Parking renewal

The end of Stevenage’s parking/financial quarter is upon us all. It means that it’s time to renew my parking permit. And I’m a parking renewal virgin and feeling quite vulnerable to be honest.

A simple instruction (you would think).

A simple instruction (you would think).

I tentatively approached the machine and followed the instructions. It then came perilously close to swallowing my debit card. Even after we got past that, it still wouldn’t let me renew. The old lady behind me (she won’t thank me for that) was very patient and encouraging but in the end I had to let her have a go. No problem. Tried another debit card – the one I originally paid with – and bingo! Parking nirvana until the end of January 2009.

The adrenaline is only now beginning to dissipate.

You snooze, you lose

Look at these 2 pics, taken a mere 2 minutes apart.

I got a space in Swingate OK. But not many people after me did.

Crikey, the adrenalin is unreal. Are you feeling OK?



2 minutes after. Doh!

2 minutes after. Doh!

Swingate – 7:55am

So, you’ve checked your emails, you’ve popped the kettle on in your office kitchenette, you’ve checked the news headlines and wandered off into the ‘Funnily Enough’ section, you’ve made yourself and the colleague next to you a cuppa (even though it was their turn) and checked your BeMyFaceTubeSpaceBook pages. There’s just this nagging feeling that before you stop fannying around and actually get on with the stuff you get paid to do, there’s one last thing you’ve forgotten. Ah yes – where’s Jonny parked his car this morning? What if someone asks and you didn’t know? The shame of it!

Set off a few minutes early this morning. Glorious sunny morning but still a fair bit of snow about. Got ‘LC’ a spot at Swingate this morning. There were about 6 spaces left but cars were following me in so I reckon I got there just in time. The last spaces to go are always the hardest ones to manouvre into (unsurprisingly). I’m sure some town planner’s had his compass and protractor out making sure that, mathematically at least, cars can actually squeeze into each space. Fortunately I have an audible warning system to tell me when I’m reversing into someone else: it goes “bangcrunchtinkle”.

So in summary, a result. A spot in the holy grail of my parking options, Swingate. Joy. And if I ever forget where I’ve left my motor, I can always consult my blog. God knows it needs the company…

Swingate this morning in the wintry sunshine. There's no finer sight.

Swingate this morning in the wintry sunshine.


Stevenage Wonderland

Sno' on the Fo'.


Snow. And a lot of it. Blanketing Stevenage. And its many parked cars. Including my Ford Focus. The best way to clear the snow off the side windows? Wind them down. Oh no. That wasn’t 100% successful. The snow formed a solid wall then caved in to my car. Note to self: do it with the door open next time…


Footprints in Danesgate

Footprints in Danesgate

It was treacherous on the road home. For one, I couldn’t see much out of the windscreen. It stayed fogged up no matter what I tried. Hot air. Cold air. Windows down. Recirculating air. Full blast. Off. Nothing would shift the fog on my windscreen. I even tried turning on the rear heated windscreen (even though it was already clear) just to try and coax the front one into following suit. Well, you try anything in those situations don’t you.

There were about 8 inches of clarity at the base of the windscreen, so I had to rest my chin on the steering wheel like an old lady just to see ahead of me.
Ford, what am I doing wrong?

An overview (in the form of a map)

A map of my parking options.

A map of my parking options.

This should really help you see through my eyes. I can imagine, without some point of reference, all this would seem somewhat hard to visualize or possibly even boring. Perish the thought.

Parking and blogging

For too long, these activities have been mutually exclusive. No more. Marvel at my daily update on where I parked my car. Share the tragedy as the car in front gets the last space (that happened to me last week). Lose yourself in the euphoria of me getting the last space (that’s happened once or twice too). Experience the vagaries of Stevenage Borough Council’s parking system.

So what happened today? I’ll tell you. I arrived at Danesgate car park at 7:58am and there must have been around a dozen spaces left. As a bit of background, this one’s the 3rd furthest from the station so it’s a safe-ish bet – though I’ve had my fingers burned in the past.

And that’s that. What else were you expecting?

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