I have a problem with poker. I think it’s quite boring and I find playing with real money distressing on a level I can’t explain. I know how to play it, but unfortunately I find it very difficult to give a toss whether someone is bluffing or not. I just want to know and if they’re not going to tell me, I’m not interested.

So I was playing poker in a friend’s kitchen in Brixton. I wasn’t bothered about actually playing properly since I am still learning, and I suppose I didn’t do that badly since I lost less money than anyone else. After a million years, the game finished. I went into the living room, which seemed a lot *emptier* than before. The two big ground floor bay windows were open, as were the curtains.

My friends’ playstation, games, two laptops and *my bag* had been nicked. *My bag* had been nicked, containing my nice Radley wallet, cards, a *blank cheque*, phone, my house keys and my driving licence with *my address* on it. Froth. I cancelled everything immediately, including the cheque. The phone isn’t really worth much – it’s four years old and I don’t think anyone will desperately want it because it works well and doesn’t make irritiating tinkly noises or take grainy photographs. The thing I find most irritating is that nothing in the bag was worth much apart from the wallet and the bag itself. It’s unlikely the crims will know this, and the bag will probably get dumped somewhere.

I must be a bit strange, because despite the inconvenience of having to claim on the insurance and have the locks changed in the house, I don’t want to shoot the burglars in the back and let them bleed to death as they call for their mothers. There must be something wrong with me.

After this experience, we went home. We got on the Thameslink, and overheard the driver talking to a colleague. He said “I’ll get home five minutes after my shift ends.”

The next thing we heard was an announcement that this train wouldn’t now stop at our station and two others. Fantastic! We got off at Hendon, and found the next train wasn’t for another hour and a half. It was ten past midnight. There was no taxi rank and no night buses. We had to walk home, which took an hour.

I was more aerated about this than the theft. I had no phone, no money and no keys. If I had been alone, I would have had to have walked home, alone, on a clement evening through deserted parkland in an area where police have strongly suggested that women should not walk alone due to the regular attacks. I was under the impression that a train driver operates a public service, and I’m staggered at the selfishness of someone that can make at least 25-30 people walk home in the middle of the night just so he can get home bang on time. Had I been alone, I would have counted on the train to get me home safely – clearly this would have been a mistake.


Mr Burglar, if you’re reading this, I’d really like my bag and purse back, and the phone if you can’t sell it on. I’d like to have my Goldsmith’s application back too. Oh, and I’m quite fond of the umbrella. I’m sorry I didn’t have any big wodges of dosh in my purse, but I’m sure you can understand why I don’t carry a lot of cash with me. Go on, guess.

If you were thinking of using the address on my licence and hanging around to try and use the house key to get in and nick more suff, you’re welcome to try but (a) you’d stand out like a sore thumb in this suburban cul-de-sac with extremely nosey neighbours, and (b) I had the locks changed this morning.

PS: that credit card in the side pocket that you think I’ve forgotten about? I haven’t. Please try using it in a shop today and see what happens. I hope you bought yourself something nice with the proceeds from the playstation and laptops, and didn’t just squander it on crack.

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