Now where’s my car?

Bingo!

  

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Last spot in Daneshill.

It’s been a while since I treated you both to the all-too-real nitty-gritty of actually parking in Stevenage.

Well, dear readers, this morning the four red capitals no one wants to see (FULL) greeted me as I approached Swingate. Two other cars were ahead of me, so around we all turned in messy 3-pointers and headed off to the alternatives.

Pulling out on to Lytton Way, you have two next-best options. Danesgate is a good bet, it fills up later and it’s not too far from the station – plus I like to think it’s a good overnight spot because it’s opposite the police station (not that it’s a factor today).

Daneshill is a bit of a loop round but you end up just as close to the station as Swingate – with the added bonus of being handier for the bingo if you’re that way inclined. In truth, it’s nearby whether you like bingo or not.

Thoughtfully, they’ve erected a sign on the corner telling you if there are spaces in Daneshill so you can make a snap decision between Daneshill and Danesgate. It sounds complicated but even after a rotten night’s sleep, I can still manage this level of split second decision-making.

As luck would have it, Daneshill was advertising spaces. Bingo, I thought (are you following me?).

There’s always a worry that the cars on front of you will take the last spaces and that just as you pull up to the barrier those for red letters will come back to haunt you. Well, blow me, if you remember as far back as the title for this post, you’ll know I bagged the last space in Daneshill. And what a curious little spot it is.

It’s an awkward little corner, tucked in behind another car. If you insist on knowing all the ins and outs, I had to pull a 5-pointer first in order to reverse in – minding the cement¬† bollards for good measure. It’s like the Krypton Factor for parking. And THEN I have to go and spend the day at work! Lunacy gone mad.

Like bingo AND fags?

Then BINGO! You’ll love Mecca in Stevenage. It’s like a… place that attracts pilgrims from all over.

But you know, when that close “House!” call has got to your nerves and you need a ciggie to calm yourself, the law says you can’t light up inside. Happily, Mecca have thought of everything: smoking cages!

The usual occupants remind me of the number 88 for some reason.

Fair play, Mecca don’t want chancers bunking in the back door, so a cage is the answer. You’re still just a step away from your dabber and card but you’re outside enough to enjoy a lungful of carcinogens – and the panaromic view of Daneshill car park through the bars.¬†What a night!

A very unambitious ambition.

How much fun can you have Parking in Stevenage? I done the ‘using my pass to raise the barrier while not quite stopping’ trick – and to be fair, I quite impressed myself.

I’ve done the ‘birdlime experiment’.

What’s left?

Well, for my next trick, I’m going to try and park in every spot in Swingate. Obviously not in one go – that would be ridiculous. And I won’t bother looking for sponsorship either.

Bingo.

Bingo.

I’m keeping an informal record in my head of spots I’ve parked in and the one left. There are the usual suspects – like the handful that are left for me by the time I arrive in the morning. So I really need to make an effort to park in spaces I haven’t yet filled. According to Stevenage Borough Council’s little chart, there are 86 spaces. I need to make a chart. I must have done over half by now, but the only way to do this is to tick ’em off as I go. Wish me luck.

Something for the CV, no?

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