Return to Swingate.

After giving Swingate a wide berth after the roadworks incident, I returned to find NO EVIDENCE of any change to the road surface. None at all. What were they doing? Was it official? Or have the denizens of Stevenage taken to tarmac theft. Brazen, but I wouldn’t put it past them.





Are these machines made in the States?

After a couple of false starts, I’ve finally managed to video the sequence that helpfully shows a car driving through the display so that the illiterate drivers of Stevenage (and there are a few) know to follow suit. All good. The funny thing is, the car they show looks like some sort of Thunderbird or Caddy from 50’s America.

That can’t be right can it? Certainly haven’t seen a motor like that around here…

Uproar! Anarchy! Roadworks!

So there I am, nonchalantly pulling in to Swingate and there’s a queue of cars at the exit – which there never is at that time in the morning.

As I wound down the window to rub my card against the machine (to make the barrier go up) the lady coming out of Swingate shouted over to me that they were doing roadworks in the car park, taking half the spaces out of commission.

As I was committed to entering the car park, I about-turned and set off for Danesgate quick-sharp, so as not to miss the 8:08. As I went by, I could indeed see men at work, tearing up the tarmac with tools emitting flames and everything – though it didn’t look like they’d taken up half of Swingate, to be fair. Nonetheless, a bit of notice wouldn’t have gone amiss. No signs in advance or now. No idea when they’ll be finished. I hadn’t noticed the car park needed re-laying, but there you go – I look forward to parking on an even better surface than before.

An experiment

I work in the web business but the geekier stuff I tend to leave to my colleagues that specialise in that area. We’re currently running the Vodafone LiveGuy campaign where we send a chap round 11 UK cities, leaving clues to where he is using a Dell netbook and Vodafone connection. If someone can find him, they win the netbook. So far he’s been found everywhere he’s been. You can take that 2 ways, I suppose. Either the world and his wife is getting swept up in it all or LiveGuy’s just rubbish at hiding. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between.

Anyway, one of the things we’ve created is a little widget you can embed in your blog and it’ll feed the latest clues into the page. Well, I’m a novice when it comes to embedding widgets so here goes.
If you see nothing below, it won’t have worked. ;-(


Now there’s a red MG getting in on the act!

The offending motor

The offending motor

Not much to say here. The picture says it all. You’ll notice the Grand Cherokee is still parking in prime position.

I’m not a grass…

Good spot.

Pleased with myself this morning. Got a place about as close as yoout can get to the steps that lead to the overpass (aka bridge) and Stevenage rail station beyond, with its dry cleaners, coffee outlets, newsagents and well, trains. This was taken from the driver’s seat – check out the short distance! (If you knew the place you’d be mightily impressed…)

It really doesn't get much closer than this!

It really doesn't get much closer than this!

The Phantom space.

There is an unofficial space in Swingate. It’s ideally located by the entrance/exit. This much sought-after space offers split-level accommodation and convenient access to the many local amenities and transport links in Stevenage town centre.

Naughty Polo's spot

Naughty Polo's spot

In short, it normally involves a silver VW Polo parking half-up on the kerb (usually next to a dark blue Grand Cherokee which is parked legally).

I’ve seen other improvised parking spots in Swingate and not witnessed any sanction against the perpetrators. It seems what happens in Swingate stays in Swingate.

It is odd though. The barrier counts ’em in and out so it wouldn’t let cars in if there weren’t enough spaces. The last ones to go are always the tightest to park in. Dare I suggest that some ladies just don’t fancy their chances…? Of course I daren’t.

The Lewis film is LIVE!

Parked in Swingate nice and early this morning. Tried to video the little animated sequence of the car driving through but cocked it up. But anyway…

And check, this site while you’re at it:

More tickets please!

My new rail ticket started playing up almost straight away. It got to a point where I could use it one way but not the other (but still with the magnetic strip on the underside). By the time I got back to Stevenage last night, it was unusable which means I was the one with 2 people right up my jacksie at the barriers as my ticket gets rejected. Again. The nice Network Rail chap lets me through.

And the nice lady this morning gives me a new, new ticket. Again.

By way of a diversion, here’s the sight that greets me when I wave my fully-working parking ticket in front of the machine. Just after this, there’s a little animation of a car driving through – because many drivers may not know what’s expected of them when the barrier goes up… I’ll post the animation one day – fore-warned is far-armed!

So that's what time I left the car park...

So that's what time I left the car park...

Kid in a sweet shop.

Another very early start this morning. Needs must. So this is the sight that greeted me this morning. A vast emptiness open before me. Usually I’ll be hunting round for the last space, this was something completely new: choice!

A car drove into shot as I was taking this. Bastard.

A car drove into shot as I was taking this. Bastard.

I plumped for a spot by the trees in splendid isolation. I reversed in so I was directky facing the exit. If there was a prize for fastest exit, I reckon I’d be in the best pozzy. But there isn’t. And in any case, it was under some trees, so upon my return, my little Focus was covered in a wide variety of avian faeces. Poo.

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