I live on a fairly main road, which encounters frequent traffic, all hours of the day and night. Thankfully, the bedroom is at the back of the flat, so the noise of the cars, motorbikes, scooters, bikes, and occasional-yet-unpleasant hordes of football fans doesn't tend to reach my sleeping ears. To be honest, even if it did, my sleeping ears probably would just go right on sleeping. Not much will wake me up when I'm under. A burglar could come in through our front window, take our terrorist teapot and the awesome red beanbag, and be gone again, without me being at all aware until I tried to make a pot of tea, or sit in the corner. Admittedly, he (or she, no sexism here, no sirree) would have to be a quiet burglar, and an agile one (we are some floors up) but it is theoretically possible. Although a BAD IDEA. A CCTV camera points straight at our house, all you would-be burglars may like to note.
The irony, of course, is that the one thing that will wake me up promptly and without fail, is the sound of a police siren wailing as the car of those valiant lawkeepers speeds up the road. In London, the sirens are out of control noisy, a painfully piercing shriek that prevents conversing, moving, or even thinking when they go by. Anyone who grew up in London may not be aware that this is not normal - that police sirens in other cities know you can use your outdoor voice without causing premature hearing loss in innocent bystanders. But trust me, the volume and sheer intensity of these sirens is not an international standard.
Neither is the alarming frequency with which they go by. We don't live in a particularly high-crime area (well, we didn't, recent events notwithstanding), but all the same, police cars seem to be a pretty constant phenomenon around here. I'm never too sure why they're there, or where they're going. Experience has taught us that they're certainly not chasing down scooter or racing bike thieves (oh yes, H1's racing bike got stolen too, I've just been too angry to mention it until now. Swallow the anger, bury the resentment, Marge Simpson style). The more cynical of us may suggest it is in some way related to the traffic jams that are also a frequent feature of the road, but cynicism has no place here. I wouldn't even dream of suggesting that the two could be in any way linked.
It is good to feel so safe in this street, however. What with the aforementioned CCTV camera, which completely ignores the park, homeless people, and bar/club/nightmare across the road, in favour of being permanently trained on the well-known and notorious area of my living room, and the reassuring consistency of the police cars screaming up and down, I'm sure H1 and I will never find ourselves the victims of petty crime. Well, not again, anyway. I sleep soundly in that belief, until woken.