Archive for January 2012
When our laptops were stolen, we lost quite a considerable amount of business data. The sideline business that we have for the golf-GPS, that is.
So M contacted the head of the company in Norway and told him that our two laptops had been stolen, along with the correspondance of the past 4 years.
His wording was somewhat ambiguous, however.
The email went something like this (give or take the business talk):
My wife and my laptops were stolen today Fortunately, my iPad was with me, so that didn’t get taken. And luckily the thief didn’t take my SPS3 …
He received one back shortly…
I’m so sorry to hear that. They stole your wife?
Oh, how we laughed. The Europeans must think it is going very badly in Africa. (Although I’m sure he did mean it tongue-in-cheek, but still).
But when I reread Michael’s original email aloud, we started laughing hysterically. (Remember, we were rather shell-shocked at what had happened, so it was a case of laugh or cry).
I read the first line, “My wife and my laptops were stolen.” In retrospect, it probably should have read ‘Both my wife’s laptop and my own laptop were stolen.’ This is a bit long-winded, but at least it leaves no room for confusion.
The next line, “Fortunately, my iPad was with me, so that didn’t get taken.”
Seeing as he said his wife was stolen in the first line, this pretty much means that that is okay, as long as his iPad is safe.
By the time I read the third line, we were howling with laughter, “Luckily the thief didn’t take my SPS3 “
Saturday the 16th of January was fun… up until 2pm, that is.
M & I had attended our nephew and Godson’s 6th birthday party, which was fun. We came back home briefly, to let the dogs out, as they had been in the house. Michael even paused briefly to unplug his laptop’s charging cable – an act which was to prove crucial later, while trying to piece together what had happened.
Then we went to join his parents for a quick eat-out for lunch. It took us less than an hour, and then we were back home.
Everything was as we had left it, when we let ourselves in. The dogs, who were inside the house again while we were out, were sleeping at the front door. Actually, the front security-gate, as the wooden door was left open for them.
I put my handbag down on the table, still not noticing anything amiss. Then I spotted a huge, bloated tick on Beary’s ear, and freaked out a bit. We got the tick off, and then decided to put the Frontline we had bought on the dogs there and then. I went out into our back garden to put on latex gloves and get the ampules ready to put the anti-tick stuff on the dogs.
While I was doing that, Michael (who was in the house) called to me that he couldn’t find his laptop.
I pretty much ignored this, because Michael is always misplacing something. If it’s not his car-keys, then it’s his house-keys, or his wallet, or his ID book, or something. Added to that, his laptop is often on the move, as he regularly takes it to work with him.
A minute later, he said, “My love, I’m starting to get really worried about my laptop. It’s not here.”
Distractedly, I called back, “I’ll come and help you look for it now now.”
And as we all know, ‘now now’ can mean anything from ‘in the next half hour’ to ‘sometime tomorrow’.
Basically, I wasn’t taking it seriously.
But then he added, “Yours is gone, too.”
That got my attention. I went running inside, and for the first time, it dawned on me how empty our dining-room table was looking. Normally, both our laptops are on it, but they were both gone.
I didn’t immediately think of theft – I was just mystified. It took a while for the penny to drop, and for Michael to say, tentatively, “I think we’ve been robbed.”
It was a bit much to take on board. There was no sign of forced entry – or any kind of entry, for that matter. And only the laptops were gone.
But gone they certainly were.
We had accept that we had indeed been robbed, and I phoned my brother-in-law, who is a captain in the police. He arrived at our house within minutes, as they live just down the road.
He did a thorough investigation, and when we went with him outside, to the bit of ground beside our palisade fence, he immediately spotted the small, bare footprints, leading up to the fence. He pointed out how the big toe dug into the soil, as its owner jumped up to gain purchase on the fence as he climbed over it.
Back into the house, and now we discovered that the window in the bathroom was open, as well as both windows in the spare-room. We never open the windows in the spare-room, ever, and we always keep the door closed, which was why we hadn’t immediately noticed the open windows, as the door had still been closed.
Back into the garden, where a garden-chair directly outside the window had been bumped right over, no doubt when the window had been opened from the inside.
Lying on the grass, next to tone of my rose-pots, was a dishcloth from our kitchen. I thought nothing of this, but later I realised that it was highly unlikely that the dogs had brought it outside, as they have never done that and the dishcloths are out of their reach, anyway. My brother-in-law said that scraps of cloth or old T-shirts are nearly always found at the scene of such a crime, for the removal of finger prints.
The most likely explanation that he could arrive at, was that the little thief (aided by an adult accomplice, whose footrints were also visible) squeezed in through one of the open windows in the house. He then went into the open-plan living room, and saw the laptops on the table. They are apparently high in demand on the black market. He took the laptops (as well as Michael’s laptop’s charger, which was lying on top of it) At this point, he either saw the dogs sleeping at the front door, or they became aware of him. This was when he went into the spare-room, closed the door behind him and exited out of one of the windows, bumping over the garden chair.
We reckon we would have been cleaned out if it wasn’t for the dogs! There was plenty more to steal – the tv, the SPS3, the dish decoder etc.
It is also possible that we arrived home and his accomplice warned him to get out.
We will most likely never know what happened. Only that there was someone in our house (horrible thought) and they took our laptops.
We felt very yuck about it for at least a week.
It has been a very eye-opening experience, though. The burglar proofing on our windows is, in fact, not burglar proof!!! The gaps are deceptively large. My 6 year old nephew, who is sturdily built for his age, fitted through the bars on the windows with absolute ease, three times in quick succession. An older child, or youth would have little difficulty gaining entrance simularly.
So we are going to have an extra row of bars put in each window to minimise the gap, and make it impossible for anyone, no matter how small, to get in! And we’re going to join a security company, maybe have some beams put up.
What a way to live, yet for most South Africans it is scarily normal.
Fortunately, our insurance paid out the value of our two laptops and we were able to replace them.
A lot of data has been lost, however, leaving us a bit shell-shocked. We were able to salvage some of the data from our old desk-top computer, which had some back-ups on it (actually rather more than I had initially thought, bonus!)
There is a small amount of valuable data for both of us that has been irreplacably lost
But we both agree that things could have been so much worse. We are very lucky victims indeed!
That would be when someone actually steals your laptop from your house.
When you were only gone for 55 minutes to go and grab a bite to eat.
And you feel pretty violated and aggrieved, even though you replaced said laptop after only one day, so that in your shell-shocked state you have no wish to blog. Or facebook.
All personal data vanished into thin air
It serves me right. I have said it often and I have said it loud: My laptop is my very favourite material possession.Obviously, the universe does not appreciate such blatant favouritsm. I mean, how must my other appliances feel? Like their mommy doesn’t love them? And it all goes about that blue-eyed boy, the laptop!
After the trauma following the loss of my precious laptop, I have reached a place of strange liberation. The one thing that I always dreaded losing, is gone. And I am okay. It was an inanimate object, not a living, breathing Bear-Dog (to pluck an example out of the air) or an Irreplacable Husband (to pluck another). I mention the Bear-Dog first, because the Irreplacable Husband was with me at the time of the theft, and the two Bear-Dogs were actually at the scene of the crime, where anything could have happened.
I sincerely hope (and this sentiment has rather surprised me) that whoever has my laptop now, will enjoy it as much as I did. It is unlikely that the actual thief still has it is his possession. According to my brother-in-law, a captain in the local police-force, my laptop’s data would have been wiped off within a very short time after its theft, and sold to someone in the seedier part of town. So the person who ended up buying it, while having a suspicion that it was ‘stolen goods’, probably just thought they were getting a good bargain.
Michael’s laptop was also stolen, so we have been going through all these emotions together.
We reckon it was a cheap lesson, as no-one was hurt and nothing else was stolen. (Although my engagement ring is missing, too, so that might have been taken.)
We are going to beef up our security a lot. Already our new laptops are well and truly shackled to the table that they are on. And we have a brand new 500GB portable hard drive for our back-ups.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Anyway, we are no longer in the tiny percentage of South Africans that are unaffected by crime of some sort.
But there was no violence involved, and for that I am so truly thankful!
Tune in tomorrow for the bizarre details of the break-in, as well as some humour that we were able to glean from the whole episode.
Michael and I have used Orchard’s Apple scented soap for years – it is the only one I can tolerate, with my heightened sensitivity to any artificial fragrance or perfume in a product.
Even the other Orchard soaps: Mango, Lemon, whatever-else-they-have, I can’t bear the smell on my skin, or on Michael’s for that matter. And as I do sleep next to the man, that becomes quite problematic
The other day I bought myself a Dove moisturising bar, and Michael asked me pointedly why I don’t just take the R10 it cost and flush it straight down the toilet. How well he knows me! He was right, too. I wasn’t keen on the smell of Dove.
But for some reason, I’m okay with Orchard Apple, so that’s what we use. We buy those big bars in large quantities.
But for the last couple of months, they have disappeared off the shelves. I check every time I go to the hypermarket, but there is just a big, empty space where they should be.
I’ve heard that sometimes when they take a product off the shelves, it is because they are bringing out new packaging. I’m holding thumbs that this is the reason.
In the meantime, we’ve been using the fragrance-free glycerine soap that I use to wash my face. Only, it doesn’t last very long and it ain’t that cheap.
So, the other day I was in Health Pharm, looking for my usual brand of fragrance free. They were out of stock, so I eventually bought two fragranced glycerine soaps. Fancy ones Blueberry Burst (blue) and Wild Cherry (pink). They smelt okay to me through the packaging, but sometimes that is misleading, as once wet, the soap’s fragrance can erupt. And leave me gasping for breath.
Got home, and tried out the soap to wash my hands, and BOY was I pleasantly surprised. The smell is delicate and delicious and doesn’t bother me at all. And it smells even better on Michael, after his shower, lol.
I am in love with this soap. It is so soft on one’s skin, and the fragrance is so subtle and delightful, not cloying like some brands.
Now, I can’t quite figure out if it’s just that they used a very natural, non-chemical fragrance in the brand, or if it’s the glycerine that acts as a buffer between your skin and whatever chemicals were used. I’m thinking the former.
Whatever – I just hope they don’t EVER stop making it.
Top left is Wild Cherry, Top right is Mint, which I have yet to try but I’m sure will be divine, bottom left is the unfragranced one I use (I think the brand is called Pure) and bottom right is what is left of the Blueberry Burst. The brand name of the nice-smelling ones is Jenam,
By the way, I did not get paid to plug this product, even though it might sound like it, lol.
I just feel so pampered after I’ve bathed. And I am enjoying the nice smell. I’m so used to either smelling like Orchard’s Apple, or nothing at all.
I figured I had better start blogging again tonight.
I plan these marathon blog-posts in my head during the day, but then it starts getting late and I think, “Well, I definitely don’t have time to do that involved and lengthy post, and upload all the photo’s for it, etc”.
And instead of doing a quick post, maybe with a little tidbit from my day, I just don’t do it at all.
I need to get over this procrastinating habit so that I can become a regular and consistent blogger once again.
Anyway, with that out of the way, let me do a quick recap of my birthday.
Now, my birthday is on the 4th of January, and as it is so close to New Year’s, I never feel that the year has truly started until my birthday. Ha ha.
I just turned 32. How did that even happen? Not a bad age though. I feel like it will be a good one. It is already showing promise, with the new job looming, etc.
My birthday was a LOT of fun.
Michael takes a day off work every year to spend it with me and be my love-slave for the day. It’s great, my every wish is his command.
This year though, he was acting kinda grumpy after the new year, so I told him he didn’t have to take off for my b-day.
He said, “Of course I will take off. We have spent our birthdays together our whole married life.” (Nearly 11 years, btw)
It is true. We aren’t big on Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, but we take birthdays serious!
Anyway, I told him, “You misunderstand, I don’t want you to take off work if you are going to be grumpy and ruin my birthday. I’d rather spend it alone.”
He told me I was being facetious and took off work anyway. And I’m SO GLAD he did.
Once again, Michael danced attendance on me and made my special day an occasion to remember.
It has been said about me that I am a bit of a Birthday Monster. Hehehe.
And this is going to sound terrible, but we actually stayed up till midnight and saw my birthday in!
(It wasn’t really intentional, it just worked out that way, but it did thrill me to have Michael hug and kiss me as the clock announced my day of birth. Especially seeing as we didn’t even see the new year in, lol)
Then we slept for seven hours, got up and lazed around for a while, watching tv and chillaxing.
Then a bit of light shopping, which included me buying face-cream at the Clicks Pharmacy, only to return it twenty minutes later because I didn’t like the smell of it. *story of my life!* Michael was charmingly patient at this extreme provocation, lol.
For lunch, we went to the best (in my opinion) restaurant in town, where I ordered this…
Best pizza ever: Camembert, with steak strips and a cranberry sauce. Very yum. Also, a creme brule milkshake which was revolting. They must have put almond essence into it, because it tasted like marzipan and I absolutely can’t stand marzipan. It still didn’t detract one bit from the pizza; it was that good.
Feeling very convivial after that, we proceeded to my dear parents-in-law’s house, armed with a lemon meringue pie for dessert. That was good, too.
For the afternoon, we went to my parent’s house, where there was a little party waiting for me. My sister Anne, and her little Sarah-Kate, my sister Sonja, her hub and their Christopher and Cayleigh and my parents were all there. More cake was had, and my dad braaied some delicious wors rolls.
After which we had a swim in their pool. This was lovely, as the water temp was around 30 degrees celcius. Michael and I had a ball, with the kids hanging off us and splashing us and my mascara was running all over the place… Good times
Back home to watch some good Wednesday night tv and snuggle, and proclaim it the best birthday ever!
My birthday batteries have now been recharged until next year, when the birthday monster will emerge once more to be appeased.
Am I the only one, or do you guys also demand special treatment on birthdays?
(And I don’t believe in waiting to see if anyone remembers the date. I advertise well in advance, lol)
Strangely enough, I have only two photo’s taken on my birthday. One is the above pizza, and the other is this little present from my rose garden to me…
Happy 2012, everyone!
I think it is going to be such a great year
The whole day, I have been going around saying as much.
When we narrowly avoided being crashed into by a police-car speeding through a red robot, I said to Michael, “That was the first miracle of 2012. We’re alive.”
I made remarks like, “Look at that beautiful 2012 cloud!” and “Look at these lovely 2012 roses.”
Much eye-rolling from Michael, lol.
Very tongue-in-cheek from me, but I honestly am very excited by the new year.
There is just so much potential. The sky is the limit, and every one of us can make some of our dreams come true this year! It is possible.
I am making resolutions by the bus-load, and having a fabulous time doing it, lol. I’m sure I’ll calm down sometime next week, but for now I am loving it.