An early morning knock-knock at the door is always unsettling, but particularly so if you live in Madmum's world.
It was Saturday, and still dark outside, mostly because of the miserable weather. But the clock next to my bed was still ticking towards 8am.
Pulling on a dressing gown, I headed downstairs to see which of life's adventures was now to be visited on me.
It might be son Matt, hoping that an appearance in rain-soaked clothes would win him a return to Madmum's Cottage.
Perhaps the police, with a new line in their enquiry into whatever he gets up to. Or even officers with worse news.
You can see through part of the bobbly glass in the front door of Madmum's Cottage.
My visitor was big, male and, more importantly unknown, so I asked him - or rather shouted - what he was calling about.
Yes, it was another bailiff, hunting for Matt. This time it's non-payment of court fines for riding round on trains just over a year ago.
Matt went through a stage of apparently thinking he was invisible to station staff and that nothing would result from the 10 or so times he was caught, against the probably hundreds of occasions he got away with it.
In each case the original unpaid fare was s3.45. Add on penalties, court fines and costs plus bailiff fees and each unpaid train ticket now has a price tag of hundreds of pounds. I've no idea of the exact figure but, coupled with the credit card binge of the last few months, he owes thousands.
There is no way he can pay this, and nor can I. Rest assured, even if I won the Lottery I still wouldn't cough up. At least that's what I like to tell myself.
He, and the other boys like him, need to be swept off the streets and made to work off their debts.
I can think of loads of jobs they might do. Start with The Big Tidy Up, a national campaign running this month to clean up the litter and dumped rubbish across Britain.
Matt could be given the task of collecting, say, 10,000 discarded train tickets from the gardens of people who live near stations.
Or gathering up 1,000 doggy doings from local parks to remind him that the rest of us, and me in particular, should not be treated like something he'd like to scrape off the bottom of his trainer.
Anyway, I didn't let the bailiff man in. It's not that I thought he might grab something of Madmum's, but because I was ratty, in my dressing gown and tired, not by the hour of the day but by the constant stream of rubbish Matt delivers to my doorstep.
Even when he's not there.