I got to the front door and twisted the handle to let myself out - nothing - wouldnt move - nightmare. I took some WD40 to it, seeing if I could loosen it up a little, still nothing - and I can only assume that the weather had effected the lock and frozen it up. Using my locksmith knowledge, I decided to take a hammer to the whole thing, and somehow, and I dont know why, broke the lock all together.
I had to call a locksmith, first time that I've had to do this, and the first people Dynolocks were not very helpful, promising "7 days a week, 24 hours a day service - with no call out charge". Sadly the bloke called me back saying he was "a little too busy and had enough on". I decided, bugger the corporations (esp when he tried to charge me 100 quid an hour, excluding lock replacement) - so called a local company.
Within an hour, he was there, trying all kind of things, then, took a drill to the lock as it was completely shafted. I made the fella a cup of coffee while he drilled and made his way into my ally way, replaced the lock and charged me something like £95 for a job well done. Was tempted to charge him 20 quid for a cup of coffee, but thats not the geordie way. By this time it was too late and the shops had closed, John and Debbie returned from their canal'ing "holiday" and popped around to see the new lock in working order. The nice man even tightened up the hinges on the door and offered me free security advice - nice chap.