Wherever I go there seems to be trouble behind me.

‘How is Balham these days,’ I was asked this weekend. ‘Any more escaped criminals on your roof? Any rioters smashing up the shops either side of you? Any more fights in the bus stop opposite your flat?’

‘No,’ I replied ‘the only thing that happens in Balham these days is the opening of a new boutique-style coffee shop with deli.’

As ever, I spoke too soon.

On Tuesday morning, disturbed by the absence of general background noise, buses and traffic, outside my window, I got up out of bed to see what all the lack of fuss was about.

In the night, two storeys of scaffolding on the building opposite had blown over entirely, blocking the road and bending a couple of lamposts over in the process. Instead of the hum of the 155, the only sound was of drills and clanging metal pipes as they were piled up and cleared. There was the occasional shout from workmen.

It seems I’m so used to trouble now that it doesn’t disturb me – I slept through the whole thing.

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