It's Sunday lunchtime. I'm just eating my bacon sarnie.
"What's that noise?" Bridget asks. I don't know. I dismiss it. Put it down to usual paranoia. But there it is again- a distinct rustle, a scratching. Something's going on. But no - it's just imagination.
I look out of the kitchen window, which due to the strange way our house is built, is on the first floor above the garage, but the garden is calm and empty. Reluctantly I get up and walk down the corridor towards our bedrooms. I turn the corner and two, blood red, terrified eyes stare back at me for a millisecond. Then a blur of fur and the fox takes off in the only direction possible - into our bedroom.
Now I've never been the tidiest person on this planet and my wardrobe door is wide open. There is a shelf full of jeans at around 6ft 6in and since this is the farthest possible point away from me the fox goes for it. With one heroic leap he scrabbles onto the shelf. The picture is complete - me standing wondering what to do - fox crouched ready to spring out of my jeans, panting great gasps of air in and out - huge red eyes terrified beyond terror.
What to do? If I approach he can spring at my head and bite. If I don't - well I can't leave him there. I go back to the kitchen and pick up the phone. Who shall I call the RSPCA? The council? No that's no good.
I go back, but there he still is panting, still trapped. Logic takes flight and I think that if I spray him he might go away. I get a can of air freshener and spray it at him. It makes no difference. Not surprising really.
The fox carries on panting. I call my son, get my work clothes, thick jacket, hat, gloves and a broom. I say "When he moves make sure he goes down the stairs." I give my son a stick. There we have the stand off. Me with a broom. My son with a stick. The fox with his yellow teeth glowering and panting.
I approach with my broom. The fox is above my head, if he jumps he can bite. He shrinks back deeper into the jeans and snarls. I push the broom deeper into the shelf and hook him from behind. He resists momentarily panics and jumps. A blur of fur is on the move. I yell, my son directs him to the open door and he's gone.
As fast as it had begun, the drama is over. Has it taken 2 minutes or 3? It feels like hours. It is hours before we get the house feeling vaguely clean again. The fox has been in our bedroom, my sons bedroom and the bathroom. In his terror the fox had cut himself. So now there are smears of blood and mud everywhere. All my clothing needs washing. All of the bed linen needs washing. The walls need washing. The carpets need washing. Eventually by evening we are almost back to normal again ready for work again on Monday.
We now don't leave outside doors open - even for a second.