"And we never found the Curly Wurly..." - can you solve these Mumsnet mysteries?
It all began with one Mumsnetter and the riddle of the abandoned baked goods:
"My husband and I go for a walk around the block most nights before bed <life on the edge>. Almost every night, at a particular point in the neighbouring street, there is an 'offering' of baked goods in the road.
"Sometimes it is bread rolls. Sometimes, a baguette. Once, there were 8-9 Mr Kipling's Bakewell Tarts. Just lying there in the road. At first we thought it was for hedgehogs, but then the cakes? And in the road? Confused.
"What's your unsolved mystery?"
Fellow posters were quick to pitch in with their own curious tales. First up, the corpse and the sex aid:
"Once, when out for a walk, I found a whole dead chicken, feathers still intact in the middle of the path, no visible blood or animal bite marks, just there, dead on the path. About ten feet further down, there was half a Rampant Rabbit dildo. I have never worked out why either of those things were on the path or if they were somehow connected."
...then, the case of the loyal keys:
"When I was 15, I lost my house keys ... I was gutted as I had a very distinctive keyring on them that I really liked.
"Four years later, I was living on my own and working 20 miles away in a pizza place. One night, I was locking up at work and on the worktop in the kitchen was a bunch of keys with a very distinctive keyring... I took them and tried them in my parents' front door, and they were indeed the keys I'd lost four years' previously!
"I was, at the time, wearing a uniform I didn't possess before starting this job, driving a car which I obviously didn't have at 15, and not living in the house anymore. None of my colleagues had a clue where the keys had come from; no one admitted to putting them there."
There were tales of stolen glory...
"In school, I was called up to the stage to receive an award for a painting. Except I had not painted the picture on display ... I was too embarrassed to protest so accepted the £2 book token. My parents have the picture hanging on their living room wall to this day and when anyone remarks on it they say with pride that I painted it when I was 12. I haven't the guts to tell them I didn't, and I have never found out who did."
... and tales of romantic suggestion:
"Last year I bought a purse from Accessorize. I put all my cards in the slots meant for them but one kept sticking out ... After a while I decided to check if I'd accidentally pushed a receipt down into it.
"Instead, I found a love letter written on a yellow Post-It note and two yellowing passport-sized photos, one of a young man and one of three children ... their clothes and haircuts were old fashioned, maybe from the seventies. The children looked related to the young man - either one of them was him as a child or they were his children. The letter was written by someone whose first language wasn't English and it said something along the lines of: 'I think of you day and night and will wait for you forever.'
"How come these things ended up in a new purse in Accessorize?"
A few were definitely of the 'say what?' variety...
"My son has a fair few soft toys - mostly elephants and dogs. They're all called things like Cuddly, Snowy and Bumpy - quite childish, simple names.
"A few years back, he was given a really sweet soft brown mouse by an elderly neighbour. As she handed it to him, she asked him what he was going to call him. DS (about four at the time) looked at the mouse and came up with 'Laspetzian'.
"I asked him to say it again and he repeated it.
"I went completely cold - it had jogged a memory of a soft blue mouse being bought for me by my dad whilst on holiday in Italy as a child. I had named it La Spezia, after the town we were in. I had completely forgotten and definitely never mentioned it to any of my children. Over the years I have tried to persuade myself that I must have mentioned my mouse, but deep down I know I didn't. He was (and still is) in my parents' attic.
"I called my mum and asked if she remembered my blue mouse, and without prompt she said 'Oh you mean La Spezia'."
... while some were downright freaky:
"On the bus one day I was aware of an old woman staring at me from, frowning. It was quite disconcerting. As I stood to get off she put her hand on my arm and said 'don't go on that trip'. I was a bit startled but she repeated, quite forcefully, 'you're planning a trip. Don't go on it, it's important'. I wasn't planning any journeys so I just said 'okay, thank you', got off the bus and dismissed it.
"About a week later, I received an invitation to an event just outside London. I really fancied it, so booked a place, paid a small deposit and researched the possibility of going. Eventually, after much working out of the permutations, I reluctantly decided it just wasn't doable and cancelled ...
"On the morning of the event, 28 February, I felt a bit of a pang that I wasn't attending. Later that day, I became aware of news stories about a rail crash that had happened that morning. It was the Selby crash, in which ten people died and dozens were injured. The train involved was the 4.45am Newcastle to King's Cross, the train I would have taken."
This one was delightfully whimsical ...
"When I was very young, five or six maybe, I was convinced I was able to fly down the stairs. Just the ones at home, and I still now remember the sensation of being able to do it. However whenever I tried to show anyone else, I just kind of bumped down on my bum.
"However, my mum told me she used to be able to fly down the stairs when she was little too, and described it exactly the same as I did."
One particular mystery invited curiosity from other Mumsnetters:
"About two years ago we used to drive fairly regularly to Dumfries, and there is this strange circular brick building either right before or right after the town starts, from the West. It looked like the start to a circular staircase which went down below ground. I could see there were words in the cement across the top of it, but was never able to catch sight of them as we drove past.
"On our last trip, I convinced my husband to stop so I could get out and look. I walked over, and it was clearly the top of a staircase, as there was a curved entrance bit that went to a door, and no space for any sort of room in the rest. However, I could not find out what it was - the cement sign had recently been chipped off. There was a burlap sack secured with an orange rope resting in front of the door.
"I always felt like I was turning down some kind of adventure when I went back to the car.
"Does anyone know what it was? And why the sign would have been chipped off? And a sack left? My best guess is some kind of water/sewer/power thing. But why remove the sign?"
Having tracked down the building on Google Streetview, another Mumsnetter - whom we shall call O'Mally - made some further deductions...
"So far all I can tell you is what it is NOT: it's not the building of telephone or gas providers. It can't be electricity or it would have a warning on it. I can't access records for Scottish Water, so could be that? It's not marked on OS mapping, even the detailed stuff I use. It is in a public highway. Only structures that are either owned by the local authority or licenced by a utility can be in such an area without a lot of legal hassle, so my hunch is still that it is something along those lines, but what?"
But intriguing as the circular building is, our favourite by a country mile has to be The Curious Incident of the Curly Wurly and the Parallel Universe:
"We were watching England play in the Euros 2004. A goal was disallowed so in my rage I threw my Curly Wurly at the screen. It disappeared.
"We looked everywhere for it and couldn't find it.
"We've since gutted the house and decorated and it has never been found.
"Where the fuck did it go?!
"I like to think in a parallel universe someone was sat watching the football when a Cadbury's snack came flying out of their TV. They're probably writing about it on their version of Mumsnet now..."