to vent her anger, but at the same time felt a reasonable response welling up. “Yes, I said, but what about the theft of our plants and your neighbours’ Angel head?” “What do you want to do about it then?” She dismissed it totally and ripped off one of my posters.

The question is; what do you, dear readers think the right action would be? Just cop it sweet, do nothing? Or, should I proceed in stapling up more posters on fences , telegraph poles around the place? Warn others and try and get our cyclamen back.

Even now thinking of making posters offering “Reward for stolen Cyclamen and Angel’s head.”

What do you think?

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39 Responses to “Stealing cyclamen is almost an oxymoron. ( seniors)”

  1. Peter Hannemann Says:

    What a disappointment for those of us who believe in the goodness of people. The person, or persons, who steals flowerpots containing cyclamens is so low that you can assume that that person steals other property too.

    You asked what we think you should do. Each one of us would react differently and you must do what reestablishes your inner equilibrium.

    The reaction of your neighbour seems to me unreasonable. What is good for a stolen puppy is good for a stolen pot of cyclamen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks, Peter.
      We seem to think that stealing plants would not be ‘normal,’ A friend told me that people have taken to chaining up their outside plants. But, someone told him people even dig up plants to steal. If I see a person with a shovel on the street, do I make a citizen’s arrest?
      Oh, they sell them at the markets was another person’s view. But, plants are usually the domain of the Greens. They go out and plant things not steal them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I see nothing wrong with the signs, Gerard. It puts the thief on notice, especially if he or she is a local. It seems like such a dumb crime. I wouldn’t discount teenagers totally. I think the feelings created when someone steals from you are often worse than the value of whatever was taken. At least I know that has been the case when I’ve had something taken. Sorry. –Curt

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dorothy brett Says:

    You poor people or rather the culprits are poor people. Do you honestly think that some passerby from the street has come in and stolen things. I dont.
    Jeolousy is to me one of the worst things. And i think that is the problem .

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Helvi offered a similar point of view. I can’t really cope in thinking that. The police reckons it would be best to put up camera and censor combined with infra-red beam technology .

      We have done both and the front of our place is now bristling with electronic surveillance gear. But, who wants to spend time watching a monitor?

      Watching footage of your front door on a screen is not my idea of a riveting retirement.

      Like

  4. roughseasinthemed Says:

    How sad and frustrating and annoying. Thirty, yes thirty, years ago one of our neighbours had quite a large pot of plants stolen from outside the front door (tiny front gardens so very near the street). And last year, our Spanish neighbour had a load of plants stolen, they were attached to his railings and high up from the street. I find it mean and low to steal plants which clearly give people so much pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, our small garden is most important to us. The garden and talk with our JRT, Milo is what keeps our relationship going more than anything. Our days of doing the Lambada or rock climbing in the Pyrenees dangling from ropes are over.
      I can’t get over that someone from the street would saunter in through our common driveway, and steal cyclamen and neighbour’s Angel head. Someone is hinting that it could be an insider’s job. A pay-back for the painting disturbance I caused on our Strata Body some months back.
      But for FS, she is over eighty years old.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yvonne Says:

    It’s such a rotten thing to have done to you, and to your neighbour. I wonder if you’ll ever find out who did that.

    The reaction of your other neighbour to your notices is rather strange and reflects her view of the human race! It does reinforce the idea of a pay-back to the Oosterman family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Yvonne. We agree, but hope it is not pay back.

      It seems a strange case and we never really sorted out why the cheaper quote for the painting of the complex was met with such animosity.

      Bowral is peopled mainly from Anglo background. We have stirred the pot on a few issues and don’t take injustice or falsehood very easily.

      They are very strong on private schools and LNP and go through some lengths to support conservative values and feelings of being supreme and far above all that is foreign.

      Both sexes wear a lot of red jumpers and in summer the men wear knee socks and fair isle knitted jumpers during a chill. Even raglan is not all that rare either.

      I really would like to know what people make of this.

      Like

  6. jennypellett Says:

    That is shocking – and unsettling. I think you have every right to put up posters – what has being a single mother got to do with anything…unless she’s feeling guilty?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Jenny. She ambushed me last night and was very angry. I lowered the window of the car and she kept on shouting at me.

      It was unsettling. I asked her where in my poster did I indicate I was inviting thieves. She kept saying I was inviting them and hinted at being vulnerable because she was a single woman.

      She just kept repeating that the people that steal are just ‘idiots’ and putting up posters would invite more ‘idiots’.

      The argument did not get very far and logic was wanting. I was feeling upset though.

      Like

  7. Andrew Says:

    Put up more posters. WARNING. Deranged, unreasonable neighbours about. Stealing plants is horrible. Why not ask for a cutting?

    Like

  8. rod Says:

    Having read about where you live I would consider flitting to a place where people will leave you in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yvonne Says:

    Come to Myrtleford, lots of Continental, tolerant folks her!πŸ™‚

    Like

  10. Yvonne Says:

    My next door neighbours (I think they’re Dutch, his name is Gerard!) has nice cyclamen in the window. There’s a Jack Russell just across the court, he’s lovely! And, an ancient King Charles Cavalier next door to him. My cat likes both of them, they must be nice dogs.

    Let me know when you’re going to be in the neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Yvonne. I have just googled Myrtleford. It is not all that far from here and looks very nice. We could take Milo and book a friendly b/b. Saw a stunning large house somewhere in the neighbourhood as well, with an open fireplace in the bedroom and high timbered walls in the lounge.

    Like

  12. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I think your neighbor over reacted but she might have a valid point. I don’t think the posters will get your plants back. Thieves steal nice plants from porches in my town of about 130,000. It’s been going on for years and thus far nothing has changed.

    Replace those plants and the dishes and put all on the back patio where you can enjoy looking at the fruits of Helva’s labor. I know she has a way with plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Do you think there is a link between people that don’t return shopping trolleys to their corrals, and cyclamen thieves? I have heard of bicycle thieves, even book thieves.
      On our walk yesterday someone had wheeled a shopping trolley into the creek. The ducks were swimming around this half-submersed trolley looking a bit nonplussed.
      You know, Ivonne. On my posters I took the s out of thieves in an effort to make the thief singular. I nailed the posters up with this glaring spelling mistake. “THIEVE ALERT!”
      I re-printed them and went stapling the edited posters up again.
      Life is never dull.

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        A possible correlation between shopping cart lazies, in my opinion, does not seem likely.

        I think you can put up posters to till the cows come home and not get gain any knowledge of the missing flowers.

        Now if you add a nice reward for the return of afore mentioned plants then you might get positive results. Money talks.πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, I was thinking to do that too. But, people might be encouraged to steal and get rewarded. One neighbour has plastic plants outside. One of my deepest dislike is plastic flowers no matter how real they look.
        I suspect stealing is becoming socially acceptable but not for us.
        What I would not give to catch a thief with a cyclamen under their arm.

        Like

  13. algernon1 Says:

    Gerard, I’d blame the Labor party, After all every time I turn around I’m being told everything is Labor’s fault.

    Why would anyone want to pinch a plant!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, it is baffling. You are right, am surprised that the whole calamity of life is not blamed on the Labor Party. Our present Liberal party seems to have a vocabulary of one word when it comes to owing up to, that despite the latest election and having a one seat majority it is all the fault of , and here it comes….Labor.

      Like

    • Big M Says:

      I blame the parents, and Tony Abbott.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Some say, that stealing is normal and gives almost a sense of ‘belonging.’ It’s really the victims making a fuss who ought to knuckle down. Get with it or over it is what our neighbour seems to be saying.
        We have replaced the cyclamen and added some Kalanchoes and the front of our place is better than before. The surveillance camera whirring away peacefully..

        Like

  14. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    It’s all so miserable and the conundrum of the posters is great. Of course you should have reported it to the police. Re the posters, it depends how good your police are. If the thieves know the police will do nothing, I suppose they may return and cause trouble just because they got a response out of you. I wouldn’t have thought you lived in that kind of neighbourhood, though. You might reword the posters to ‘please return and be arrested’. I doubt they’ll be returning your lovely pots and plants. So sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The police were helpful and took down a report telling us stealing is on the increase. We thought always this is a very safe area, but…with the issues of the dodgy paint quote from Melbourne, a thousand kilometres away, and my way of saving $10.000,- getting a local contractor, there seems to be strange lingering and unresolved reactions going around. Bitter divorced women seem to be on a kind of revenge, but I have never been their husband.

      The poster does say; Please, return the stolen items.

      We are having a Body Corporate meeting this Monday at 5.30 pm. There will be about three owners attending and us. Helvi is advising me ‘to stay calm and stick to being factual.’ πŸ˜‰

      Like

  15. mirandavoice Says:

    Stealing cyclamen is almost an oxymoron … Well,It did make for an amusing and interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Miranda and welcome.

      It is a strange event and doesn’t follow normal ideas about theft and criminals. People who love cyclamen don’t steal. But the exception becomes the norm in this case.

      However, your saying it amused you reading it gives me great joy. It is a balm to the pain of losing our cyclamen. Did you know that turmeric and lime juice is a very good medicinal unguent?

      Liked by 1 person

  16. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Living on a corner where children of elementary, middle school and high school ages walk past, has taught us the ugly lesson that nothing is sacred. For several years we planted agapanthus in the parking strip, but as soon as the lovely blue buds began to open, each one was snapped off, leaving bare stalks standing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Oh, Kayti. Stripping agapanthus flower heads is a national sport here in Bowral. You are right, kids with sticks wack the flower buds. However, the cyclamen theft is a different kettle of fish. Kids don’t walk past our town-house, we live off street. They would not go through that much trouble to actually carry away the ceramics and flower pots. In any case, we have replaced the lot and more.
      My campaign with putting up posters has met mostly with support. They too have now been taken down. It is time for peace and quiet. Let the thief(ves) contemplate, feel guilty and rehabilitate themselves. ( If that is possible)

      Liked by 1 person

  17. shoreacres Says:

    Here, plant and sod theft is an on-going problem. Yes, sod theft. There were several new homes a couple of years ago that had sod put in place one day, and by the next it was gone. Teams of people, obviously with trucks and trailers, would come by, take the sod before it had rooted, and resell it elsewhere.

    In my case, it was plumeria that were taken. I lost several pots-full, also to people who had to have a trailer to take them away, given how heavy they were.

    Here’s how I dealt with it. I took the plants from their pots, carefully. I drilled a 3/4 hole or two in the bottom. I had a local welder but 90 degree bends in the ends of some 3/4″ rebar. I pushed the rebar through the pot holes, with the bent end securing the bottom of the pot. Then, I replaced the flowers.

    Anyone who tried to make off with a pot after that would, with luck, incur a hernia. I never lost another plant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Oh, how awful. Just now we received a terrible post in our letterbox telling us to sell our property. All as a result of fighting for the rights of cyclamen and other articles not to get stole.
      The notice wasn’t signed but with support of ‘all owners.’

      Like

  18. mirandavoice Says:

    I have posted this article in my Facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/MyOfficialDiary/

    Like

  19. ThePoliticalVagina Says:

    I reckon the poster ripper off-er might be a prime suspect!

    Like

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