Miracle in St Evenage: Part Two

The bugger about blogs is that the entries appear in reverse chronological order which ruins a story like this. All I can say is, read the post below and then come back up and read this entry – unless you’ve already read the one below, in which case, welcome back!

Weirdly, the car that came out of the car park then went on to Danesgate my second-choice car park. Why? I can only imagine the barriers got the numbers mixed up and let an extra car in when there no spaces left. Either that or the last space was so awkward (and there are some buggers in there) they just cut their losses, saved some scratched bodywork and bailed.

As it was, I got the penultimate space in Danesgate – in a bloody awkward space. I have taken a picture to illustrate this. Getting out of there should be fun tonight…

My silver Focus, in the corner. Wish me luck.

My silver Focus, in the corner. Wish me luck.

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The miracle of St Evenage

A bad sign

A bad sign

The car in front got very lucky this morning. I was a little way back but I could see the FULL sign from where I was. He’d begun the business of turning round when he started to reverse that process (still with me?). Well Hallelujah – there’s a car coming out – at this time in the morning? Yes, really. So, one in, one out. I had a little look to see if see if this was the beginning of a Swingate exodus. No joy. Two miracles in a morning really would be too much. Especially in Stevenage.

Foggy day

KEEP CLEAR. In this weather?

When the weather blatantly ignores clear instructions...

Sort of misty ouside the house which is in a very rural setting. Get into urban Stevenage and suddenly it’s a right old pea-souper. Made it into Swingate but only with about 4 cars to spare – and they were all queuing up behind me. Cutting it fine, I was.

Third choice

Not again...

Not again...

Denied a spot at Swingate for the second morning running. Admittedly I was running a couple of minutes later than usual – though I would still caught the train I was aiming for. A couple of corners away from Swingate I was greeted by the ominous sight of cars coming towards me – a sure sign that those 4 dreaded red letters were illuminated: FULL. I pulled a 3 point turn and headed off to Danesgate. What’s this? A car reversing away from the entry barrier? No red letters but he mouths “It’s full” to me. Well if he’s reversing I guess he’s not lying. Nothing else for it – off to Southgate. Plenty of spaces there but it’s a much longer walk for the station. That, added to my tour of Stevenage’s car parks has meant that I’ll miss not one but two trains. The next one’d delayed – just to add insult to injury. Shame the earlier trains weren’t delayed – but it never works like that. Ever.

Busy in the morning. But not in the evening.

Here’s a question: why are the car parks rammed in the morning but half empty when I get back to my car at 10 to 7 at night? I can part-answer this. People have clearly returned earlier and driven home (gold star for me). Assuming most people that park here commute into London, they must leave work at 5 or 5.30. On a good day, I leave at 6 and get back to Stevenage around 50 minutes later, by which time the cars have been replaced by tumbleweed. There’s a recession on you know – you’d expect a greater display of presenteeism during these hard times. Certainly some of my colleagues seem to give the idea of ‘home’ short thrift – to them it’s just the start page on their internets.

Before (lots of cars).

Before (lots of cars).

After (not quite so many).

After (not quite so many).

I can accept that it is possible they leave work earlier but for all those cars to be there in the morning, these commuters must aim to get into work for 8.30 at the latest. It all boils down to this: I work from 9 to 6. I always thought this was normal for London. Is it not?

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