For a while, the house alarm kept going off just about every time we left the house, and it was such a pain to have to go all the way home again just on the off-chance that there really was a break-in. Fortunately (I suppose), it was always a false alarm.
It stopped happening once the alarm people sent in a technician to replace the sensors, and once again I was able to get out of the house for longer than about half an hour.
But then it went off again yesterday, and by this time we were at least 30 mins drive from home - with at least two major peak-time bottle-necks between our friends' house (where we were), and ours.
It was probably the builder (let's call him Bob), who'd been doing a quick-fix repair in the bathroom over the last few days. Bob hadn't returned my back door key, but he hadn't left any indication whether he'd actually finished painting over the new bits of wood. It really was too bad that I'd left his (unlisted) phone number at home.
So I stood around at my friend's house, a tiny bit too tense to take notice of how TLM and her two playmates were using the house as a Grand Prix race track, gulping my coffee and wondering whether the boy was up for an early finish to his work day.
Then Bob rang. Yes, he'd set off the alarm, no he hadn't got the message I left with his flatmate - till now, yes he'd gone ahead and finished the paint job anyway while the dread siren tried to gouge a hole in Bob's poor head.
So I was happy, because I did't have to go home early after all.