The other night there was a loud crack outside our window accompanied by the tinkle of glass. It sounded like a shot. I wasn't wholly shocked as quite a lot can happen around our streets (last year's August bank holiday afternoon saw someone round the corner being half-murdered with a macheté before being thoroughly run over by a Beamer - all ok, however: it was drug-related). Nevertheless, I took the precaution of opening our shutters from a crouching position. Thankfully, we weren't under armed attack.
Having gone outside to inspect it was evident that the noise had come from the smash of a beer bottle thrown against the surround of our front window. People opposite had also come out thinking they'd heard a shot so we didn't feel too foolish. Counting our blessings that the bottle hadn't smashed any windows we went back to our telly.
Further inspection the next day of the basement-level 'area' between the front of our house and the street (a sort of moat/light well that has much-appreciated defensive qualities) revealed the missile had been a bottle of Kronenbourg 1664 (better, somehow, that it had been a premium beer - there are standards, you know).
We're a bit blasé about this sort of thing as this is the fourth time in six years someone has taken it upon themselves to launch an object at our window. In reverse order we've had: a round, small pebble that made a round, small hole; a handful of stones that entirely shattered a pane; a large, black plastic dustbin that smashed and stoved in half the window. The first (in time) was obviously the worst, particularly as we had a young baby who at one time or another had been lying in his baby chair more or less under the window. That time it had been kids, who had perpetrated a rash of dustbin defenestrations in the neighbourhood - some sort of craze, no doubt. The other stone-related incidents I suspect were also carried out by kids. I imagine the most recent bottle incident was committed by some embittered, venomous drunk.
There's not really a lot to be done about this sort of thing. We inform the police, who sometimes increase the frequency of their patrols. We keep our shutters firmly shut after dark (I hadn't fully appreciated their defensive qualities when we first moved in, thinking of them largely as aids to privacy). Despite my fantasies about bringing the .410 shotgun into town (a poacher's gun that would sit quite comfortably behind the telly) the whole thing is something that just needs to be borne. That and the deposit or two of dog shit that is to be found somewhere on every street - ideally in clearly visible but not overly-prominent locations.
Front window-seeking missiles and near-ubiquitous dog shit: my two biggest concerns right now. I wonder if there's anything about them in the manifestoes?