Yesterday morning – Tuesday, 2 Feb 2010 – I awoke and did my usual morning rituals. Or started to do them, that is. I quickly realised that things were missing in my flat. Wallet. Gone. Camera bag – with camera with lens attached and the fisheye in a pouch in the bag. Gone. Laptop. Gone. A few bottles of wine (from my visit to Sinclairs Gully in the Adelaide Hills last November). Gone. My front door – slightly open. My cats outside the door, freaked out (the dearest kittehs in the world, my Bonnie and Ganzou) as they are inside cats. I bring my kittehs inside and try to soothe them a wee bit but all they wanted to do was run to their favourite spots and just be themselves.
My head is spinning – how the fark did this happen? A burglar, it seems. D’oh!
I finish my morning rituals – dazed the whole time – and do my usual walk to the bus stop feeling incredibly uncomfortable and freaking out about the person(s) that did this and worried that they were still in the area and might return at any time to remove the rest of my possessions from my flat. They shouldn’t have been able to get into my flat – but did. Surely they could do it again?
I get to work, moving like an automaton, do a necessary few work tasks, contact the police and then arrange for a friend to bring me home. When I get home, I have another, closer look around my flat to see if I can notice if anything else has been stolen. Not that I can tell. I then go outside to feed my fish – which I had neglected to do in my automaton-like state earlier in the morning and then I look around my front garden and the verandah. In the corner of the verandah is my garden trollie. In this garden trollie is my laptop. One bit of relief. Photo from my mobile phone below:
The investigating officer will be at my flat to have a look around and take a statement sometime soon and I call the police number (131 444 – should you ever need it) to let them know that I have found my laptop on my verandah but that is all. The investigating officer arrives at some point during the day, looks around, takes a statement. Considerate man who offered me advice on other security measures I might take around my flat to prevent this happening again.
A friend brings around the D40 that I had loaned him as he knows how much photography is a part of my life and that I am doing a Flickr 365 project (ie taking a picture every day, all year) and only having my mobile phone camera was not going to be quite what I was after for my 365 project.
I then have the rest of the day to fret about what has happened, worry about what might happen and generally freak out about life in general. Oh – and there was a bottle of wine – though not from Sinclairs Gully – which took up a large part of my evening.
The above image was taken whilst I was walking through my local shopping centre on the way to the bus. I wasn’t intentionally trying to look terse or angry or annoyed – or anything, for that matter – I was merely trying to get used to do the D40 again and trying to get my automatic memory of using the camera back. This will take a while, I thought. Not happy, I was – not happy at all. I think the picture – unflattering though it is – sums up how I was really feeling quite perfectly.
Within 20 metres of taking this shot – maybe a minute at most – I was through the shopping centre and walking out toward the bus stop. I’m approached by a gentleman who spotted me taking pictures on “that little camera” who then told me that he had a “proper flash nigh con” (I write it like that as that is how he pronounced it – obviously not a photographer) for fifty dollars. I asked him what sort it was and he invited me to come around the corner to have a look. My alarm bells were going OFF. As he turned around to lead me around the corner, I spy (with both my little eyes) my camera bag (it’s a back pack) on his back.
Without thinking or hesitating, I grab the centre handhold and drag it down and off his back and yell “That’s my camera you thief – you stole it from my house and I want it back” (I just know there were at least 3 fucks in there, but I’m not sure where – so I shall leave them out). My darling D90 was now in my possession again and I continued to shout at him such that as many people in the area would witness the interaction. He didn’t try to take it back from me. Instead, he merely yelled at me calling me a loser and saying that he’d had the camera for years, whilst he was walking away from me and heading around that precious corner where he wanted to show me my camera thinking he’d make a quick $50. How wrong was he?
I should point out, after having written the above paragraph, that I am not a physically strong person. Anything but, in fact. When there is aggression or violence anywhere near me, I move away as quickly as possible. I was quite surprised by my actions in ripping my camera bag off his bag – it wasn’t planned, I didn’t think, I had no time to think – I just did it. Damned fucktardasshatwannabees!
My heart, as you might imagine, was thumping up around somewhere near my throat and I had to consciously remind myself to breathe. I briefly spoke to a woman that I see almost every morning as I’m heading to the bus and she’s waiting for the shop to open to get the newspaper, trying to help her to understand that I hadn’t stolen anything from this gentleman but was merely reclaiming my property that the fucking thief had taken.
I then cross the road to catch my bus to get to work, still having to remind myself to let air into my lungs and hoping to high heaven that my heart would calm down sometime soon.
I cross the street and get to my stop, sit down and open the bag to see what is there. Amazingly, everything that was in the bag was still there so I pulled the D90 out of the bag and take the shot above. It’s no grand shot and I have not even the remotest thought that it is – it’s merely an “is the D90 working” shot and, fortunately, it is.
I’m so elated that I can’t stop smiling so I have to let several friends know via sms that I have my camera back and I also have to let my Plurkfiends know as they have been incredibly supportive during the past 36 hours when I was full of anger and fear about what had happened. Thank crikey for mobile Plurking.
The bus arrives, I get to work, updating a few colleagues with the most recent developments and then contact the police to give them the latest update. I ended up going to the police station for close to a few hours to make a statement as well as have a look at a few photos of potential thieves. Not quite The Bill, this cop shop – but there were more than a few cuties lurking about. Don’t tell them I told you that, okay?
The officers then drive me back to work (sorry folks, unmarked car, so I didn’t get to make the sirens and lights do their magic) and I continue with my work day and then, at lunch time, return to my usual self and go on a fotiez walkabout.
The above image was taken during this lunch time fotiez walkabout. I am quite pleased with the way it turned out and, I believe, it captures the warmth and relief that I am now feeling now that my camera is back with me.
What an interesting 36 hours this has been.
PS – The above video was on my camera when I checked it out this evening after getting home. It was taken at 8:58pm on Tuesday, 2 Feb 2010 when the camera was in the hands of the thieving fucktardasshatwannabe. If anyone in Darwin recognises the signage that is visible in the background, I’d be most appreciative if you could let me know via commenting on this post. Thanks!
PPS – the video has been sent to the investigating officer – police forensics may be able to pick up more than I can.