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…

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946 Duncan Norvelle-curious visitors in a day.

Got back from holiday on December 23. Got a message from a chum (who already au fait with this blog) to tell me that Duncan Norvelle was on Come Dine With Me on Channel 4.

La Norvelle: note the wrists. Tricky innit.

Shame, I got in too late to catch it – plus there was unpacking to do, putting the kids to bed, etc. I thought no more about it until I checked The Parking In Stevenage stats on my first day back at work – yesterday.

Blow me. 946 hits in one day! For little old me. Well, me and Duncan. On WordPress you can see what terms brought the page to people’s attention. Basically, everyone wants to know if he’s gay. Some people beat around the bush and search for “Duncan Norvelle married”, others like to call him “Duncan Chase Me Norvelle” to include his 80’s catch phrase. But the overwhelming majority want to know: is the camp thing real?

Straight up, he’s not gay. That’s what I’m hearing.

See for yourself. Couldn't believe it, etc.

Is he gay. Is he? Is he? No really, is he?

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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