This is the last of the how did I end up back in North Yorkshire blogs......
I guess that I really have Nelson to thank for finally making up my mind (that and the bitch that fucked off with all the money from the Residents Management Trust - believe me you may be gone but you aren't forgotten. I've got a little 100 grain present for you if you ever show your face again).
Nelson lived at the end of our Mews. You didn't see much of Nelson, but he was a bit of a local legend. He kept pretty much opposite hours to me, so I didn't see him very much, but the little I did see, I liked. Nelson was generally considered by the great and the good of the Mews, to be the local low-life. A ner-do-well, who had managed somehow to infiltrate our little community. Nelson was a well-spring of rumour amongst those who didn't know him; he was variously a bouncer, a gangland enforcer, a heavy, a........naughty boy. His appearance didn't help; about 6, 4, built like the proverbial, black as the ace of spades, shaved head and a few tats.
Indeed, it turned out that Nelson was a very bad boy........ We had gone away, departed from London for Christmas just like everyone else in the Mews. Thirteen town houses stuffed to the gills with stuff! Stuff that robbers like. Two of the local crims had driven a large van in to the Mews and started to systematically break into every house one by one. Their big mistake was not starting with my house which was first in the Mews. These idiots decided to start at the bottom, with the only house that was occupied. Occupied by Nelson!
We arrived back a couple of days after Christmas on the very day that burglar boys were breaking and entering. You know what it's like travelling with young kids, a redefinition of stress. So decamping out of the car and back into the house was a military operation. Unpacking the car was interrupted by a sight that I'd really didn't believe I was seeing. Nelson was running up the Mews in his boxer shorts! Nelson was a big guy and running wasn't really part of his vernacular, so the fact he was running was strange enough. Even stranger was the fact that Nelson was running at me with a bloody great pistol in his hand. Sweaty and panting he reaches the car and blurts out "Rich have you seen a spade running past? I caught two of them trying to break in. I've shot one but I missed the other bastard!" At this point said spade who has been hiding in the bushes makes a run for it. Nelson takes aim. BOOM! If you have never experienced a Glock going off at close quarters I thoroughly don't recommend it. Nelson misses, but bloody great flakes of brick fly off the wall behind the guys head. Fuck me, not only is he shooting at them, he's shooting to kill them! The last thing I see before deciding that indoors is a good idea is Nelson in his boxers stood in the middle of Victoria Park Road letting off rounds at the poor sod who chose the wrong end of the street!
I appear to have been transported onto the set of Lock Stock. Eastenders with guns – a cliché in so many ways. Except this was real.
Two months later we had sold up and moved back to Yorkshire. Ironically, my kids have more access here to guns than they ever would have had in London – except I try not to fire them off in my boxers.