Ever since the great Window Box Theft, I’ve been looking around me anxiously. Which is ridiculous, obviously, for here we are in leafy Dulwich and there are, frankly, few safer places in the globe (I am clutching an enormous chunk of wood as I say this).  The theft, I am sure, was down to over-excited teens, who passed my beautiful (if woefully under-watered) display of cyclamens and decided they simply had to take the entire window box home to their mothers. Their mothers, being confronted in the morning with boys suffering (I hope) from the hangovers from hell and a slightly battered, rather neglected window box, should certainly have asked a few sharp questions about the provenance of said item.

This, I imagine, did not happen.  Maybe they assumed, from the Gobi desert-like state of the compost, that the windowbox was better off in their own care. Or maybe the boys just chucked the windowbox in a skip on the way home – though I checked the two nearest skips and there was nothing.

Whatever happened to the poor old windowbox, it’s certainly got me musing on security. I’ve had two companies round to give me quotes on shutters, which I feel will kill the joint evils of silly teenagers and the rather nasty view of the garages opposite with one, plantation-style stone. Strangely, one quote was almost double the other, so I haven’t had to mull too much over which to go with. It won’t be long before we are safely behind a rather chic barricade. Though I do resent really having to take this step, I think it will help us all sleep more soundly.

And, of course, it will soon be time to have another look at my home insurance. I suppose it’s just about possible that I could make a claim for the missing window box, though I seem to remember settling for a stratospheric excess in order to push down the policy price a little. How much do cyclamens cost these days? Possibly a bit less than £250, even if you throw in a nice terracotta window box and some dry compost.

This time, I shall definitely be shopping around for the best home insurance deals. It seems that it almost never pays, now, to stick with the same company. They say they are giving you tremendous bonuses for staying loyal, while putting up the premium to a shocking new level. Last year, I remember my existing company telling me straight-faced it was giving me 30 per cent off – while quoting something far and away above anybody else’s price.

I always, now, compare home insurance to double-check that I’m getting a reasonable deal. It sounds time-consuming but, with the clever new comparison websites they have now, it really doesn’t take a second.

As soon as I’m barricaded behind the joint buttresses of my shutters and my new insurance, I’ll sleep a little more soundly at night. I know I will.

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