It hasn't been a happy year for my scooter so far. Not content with a visit from the RAC and subsequent trip to the garage, she managed to get stolen on New Years Day. A good kicking and abandonment in a carpark followed before she was rescued and yet again limped home worse for wear. Now sadly skinned at the front and sans her useful right-hand mirror, she is bravely showing off the resilience of Italian engineering and ran quite happily to the station this morning despite her exposed breast.
As a consequence of this, I had new encounters with my neighbours, whose pluck (if you should use such a word for Stoke teenagers) in standing up to the gang in question and willingness to go after a scooter belonging to someone they barely know outweighed the distress about poor Warhorse's near miss from being blown up round the back of the local health club.
The police, despite having the best intelligence in the world in a population nearly as close knit as certain small central African nations, were not very optimistic about a prosecution for criminal damage. Neither did they seem to keen to boost my hopes that (a) the young criminals would pay for the damage and (b) that they might be given a nice skate park to keep them occupied, but they have been quite good. Still, we've learnt a lesson from this, I think. Mine: it really is true what they say, don't leave your possessions unlocked, even for a minute. The little beasts will be awaiting to swoop like magpies. I don't know what Warhorse has learnt, hopefully not to go off with strangers again.