Let me tell you about yesterday. I made appointments for me and Daughter at the hairdressers. A bit early in the morning so that we could have a coffee down town afterwards, as a treat for us both. It would leave us plenty of time to be back home in time for a visit by my aunt.

It takes a little less than half an hour by bike to get to the hair dressers. Daughter tends to tell a lot of stories and discover new things to ask questions about, all while putting her shoes and coat on. I felt a bit rushed. Coats and shoes finally on, I turned the lights off, unlocked the door with my key and both of us walked out the door to get my bike. I felt how cold it still was and turned back to get my gloves. Again I walked through the door and pulled the door closed. And while the door was closing I felt I forgot something. The door locked, and then I started to panic. My keys! They were not in my pockets, not in my bag. Shoot! They were still in the lock, inside!

This never happened to me before, but exactly for such a scenario we gave our nextdoor neighbours a spare key. I went to the neighbours and got our spare key, but that didn’t help, since the other key was still in the lock inside. I couldn’t turn the spare key to unlock the door. 

Then another neighbour offered me and Daughter to stay in her place to get things fixed. First I called the hairdresser, then I duckduckgoed for a company to open the door for me. I found a company online that offered emergency service within 30 minutes. That sounded good. Daughter was offered to watch TV while we were waiting, an offer she gladly accepted, as she normally is not allowed to watch ‘filmpjes’ during the week. I got to know the new partner of my neighbour for a bit, in between the business calls he had to make.

Lo and behold, after 35 minutes, a white van arrived, a man and his son got out. They took a heavily used white piece of plastic out of their van and the son wriggled it between the doorframe and the door. Within a minute, the door was open. Morning saved. Total costs €85. A fair amount to pay someone for driving up and down to my house to fix my stupidity.

All in all we were still able to visit the hairdresser. Daughter’s hair got cut, I had to reschedule and got a hair cut this morning. The coffee treat transformed into a lunch treat and we were still able to cycle home in time for our after lunch appointment with my aunt.

Daughter was unimpressed by the event. I felt mostly stupid, but happy how quickly it all was fixed. And thankful for the kind neighbours that I have.

Now, a day later, I’m wondering where I can buy a white sheet of plastic to give to my neighbours for safekeeping.