The Christmas Burglar by Rhianon

[advert:mpu] You're quite right, Sinead - accepting all offers of help has made things a lot easier. I've had one lovely friend round after another to mow the lawn, change some lightbulbs, put the bins out. One friend even gives up every Thursday evening to babysit whilst I do squats on a ball at Adam's pilates class. And mum takes the train up every Wednesday to bleach the floors, as it seems the only defence against the invasion of mice (one pooed in our kettle. Inside it. Really. We'd definitely drunk from it. Don' t think about it.) is keeping the place smelling like a swimming pool.

Good thing dp* was around on Monday night though to Defend the Homestead. There he was, making a spot of dinner, when he saw a guy jumping over the fences of our back garden. No sooner had he got through to the police on the phone, when I noticed what I thought must be a policeman with a torch peeping over our back fence.

Thinking I could tell him which way the guy went, I popped my head out of the back door... but didn't get a word out before he shouted, "GET BACK IN THE HOUSE, LOCK THE DOOR AND CLOSE THE CURTAINS!"

We've lived in rougher parts of London, and I'm only guessing it was a burglar because that's what our suburban area is known for (apart from the occasional wild cat). But there's something about it happening literally in your back yard which makes it all a bit more... scary.

Ds* got caught up in all the action, too, especially when the (HUGE) policedog caught the guy hiding under our shed.

I felt a bit sorry for him as they brought him through our neighbours house... I know, it's better than The Bill, eh? And on at the same time.

Only now ds doesn't really like being on his own with me in the house. Dp's gone back to Germany, and ds is really jumpy - every noise has to be explained and we have to check the doors and windows are locked every night before bed. It's all having a bit of an effect on me too, though I've never felt unnerved on my own at night before. I've tried taking ds out for little night time walks, taking in huge amount of Christmas lights that everyone's put up on our streets, to make it less frightening - hasn't helped yet... Thanks, Mr Christmas Burglar!

So who's found this podcast with Marguerite Patten giving the perfect Christmas pudding recipe? Read about it this morning, but can't seem to find it out there...

*Ds refers to 'dear son' and Dp is 'dear partner'

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