The police, all geared with revolver, baton, capsicum spray…

The sun is out.

The sun is out.

The plot thickens. The police turned up as promised after we attended the local Police Station. The Déjà vu feelings accompanying our second reportage of our stolen pot plants did not escape Helvi or me. Visiting Police Stations again? Is this now becoming a ritual in our retirement? The policewoman behind the counter remembered us well. To have potted plants stolen twice within a few weeks was a bit out of the usual, she admitted. How did you go with the sensor lights? ‘Well they worked but did not deter anyone,’ The thief must have got well lit, we answered. She nodded and asked which plants got stolen and the value. ‘Cyclamen, the same as last time but not in ceramic pots.’ ‘They were housed in those white plastic mixing bowls.’ Now I know what happened to my bowl I used for pan-cake mixing, I added. This anecdote to pancakes made the policewoman smile. Perhaps she too understands pancake making and grandkids. It showed a rarely seen but warm human side to the police force. The total value would have been around $ 50.- or so, we said. They had flowered so beautifully since the last theft of the previous cyclamens. They too were stolen at the peak of their lives.

‘It’s really the threatening letter left in our letterbox more than the stolen plants which we take more seriously.’ And with a flourish I showed her the note that asked us to ‘stop bullying or sell up,’ signed by ‘owners.’ ‘This was left in our letterbox,’ we added for good measure, and emphasized the threat to our wellbeing in urging us to sell up and move. ‘At our age, we don’t easily move as when we were young,’ we demurred. We pointed out the second plant stealing must be connected. The reason for this bullying was complex. They always are of a human nature unable to give and take. I gave the policewoman some short snippets of how I fared for about twenty minutes as secretary of our Shared Housing Complex, the Body Corporate, after refusing to engage perfectly good neighbours in guerrilla warfare about parking cars.

I assume that my refusal to engage in neighbourly fights must have been the catalyst in this bullying letter-box note and subsequent plant thefts, I added, with some earlier practise in using the word ‘catalyst.’. Getting-on with neighbours is clearly not in the world that our chairperson resides. ‘So much time on hands, yet so little time left to sow seeds of misery, unhinge others,’ I told the policewoman. I thought it prudent to add a little earthly philosophy now, encouraged by her recognition to the earlier pancake bowl reference. ‘The main suspect is 84, and probably on her final few years.’ She is on borrowed time. What drives this woman to do this?

We could tell that the policewoman now wanted to wrap this up. We felt, that the essence of our concerns of the bullying, was understood. ‘We will make a report and the police will visit you in the next hour or so.’ After that we thanked the nice police woman and hurried to get some shopping done. I needed to buy some aspirin which I take on a daily basis. The taking of aspirin and a wine or beer are my only drug habits. I resist seeing doctors, and so far so good.

We drove home and once again looked at the little table outside now looking forlorn and empty of the cyclamen. We went inside and fiddled around a bit waiting for the policeman’s arrival. We were not disappointed. He arrived fully decked out as if on an Isis terrorist mission. Gun in holster, baton at the ready, canisters of what we assumed to be deadly sprays, incapacitating even the most hardened psychological disturbed maniac.

He made a report and told us he would go and question the 84 year old neighbour woman, the main suspect of the bullying note and organiser of the continuing theft of our loved cyclamen plants. The report has a number for future reference.

I will keep you, dear readers, informed.

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24 Responses to “The police, all geared with revolver, baton, capsicum spray…”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    This is so nasty and unsettling, Gerard. I feel so sad for you and your lovely Helvi. (And Milo, but he probably doesn’t worry much!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patti Fogarty Says:


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Julia Lund Says:

    What a horrid time you’re having. I hope you find resolution soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lifecameos Says:

    This is really nasty. I do hope some way can be found to stop her bad behaviour..


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I went back to the history of this Cyclamen stealing and can see it relates to the issue of parking cars and changing the common-held property.
      Car parking issues can stir up hornets nests of anger and revenge. In our compound some owners hold Sunday readings of Strata managed by-laws.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. jennypellett Says:

    What a horrible situation- I hadn’t realised that you’d had a second set of cyclamen stolen. Is this woman mentally stable? I do hope the police will be able to put a halt to this petty behaviour. But as you say, you have to look on the bright side. Hopefully she’ll fall over and break an ankle while watering her ill-gotten horticulture 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, we shall see. The police is now investigating but I doubt evidence or proof will be found. The tenants that are renting are ranked and seen below those that own. We don’t follow that snobbishness and perhaps together with some political issues might have rankled the perpetrator, hence the bullying. Don’t underestimate the Geriatrics when it comes to venting discord. They will do anything and have so much time on their hands.
      We will see.


  6. shoreacres Says:

    I can’t help but wonder if dementia might be playing a role (in the woman’s case, not yours!) If she is obsessing over your plant for some reason, it might not be sheer meanness, but something else. I’ve witnessed some remarkable behaviors by people whose impulse control was eroding under the onslaught of dementia. Some examples that come to mind were equally irritating and amusing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that is true and fanaticism or total incomprehensible behaviours are linked to dementia. However, she still drives with a restrictive license and disability sticker. She has had accidents in her car over the last few weeks. A big disappointment has been that she was recently sacked from her volunteering job raising funds for a private local hospice.
      However, the bullying and plant stealing we feel are linked to us defending the equal rights of those families that are renting on par to those that are owning their houses. Car parking is really big.
      Bowral is very conservative with strongly held 1916 era British values. Some still talk about Princess Diana and go on about Prince Phillip. Of course I don’t think Cyclamen stealing is linked to Royal families but our ‘Bernie Sanders’ like held values could well upset the local matron.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    It sounds more and more like a soap opera, Gerard. Pretty soon you will be able to write it up as a TV script and sell it. So sorry it is happening though. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    I think it is that English woman with the bad attitude. She is definitely trying to annoy you further by stealing your plants. Do you see any sign of them in another garden? You could steal them back. I can see a new story for you to write. Perhaps handwriting experts to see if she is the culprit. It could turn into all out war in the suburbs.

    We jest about it, but I know how annoying it must be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We have replanted the cyclamen with fuchsias. I am also leaving the light on at night and thinking of using a fox trap. I am not sure if that is allowed. I am also considering an electric fence, but again; on a suburban estate?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. petspeopleandlife Says:

    If the culprit is an eighty four year old woman she surely has time and stamina on her hands. Too bad you can’t put out a trip wire on your property that would cause the old bag to fall but she’s probably break leg and then sue you. That’s how it goes over here. Thieves can sue a home owner if they get hurt. How crazy is that?

    Gerard, for Pete’s sake stop putting out the irresistible flowers that help her convey her hatred for you. The old bag needs to get a life as we say over here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. gerard oosterman Says:

    We have replaced the cyclamen with Fuchsias and planted them in heavy terracotta pots. The pots are also cemented to very large and heavy tiles using industrial strength ‘liquid nails.’
    It is extreme. I also plan to buy a steel fox trap. I am investigating the legality of doing that. I know that they are extremely strong steel sprung traps that just about takes the leg off any animal that gets trapped.
    I don’t really want to span an oiled steel wire across the public drive-way. I do fantasize of peremptory action involving a threshing with a nice whippy branch of willow or birch tree.
    Do you think that would do the trick?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Yes the willow branch would do the job. But you’d probably get sued if a human or even someone’s pet got caught in the trap which would possibly kill or maim it for life. I say put up an electrical fence and they’d get shocked a bit but not too much. No. I was kidding about the trip wire- it’s too dangerous.

    Don’t think anyone can pick up those pots now. I think or hope you have deterred the thief.


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