First glove of the season.

Lost glove

Crossing over Lytton Way on the bridge, I see the forlorn shape of a black woollen glove, abandoned, waiting for its owner to return. But lost gloves and glove losers are so rarely reunited.

I wonder, can Parking in Stevenage become a force for good? Could it become a sort of Gloves Reunited site? After all, I’ve already explored my altruistic sensibilities with my shopping trolley rehousing project earlier this year.

But no, there is already too much to report on in this blog. I just can’t afford to offer people with odd gloves false hope. If I see another – like you all undoubtedly will – I shall simply offer up a silent prayer for the fallen.

Parking in Stevenage is One!

Wow. Who knew? One year and 1,556 page views later, Parking in Stevenage is still going strong. We’ve covered shopping trolleys, transvestites, Duncan Norvelle, Lewis Hamilton, hats and gloves – all human life is here!

It feels like such a significant event – like the anniversary of Google or Amazon or the internets.

“Why did you start this blog in the first place?” you’re not asking yourself. Well I’ll tell you. It was as much for my own amusement than for any other audience (fortunately). I don’t have to submit my first draft to anyone else to approve. I’m my own boss. I can write what I like. For better or worse.

So thanks to Swingate, Danesgate, Daneshill, Southgate and St George’s multi-storey for having me. To Stevenage station for giving me somewhere to catch the train from. And to First Capital Connect and National Express for transporting me from East Herts to King’s Cross (and back again).

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank both my readers for sticking with me. Believe me when I tell you, things can only get better – that’s probably quite easy for you to believe, truth be told.

Here’s to another 365 days of Parking in Stevenage. It’s gonna be real!

Hat man is called Derek.

And he looks like one too. Overheard a mate talking to him as they were getting off the train. I wasn’t earwigging, I just caught it in the wind.

As for the hat, I think it’s some sort of kepi. A colleague of mine also sees Derek and his kepi. He’s shown me his surreptitious photo of the two together. One day it may appear on this blog. This could turn into a sport – a bit like Dick and Dom’s bogey game. They have to say BOGEY as loud as possible in a public place. Our challenge is to get the clearest, closest shot of Derek and kepi. I think I’m winning at the mo’.

A kepi: same shape, different colour and materials.

A kepi: same shape, different colour and materials.

Duncan Norvelle rides again.

The fascinating thing about doing a blog is checking the stats and seeing what people are coming to read.

With WordPress you can even see the search terms that people have used to find a particular post.

So you get the familar ones, like Stevenage, parking and station – no surprises there.

Then you get things like Tesco, shopping trolley and tickets – again, that doesn’t surprise me. I’ve done plenty of posts that have those tags.

So which area of borrowed interest has been the most effective in bringing traffic to PiS?

Two words. Duncan Norvelle. Most of the searches are accompanied by ‘chase me’, ‘married’, ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’. It seems I was not alone in pondering his lifestyle choice, given his act. Turns out it is just that – an act.

The poster that started it all.

The poster that started it all.

Not only that, I had a reply to the post from someone saying that Duncan had got their sister’s mate pregnant – presumably a woman. Well that pretty much settles it. Though to be fair, neither Google nor Wikipedia could corroborate the story, so who knows (he says, trying to avoid legal proceedings).

So as well as being an excuse to post a traffic-pulling topic that will once again bring high volumes of curious visitors, hopefully this gives you a valuable insight into your fellow browsers. And by the way, another top puller is the word ‘transvestite’. Now I’ve got my best tags all in one post – a sort of greatest hits if you like.

For the original post on Duncan Norvelle, go here:

Roary vs toothbrush

According to First Capital Connect, it’s now officially winter. They’ve rejigged the trains so they give themselves an extra few minutes to get into Kings Cross.

My morning 7.07 train has become the 7.04. That shaves 3 minutes off my morning routine. So is that 3 minutes less watching Rory The Racing Car slacked-jawed with my daughter or do I skip brushing my teeth? This is going to need some careful thought.

... or brushing my teeth.

... or brushing my teeth.

... or watching Roary The Racing Car.

... or watching Roary The Racing Car.

An ad for shadows?

Thankfully, the Sony Ericsson campaign seems to have lost interest and stopped following me. The billboard on the platform at Stevenage has been replaced by this one; apparently an ad for shadows. And why not. They’ve been under-represented for ages.



The Britney of King’s Cross.

Occasionally I need to get to work at 8.30. It’s not too much of a hardship. But the last few times I’ve noticed a new character in my cast of fellow commuters: the Britney of King’s Cross.

The real Britney - before rehab/shaving/general loopiness.

The real Britney - before rehab/shaving/general loopiness.

Train timetables and habit collude to have me standing at exactly the same spot on the platform and at roughly the same time when aiming for an 8.30 start.

Amid the SuperDry jackets, the Diesel jeans, the pinstripe suits, the jean and jacket combos and the beauty clinic uniforms, one young woman stands apart. Or rather sits.

At precisely my spot on the platform, there she is, sitting and waiting. And dressed a bit like Britney 1.0 – you know, the pseudo-schoolgirl sort of look. Always the knee-high socks, short skirt and bright pink top, along with perilously bleached blonde hair.

I’m way past looking. I see her, but I’m not looking per se – though in a predominately grey/brown/black world, pink/white/flesh does tend to stand out.

But she’s there sitting on her own. I arrive, wait for a train and squeeze on board when space allows. And as it pulls away, there’s Britney, still sitting there. Waiting. For what, I wonder…

Sometimes it’s better not to know. The reason is no doubt extremely dull and unexciting. As with many things in life, the interest is in not knowing.

There. That was nearly deep wasn’t it. I’ll balance it out with another post about Duncan Norvelle soon, I promise.

Today I am mostly listening to…

…Richard Hawley’s new album, Truelove’s Gutter.

So how did that come about? I’m glad I asked. Very occasionally, the nice folks at EMI send me CDs to see if I’d like to use any of their tracks for advertising campaigns I might be working on. It’s not entirely altruistic – I’d have to pay them handsomely for the privilege.

They also sent me the Dolly Rockers (very poor), Nick Cave (too laidback) The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (OK from halfway onwards) and one or two others. So on the iPod they go – and when I remember to, I audition them to see if they’re any good (imho).

And once again in html: Richard Hawley - Truelove's Gutter.

Well blow me down, this Hawley chap is pretty darned good. Very mellow, almost country. Shades of that Walk The Line/Man in Black/prison gig chap – reader’s voice: JOHNNY CASH! – yes him…

My wife would dismiss it as slit-your-wrists music*. Well, for all the melancholy washing over me, my arteries remain unsevered. It’s a delightful find. If EMI hadn’t brought him to my attention, I doubt our paths would ever have crossed.

If you’d like to see whether you side with me or Mrs me, give him a listen at

*This was confirmed later

Kind of a big deal: part 2

I work in advertising. Predominantly advertising on the web. Industry magazine Revolution does a column each month called ‘Blogs I can’t live without’, written by a guest luminary. Incredibly, ‘Parking in Stevenage’ made it into the column this month. We are all famous! Everyone’s reading it. Servers are groaning under weight of all this traffic. Well done for fighting your way through the melee to read this very post. So who’s the industry mover-and-shaker that can’t live without good old PiS? Oh yeah, it’s me. No time for modesty, I demand to be read!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Kind of a big deal : part 1

LinkedIn. Know it? It’s kind of like Facebook but with a businessy twist. The egomaniacal voyeur in me particularly likes the fact that you can check to see how any people have been looking at your profile. It will even give you a rough profile of the people who’ve swung by to check on your business life story.

This week it’s the same old mix of headhunters and people in similar roles checking out the opposition. But HELLO, who’s this having a butcher’s at my bio? Head at Aardman?

I guess they're just drawn to me.

I guess they're just drawn to me.

Has my unique way with words reached the ears of Nick Park? Will Parking in Stevenage be retired in favour of Scriptwriting in Bristol? Will I bound on to the stage at the Oscars alongside the Old Parkster in one of his ridiculous bow-ties? I’ve not had the call yet, but when he reads this he’ll realise the game’s up, come clean and get me to grammar-check his latest screenplay.

Watch this space.

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