Posted by: kathandroger | October 7, 2018

The Great Escape.

We have a lovely sometimes neighbour who spends several weeks every year in her holiday cottage adjacent to our house. She makes the long journey from her home in Northumberland with her little spaniel dog, and camps overnight half way in her tent. We are always pleased to see her and to learn of the meteorological difficulties in the North of England. She is welcome to use some of the vegetables from our garden, and the dogs frequently play together. Pam kindly offered to look after our house whilst we were away in Germany, and had a set of house keys. One of her duties was to check that the automatic cat feeder in the scullery (I haven’t used that word for many years-the wash house out the back), was working. Now this room adjoins the garage for my old car and the car trailer, and the door into it is large, heavy, and prone to shut on itself. Poor Pam was in the garage doing her checking, and the heavy door, which is self locking, closed behind her. Trapped. Floyd the dog was with her, but unable to offer advice. This was early evening, and the outside doors were locked securely.IMG_4071 After several minutes of pondering, and several screaming pleas for help to the non existent neighbours, the situation seemed helpless. Now Pam is a contentedly mature lady, very fit, but upon whom the ravages of time have wreaked the inevitable lowering of our centre of gravity. Her gymnastic abilities, like mine, have long been lost. What to do? Night was fast descending, the space above the beam over the door was small and seemingly unreachable, nobody could hear her screams, and the dog was of no help. My trailer had been thoroughly swept out before we left, and there were some old rugs on the floor, so that became the bed for the night. Sleep was interrupted by cold and discomfort, but it only served to engender the determination to escape. The cat coming into the scullery behind the locked door did not help. His pathetic mewing was only interpreted as a laugh of derision, and his eating his dispensed food only illuminated Pams’ lack of sustenance. She did have some onions and a tray of apples, but it was poor compensation.
Come the first rays of daylight, and a plan was made. An old rope was found in the trailer, and a rough ladder made with girl guide learnt knots from all those years ago. After several attempts it was slung over the beam above the doors, and secured. The ascent was apparently not graceful, and not immediately successful, but the will to overcome the incarceration was enough to heave a determined feminine form over the obstacle and there was then only a gentle drop to freedom. The dog was then released from within the house. Well done Pam, and thank you for looking after our house. I am not sure we will have the courage to ask again!

But back to the garden. The squash have been harvested, dried on the mobile drier (the bloody wheels fell off again!), and stored in the empty gite. They should see us through the winter.IMG_4067
And the tomatoes are still going strong. They seem to grow anywhere here, and a few weeks ago we spotted a pear shaped variety growing spontaneously into a large rambling rose on the front of the house. It has not been watered at all during this long dry spell, but seems to be thriving and is about three metres tall now!IMG_4068 What a wonder is nature.


  1. I grow a variety ‘Yellow pear’. I leave it to ramble and regardless of conditions it produces masses of little tomatoes. They make great soup – its yellow too. I expect there will be a new growth spurt after today’s rain. Helen in France

    • We always seem to get wonderful tomatoes here in France. In Dorset, even in a walled garden, they were rubbish! Abig juicy French tomato has got to be one of the greatest gastronomic treats!

  2. Blimey! What an adventure and what a redoubtable neighbour you have.

    • If you were to meet Pam you would realise what a feat it was! Hope the training is going well.

  3. Good grief, what a terrifying experience. Your friend showed great presence of mind to organise her escape – not that she had much option.
    I just goes to show how easy it is to get into serious trouble without really trying too hard.

    • I didn’t say in the blog, but she was the second person to be trapped in the garage. A year ago our friend and local farmer Alain was similarly trapped with his wife! He is also rotund and mature, but climbed out with instructions from his good lady!

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