As we were taking a stroll up the lane about a week ago we saw a large notice attached to one of the farm gates giving details of an attempted robbery a few days earlier by a scrap dealer in a white Mercedes van.

As luck would have it the owner had confronted him and he left empty handed, no doubt with a few choice words ringing in his ears. We later saw an account of the incident in the local paper and it looks like he had tried it on at another farm down our lane on the same day, but had been chased off by their dog.

I’ve always felt safe living here in this rural backwater, but even so we never take our safety for granted. We’re always very careful about locking things up securely, but will be even more careful now.

Our neighbours dogs bark if anyone walks passed their gate and this alerts us to a possible stranger in the lane. From the kitchen we have an excellent view all along our public boundary, a view which would not have been possible had we not done all the hard work on the hedges over the years.

Since the pub closed there has been a noticeable reduction in traffic and noise, not that there was much of either even when it was open. To be honest after dark the quietness is absolute, and so this sleepy backwater is even sleepier.

Despite these developments I still feel very safe here and thank my lucky stars to have found such a beautiful spot.