Friday 18th May – Yesterday afternoon, during an odyssey to Leeds’ White Rose Shopping Centre, I mislaid the key fob adorning my car and house keys.

If I’d have been a prison warden from nearby Armley Jail, who’d misplaced a key ring bearing cell keys for B Wing (or indeed any other cells), this laxness would have been a major incident – Possibly requiring the HM Prison to invoke disaster recovery plans.

Thankfully, though, that unlikely set of circumstances didn’t and won’t ever happen, so prison governors can sleep soundly in their beds…….. Unless, of course, their alarm clock malfunctions and wakes them every 15 minutes, or they get heartburn at 3am from eating too late, or indeed they get excruciating sleep cramps from lack of hydration, or …….. Ok! Ok! You get my point. No need to flaming shout!

My particular case was far less dramatic than being unable to locate HM Armley Prison’s cell keys. Yours truly’s laxness didn’t have the possible consequence of a convicted felon acquiring their unsanctioned liberty.

Fair enough, yours truly’s tardy approach to key safety could have resulted in my car being stolen. However, at least an escaped villain wasn’t roaming the avenues of our metropolis – Consequence it’s citizens will have slept soundly last night…… Unless, of course, their alarm clock malfunctioned and woke them every 15 minutes, or they got heartburn at 3am from eating too late, or indeed experienced excruciating sleep cramps from lack of hydration, or …….. Ok! Ok! I’ll move on!……. Blimey, you got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning!


On realising I’d mislaid my keys, I disdainfully muttered something arbitrary under my breath akin to “This week just gets better!”, then commenced retracing my tracks in search of my mislaid key fob.

“Don’t worry….. They’ll be somewhere!” my mum unhelpfully tried to re-assure me while meandering the corridors of the south Leeds retail centre.

“Unless they’ve evaporated into the ether, I know they’ll be somewhere, mum. But that pearl of wisdom hardly aids the search.” I disparagingly pointed out the woman who bore me.

“Well you had them when we arrived.” mater continued unhelpfully.

“Yes, but I haven’t now mum!” I chastised her, as we strode briskly towards Debenhams department store, our last destination within the shopping centre.

“Try clapping you hands continuously while you walk around the shopping centre. When you get close to them they’ll beep, indicating their whereabouts.” Mrs S senior continued, her well-meaning attempts to help getting ever less helpful.

“They won’t, mum. I haven’t got a key fob that reacts to clapping. Even if I had a key ring with that identification function, there’s no way I’d wander the length and breadth of the White Rose clapping like a demented seal.” I tersely informed my idiosyncratic mater.

“I recently watched a daytime drama on BBC where a woman lost her keys on her local High Street.” my mum proffered.

“How did she find her keys, mum?” I asked, feigning interest.

“She didn’t. She got run over by a bus while searching for them.” Mrs S annoyingly replied.

“Well at least I won’t suffer that fate, buses aren’t allowed to drive inside this shopping centre.” I sarcastically pointed out.

“See, things arent all bad!” Maggie chirpily pointed out with glass half full.

At this point we arrived at the Department store café where we’d lunched fifteen minutes earlier. If nothing else I was just grateful our arrival drew a line under the eccentric verbal interchange I’d become embroiled in with my mother.

“Have you had any keys handed in today?” I politely asked the affable young manager of the café.

With a warm smile, she replied “Yes, just recently….. Although they look more like prison cell keys, than those for domestic use.”