Today didn't quite turn out the way it had been planned! I was finishing a set of drawings this morning and Heather was coming over for an hour or so for a spot of lunch and a catch up before I carried on with more work.
The day started okay... I finished the set of designs I'd started the night before and Heather arrived. We were just having a chat when Heather noticed a police car go by - quite an unusual event here, unlike when I lived in Manchester! I went to the window and saw a second car with a police officer just getting out of it. One began ringing the doorbells of the houses opposite, though most of my neighbours were out. We were getting quite curious as we could hear sirens in the distance too.
One neighbour returned home in her car at that moment and, on seeing the police, she beckoned to me to ask what was going on. So, we went out to ask the lady police officer and were told that there was a suspicious package on the nearby industrial estate (which used to be an unspoilt meadowland, but that's another story) and that they were taking it extremely seriously. We were then informed that we all had to evacuate the area - they were trying to get a "place of safety" for everyone, but meanwhile we should go away from the area and ring 101 for more details later.
Heather suggested we go into the village, so we did a quick switch off in the house, I grabbed my jacket and off we went. It was strange to see all the neighbours driving off in a convoy or scurrying up the road with dogs in tow. Poor Thomas and Tara just had to stay home of course!
We certainly didn't feel as if there was any real threat as it's a quiet village and not the sort of place you'd expect to be targeted by anyone - but you never know these days of course. Poor Heather didn't even have a coat with her as we hadn't intended to be going out and it was pretty cold. We ended up having lunch in one of the local cafes and wondering how long it would be before I could go back home.
I needed to buy a card ...oops, should I confess that here?! Well, I don't always have time to make them to actually send! We still didn't know what was going on until word went round the shops that the emergency was over and that it was safe to return.
It seems that someone had taken their car to a garage on the industrial estate and when the boot had been opened they found a "bomb" in there. It transpired that the car owner had been to a "bad taste" fancy dress party and had forgotten about the "bomb" in the boot. So, not only were all the nearby residents evacuated, the workers on the industrial estate sent home, police and bomb squad called out but the trains were also cancelled as the line goes past the end of the lane.
Still, it's reassuring to know that they take our safety so seriously, even if it did feel more like being back in Manchester today and I lost several hours of work time this afternoon. The police were back again this evening, but this time they were just pushing a letter through each door to explain what had happened and to reassure everyone that everything was back to normal. Good service!
Well, I watched Strictly Come Dancing tonight, something I've hardly done for a good few years. We watched the first two series but David got fed up with the public voting for favourite celebs rather than good dancers, so we didn't follow the later ones. I have caught the odd programme when I've been working away from home, but that's about it really. By the way, it's not that Strictly was "banned", but we liked to watch programmes that we both enjoyed so we had give and take...David watched all "his" programmes while I was away too. Anyway, I quite enjoyed Strictly tonight, though I'm certainly no judge of good dancing, never noticing things like hands, rise and fall (whatever that is) etc. Still, I hoped I might pick up some tips for the Harvest Supper barn dance tomorrow night! I don't expect I'll be doing much, if any, dancing, but I'll let you know.
Sunday is Harvest Festival and Heather and I were recalling when we were little that we used to walk from school to the Church for the service carrying baskets filled with fruit and other goodies. Nowadays, needless to say, it's changed and the donations have to be tinned or dry food and toiletries. Not quite so visually delightful, but the end result is still as worthwhile of course. So, I've got my carrier bag (!) filled with soups, cereals and tinned fruit ready for Sunday and I'm sure it will be a lovely service.
So, that's been the different sort of day here and what I've got planned for the weekend. Hope you had a better day and have something good planned for yours. Take care everyone.