Allotment

She Shed Burglary

My poor little she shed was broken into last week and burgled. It was a bit of an odd crime as our allotments are pretty secure. They’re fully fenced, surrounded by residential property and you have to get through two locked gates to enter. At first it was assumed that it was kids climbing the fence as what was mostly missing was food and bits and bobs. But slowly it emerged that more and more stuff had been taken. Some just far too heavy to have been removed from site by any other means than walking it out the gates. The sad conclusion is that it must have been an inside job. The police have been much more helpful than I had anticipated but equally completely powerless. I can’t really go into the ins and outs of it here (unfounded accusations help nobody) but I’m feeling rather bitter about the whole thing. It’s all been very distressing and my trust in my fellow plotholders has been completely eroded. I’m trying not to let the affair ruin any of the pleasure I have found down the plot but I’m afraid it has rather dulled the sparkle.

My allotment has always been my sanctuary, the place I go where the bad parts of life can’t touch me but this weekend I found myself looking at everyone with suspicion, ‘Was it you?’ and talking to people the response has mostly been ‘Well, that’s what you get. It’s why I don’t keep anything down here’ as if by having a pretty shed with a bit of bunting and some nice cups in I’ve asked for it. (Never mind that the cups were 69p from Home Bargains.) So I’ve been railing against the injustices of the world a bit and generally throwing a strop. I want it fixed, I want my stuff back and I want the perpetrator punished. But I can’t have any of that and I really don’t want to let this bitterness fester within me. I’ve always considered myself to be a liberal minded individual but in my reactions over the week I’ve started to feel small minded and judgemental. So I’m left struggling with forgiveness. I can’t carry the weight of this hatred but equally I can’t bring myself to let it go just yet. What I don’t want to happen is for me to start avoiding going down there so I can avoid dealing with people who make me uncomfortable and I also have to acknowledge that it may not be the person who has been suggested. Without evidence it is impossible to say so there’s no way for me to attain any kind of closure. All in all it has been a crappy week and my emotional turmoil seems to be something I’ll just have to work through bit by bit but in the meantime I have an allotment that needs tending if I’m to achieve my goals there this year and I can’t afford to be scared off by what I can only hope was an isolated incident. And that’s about as hopeful a note as I can end this post on I’m afraid. 

The empty biscuit tin!
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6 thoughts on “She Shed Burglary

  1. So sorry to hear this Anna. We had a spell of break ins and general damage done for a few years running. When I put my shed in, I was advised not to put a lock on the door, which sounded counter intuitive to me, but they were right. A lock means there may be something worthwhile having inside, so while I know that somebody has been inside my shed on the odd occasion, nothing has been taken (something to be said for a messy shed, they’d have a job to find anything in there!). I do keep some old tools in there, but they’re tied up with a bike lock attached to the inside of the shed, and the windows are plastic, so they can’t smash them. It’s really sad, but I think no matter how secure the site is, this is a reality for all allotment holders. I understand your mistrust, I did have a tin of seeds taken once, which only another plot holder would have been interested in, and I always wonder who took it. I hope you can get the shed fixed and move on from it, don’t let it get you down!

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    1. I think I’m finding it difficult because in any other situation I passionately argue against such logic. It’s the “well, if you will dress like that you’re asking for it” argument! And again the idea that as an allotment holder you should simply expect to be broken into and have stuff stolen normalises the behaviour and basically makes it acceptable. “It’s not a real crime, it’s just an allotment.” I feel that if I allow the argument to ride in this area of my life I can’t then choose to advocate otherwise when it comes to other issues. Which a lot of people will see as me overthinking it but if I hold myself to certain standards and beliefs I don’t feel ok just accepting these arguments when encountered in a different context. So yeah, I’m struggling!

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      1. I hear you, and I’m with you completely! Any crime feels horrible because it damages your trust in people. Us allotment holders certainly shouldn’t accept it as the norm, but it also shouldn’t stop us from keeping plots and sheds, and making them pretty. All you can do is fix and carry on … and consider a hidden camera? Maybe not, be good to catch the blighters though!

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      2. Hidden camera already installed and a personal attack alarm hooked up to the door! I’m also planning a party popper glitter bomb. Small measures but they give me reassurance that should it happen to me again I’ll have the proof I need!

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  2. So sorry to see the damage to your shed. The first time my shed was broken into really devastated me. I like your spirit though – I responded with help from Mr Plot with reinforced door braces and bigger padlocks. I’m grinning at the idea of glitter bombs, let’s hope the perpetrator doesn’t have a beard!!

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