Poppy sale.


Today is November 12. Yesterday was Remembrance Day. But that little detail hasn’t deterred one plucky poppy seller from turning out at Stevenage station this morning.

Bless him, I didn’t have the heart to take a pic of him – after all, he’s doing a super job, going above and beyond, etc. But it did make me wonder. Is this going to be a year-round thing? I thought it was just a seasonal thing like Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and er… poppies.

And if it’s not, are they offering them at a discount now like fireworks on November 6? The thing is, there’s no official price, so do you give half a donation? And would it be mean to buy a job lot now ready for next year. My mum does that with Christmas cards you know.

Chip coin collection.

For some reason, my season ticket isn’t working properly. It won’t let me into Swingate. When you swipe the card the display just says “Please wait…”.

Then it won’t do anything. I buzzed the help button and the guy said reverse out (does that really reset it?) And take a chip coin. This yellow token is what non-season-ticket-holders use to get in – then when you leave, you put the coin in the machine, you pay how much you owe and away you go. Except my card still lets me out. Which leaves me with a chip coin every time.

One... two... yup, that's three.

Granted, it’s a modest collection: 3 all told. But it does leave me with a quandary. Where to return them? If I try to put them in the machine it’ll ask for some massive sum dating back to last week.

There’s a Stevenage Council van sometimes parked in Swingate. I’m half-tempted to just pop them on the roof of the van and scurry away.

I’ve come back to this post a couple of days later. I kept meaning to make a follow up call to the parking chaps to get this sorted. But being busy at work, I hadn’t got round to it.

All that became academic when I opened an envelope in Saturday’s post to discover a new pass – thanks (Mrs) Phyll Walklate! And lo, it lets me in AND out of the car park.

Maybe I could take a leaf out of their book and use this whole mail thingy to return these chip coins. There might be something in this…

As a footnote I will add that at least one regular reader will be glad of this return to this blog’s core competency: the intimate and sometimes excruciating details of parking in Stevenage. Enough of this mission creep. Let’s get back to basics. Well. We’ll see.

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