The space that wasn’t there.

Well I suppose you buy a Smart car for a reason and here’s where it earns its corn.

It’s not even a space but can you begrudge him parking there? And how can I judge it’s a ‘him’? Because I got busted taking this photo.

So, the only other person in the car park when I took this happened to be the driver of this car.

There used to be another non-official space right next to the barriers but they put a stop to that with a cunningly placed bollard.

Swingate: a metaphor for society in general and so many other aspects of life.

Danesgate closed. Daneshill needs re-calibrating.

For some reason, Danesgate remains closed. There is no work that I can see being done on it. For half the time, the tarmac was covered in snow anyway.

The knock-on effect is of course that the Danesgate massive are encroaching on Swingate’s turf, so it’s gets full earlier. I’ve been caught out twice on this.

Both times, I’ve ended up in Southgate which is a long old schlep to the station (comparatively). Happily, the Daneshill sign says there are spaces. “Salvation!” – maybe I’ll catch my train after all.

Daneshill is a funny old place. It’s shaped a bit like a ‘W’ and you enter in the middle, so you get to a bit where you have a choice: left or right. I take a chance on right. No spaces. Doesn’t matter. That just means the space must have been the other way (left – if you’re paying attention). No joy. The sign said ‘SPACES’, the ‘FULL’ sign wasn’t lit. Where’s my space? Not in this car park.

Walking back from Southgate, you get a good look at Daneshill from the ramp leading up to the Gordon Craig Theatre/overpass. And there they are: 3 cars forlornly manoeuvring around the ‘W’ looking for an empty space that isn’t there. How existential can you get…?

Snowy Stevenage.

Today made it 2 days on the trot in Southgate. Some kind of record. Impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Yesterday I was here because inexplicably, Danesgate was closed and Swingate and Daneshill were full.

No idea why Danesgate was closed. Funny time to do work on it. They’d have to clear the snow before they could do any road marking. Must have been something that just couldn’t wait.

Being late due to dropping my son off for the school bus this morning, I assumed the situation was the same as yesterday. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Walking to the station from snowy Southgate I could see Swingate had a space or two and Daneshill was open for business again. Gah.

On the far left is the church St Andrew & St George, Grade 2 listed - the largest parish church to have been built in this country since World War 2.

Stevenage Fire Station straight ahead.

So tonight I have needlessly long traipse back to the Focus ahead of me. Oh well, it makes a change from Swingate every day. I could even go for the record 3-in-a-row on Monday.

One can of course have TOO MUCH excitement in one’s life…

One day my international conglomerate will occupy this entire building.

Walkern white-out

Once again, a few flakes of snow cause chaos, wreak havoc and do all the other hyperbolic things the news says it does.

How does this affect Parking In Stevenage? It means I sacrifice the Focus for the BMW. But why, the Beemer’s crap in the snow, right? Dear reader, you are not wrong. With that knowledge, my wife commandeers the Focus for the school runs. Fair enough, I’ve just got a 10-minute run into Stevenage; she’s weaving across most of Herts and crossing the border into Essex. But about that nice new Fiat 500 you bought her for Christmas? That’s what I thought. But apparently changing gears in the snow could be awkward (?) and besides, what if it got damaged? It seems that the Focus is not only sure-footed in slippy conditions, it’s also expendable should anything untoward occur.

The toughest part of my journey is getting the BMW out of the private close we live on. Fortunately it’s downhill to the road, so at least that’s in our favour. I could have done without the car parked across the street from the close. It’s a steep little run and it would be easy to slide into his passenger door. Anyway, that negotiated, it was an east run to Swingate.

But of course getting there is one thing, finding a spot is a different matter. I don’t mean finding a vacant spot’s a problem. If anything, there were more spaces available than usual, but the issue facing me this morning is illustrated below. We’re reduced to parking from memory.

White Lines... Er, where?

Rather than just random anarchy, everyone’s done their level best to park where they think the lines should be. It’d be interesting to see if a sudden thaw revealed how close we’d been. A bit like ‘The Cube’ but outside.

New post.

This is a new post about a new post. It’s my first day in Swingate this year. Later starts have meant I’ve had to resort to Danesgate and Southgate.

Avid readers will know that some naughty cars park in spots that aren’t really spots to park in. One is right by the barriers in front of a tree. It’s only half a space, so cars parking there are half on the pavement too.

The new concrete bollard. Or 'collard'.

Well the powers that be have spotted this infringement and done something about it. They’ve erected a concrete post which puts the kybosh on that space. Naughty Rover and Toyota take note. Or face a hefty repair bill…

Last in space.

This is hardcore parking news. I’ve had complaints that I’ve wandered away from the business of actually parking in Stevenage. So brace yourselves: this is PiS in the raw.

I arrived at Swingate at my regular time (look out for me at about 7.58 web fans!) but it looked as though the green Almera had taken the last spot. But wait! There was a really tight spot that I really needed God to lift my toy Focus into.

Then I remembered he doesn’t exist – or at least won’t perform miracles for non-believers in Swingate.

I pulled a 7-point parking manouvre forwards (arguable harder because of the relative turning circles) and had my car safely parked while green Almera was still buggering about. Manliness confirmed. What a way to start the week!

You’re dead to me, Blatter.

Swingate has spoken. Although some of the pubs are flying the flags still, now the FIFA World Cup is behind us (congrats Spain) my car park shows no evidence that it ever happened.

Two flags made it as far as Thursday. The Monday after the final: nothing.

Sepp, we’ve just moved on. See you in 4 years. Hopefully.

But in the meantime, Back The Bid!

Tornado at Finsbury Park.

Well we have had some filthy weather of late but this was a different type of tornado. Ahhhh, days of steam. Even though I saw the word ‘Tornado’ down the side, the information have found suggests this is the name of the class of engine (or whatever) and the name on the front is the actual name.

Man looks at old train from slightly less old train.

Anyway, there it was,  pulling away from Finsbury Park at roughly the same rate that we were.

My dad would have been beside himself. Hey dad, this post’s for you.

Talisman on the front, Tornado down the side. Don't ask...

Parking renewal

The end of Stevenage’s parking/financial quarter is upon us all. It means that it’s time to renew my parking permit. And I’m a parking renewal virgin and feeling quite vulnerable to be honest.

A simple instruction (you would think).

A simple instruction (you would think).

I tentatively approached the machine and followed the instructions. It then came perilously close to swallowing my debit card. Even after we got past that, it still wouldn’t let me renew. The old lady behind me (she won’t thank me for that) was very patient and encouraging but in the end I had to let her have a go. No problem. Tried another debit card – the one I originally paid with – and bingo! Parking nirvana until the end of January 2009.

The adrenaline is only now beginning to dissipate.

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