Well, I’m sorry my dear that I haven’t had a minute to speak with you this week. Yes, I know I’ll be seeing you, Chrissie and the girls tomorrow, but I thought I’d just let you know what has been happening here. I know that when I see you and the family in the morning the children will be running round and giggling and we won’t really have much of a chance to have a proper conversation.
I have been quite busy with one thing and another during these past few days. Georgie has popped in for a coffee and I’ve been to her flat for a cup of tea and a wee chat. I’ve also had visits from Teddy and Giselle this week, so you can tell I’ve not exactly been on my own.
The main news story here concerns the squatters who have now been evicted from the two apartments down the corridor. I believe there were a total of fifteen people who were “living” in the two apartments next to Mrs. M’s home although how you could squeeze that number of folk into such tiny spaces – it must have been like sardines!!
I had a phone call from Teddy to advise me that the police would be maintaining a heavy presence outside the building to ensure that other groups of squatters who are living in the area didn’t try to interfere with the bailiffs while they were making sure that they removed the unwanted guests from here and folk didn’t sneak in and up the staircase at this end of the building.
I decided to lock myself in my wee flat and just keep an eye on proceedings through my window. I was able to see several police cars, large vans which I assume the bailiffs arrived in, and quite a large group of folk around the outside of the building. The locksmith also arrived in his own van
I hadn’t realised that bailiffs, when they need to evict people, normally arrive very early in the morning, to try to catch folk when they are still asleep or have just woken up. From that point of view although a good idea and I can see the reasoning behind it. Unfortunately in a building with elderly residents, that tactic won’t work. Bailiffs can’t arrive here at 5.30 am and start banging around encouraging the squatters to “get themselves up, dressed and to gather their belongings”. Although I’m sure that they would have preferred to operate in their usual manner they had to consider the large number of elderly residents who could be upset if it became too rowdy.
The other thing to remember was that the police wanted to arrest a couple of the squatters before they left the building and had an opportunity to disappear in the crowd.
No, things needed to happen in an orderly fashion. Apparently it was decided that the bailiffs would set up their barricades at the bottom of the stairs and they would also block the lift from the ground floor. A couple of the bailiffs also went to the area on the first floor near to the lift as they didn’t want any squatters disappearing from that exit.
When it came down to it, everything went according to plan. Teddy told me that the locksmith who was very efficient, quickly unlocked the front doors of the two apartments. He also put new locks on the doors before he left. Several bailiffs cleared the mountain of furniture which the squatters had pushed into the hallways to act as barricades. Once the hall was clear a couple of police officers went inside each flat. Bailiffs stood around in the corridor outside the flats and waited for the police officers to arrest the two characters they wanted in connection with several crimes in the area.
It took a total of just over three hours before the squatters and their possessions were removed from the two apartments. According to Teddy they left the two flats in a dreadful state. Why would anyone want to ruin the shower, pull the doors off the kitchen cupboards and use spray paint on every wall? I can’t understand it at all, but I’m not going to worry about it as I won’t be involved in cleaning them up!
I understand that all the squatters, when they left the building were told by police officers that if they tried to return here, they would be arrested immediately, so that it was in their own interests to move well away from the area.
Apparently, the police have now finished with Mrs. M’s apartment, and they have had professional cleaners in to return it to its previous condition. You may remember that Mrs. M had decided that she wants it decorated in the spring. We had already had a conversation about it some time ago, so that will go ahead as planned. I believe that Mrs. M will be staying in Edinburgh until after the New Year and then will be coming back here. It will be good to see her – I’ve missed having her around. Although we’ve had a few phone conversations it isn’t the same as having a proper natter!
Let me just tell you what I’ve been doing this week. Yes, I’ve had a few visitors, but I’ve mainly been writing Christmas cards and wrapping a few small gifts that I’ve bought for friends. As you are already aware, I’m rather busy this coming week, so decided that I need to get these things done so I wouldn’t be worrying about them. It’s not good when you know you have some jobs to do, and keep putting them off – just waiting for a better time to do them.
I’ve begun to receive a few Christmas cards, which is really nice and over the weekend I’ll start to hang them up on my living room walls. It’s much easier to do that, as if they are left on surfaces it is all too easy to knock one card, which then creates a domino effect and the next few fall to the floor.
I’m not having a real Christmas tree this year. Although I like them, I really haven’t the room for one, and the pine needles, once they start dropping really annoys me, so it isn’t worth it. I have a few small decorations which are sufficient, and don’t take up too much space. They will also be easy to pack away after twelfth night and stored until next Christmas.
I’m going to go and decide what to have for lunch, but I will see you tomorrow and we’ll have a little chat over lunch at your new home. As Always –
With Love – Jan xx