Swingate: Now you don’t (see it).

Imagine how ghasted by flabber was when I saw a sign saying that Swingate was closing for 2 weeks. One of my first thoughts was – wow – maybe after a 6-month break, this might be worthy of a post in Parking In Stevenage. Of course that was very closely followed by the more practical consideration of where to park my reasonable-in-every-way-except-the-£1400-auto-gearbox-repair Ford Focus.

I don’t know what’s happened it’s getting harder to get into my car parks of choice unless it’s a Friday. My guess is that few people take holiday in January so everyone is using the car park. Throughout the rest of the year, we have a few of us who go AWOL and introduce some more slack into the system.

It’s got to the point that I can only dream of getting a spot in Daneshill or Danesgate, let alone Swingate. So for now, Southgate is my car’s new home. Downside: a long walk and desolate at night. Upside. No trees = no birdshit on the paintwork or door handles. Nice.

And the good news continues. Why have they closed Swingate for 2 weeks? They’re knocking down the Stevenage Voluntary Services building. it was a pig-ugly building – the longest portakabin I’ve ever seen that had a matching portaloo sitting 8 feet away, like a moon to its planet. It always looked very depressing – no wonder people stopped volunteering their services. Search Google for a pic and you won’t find one. Fortunately, yours truly captured this temporary structure a while back – when it photo-bombed my shot of a Rolls Royce and my Focus.

Before

Before

IMG_7654

After

If you remember before these photos, I mentioned good news. Yes, that good news is not just that an eyesore is being removed so we can see the eyesore behind it. No – this will add around half a dozen new spaces to Swingate. Is someone re-programming the barrier? Due diligence, ladies and gentlemen!

Looking up at King’s Cross.

So we now know the new station concourse opens on March 19. We also know that they plan to knock the existing one down and create more space out front (didn’t you know – keep up!).

Truth be told, there’s been work going on all over King’s Cross – laying new floors, revamping the building alongside platform 9, 10 and 11 as well as work on the roof covering platform 0 to 8 (yes – King’s Cross has the distinction of having a Platform Zero).

They have now unwrapped much of the covering they had up while they renovated the roof and the massive glass frontage at the, er… front of the station.

Here are a couple of views of the new look ‘upper area’:

Glass roof by day.

Glass roof by night.

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.

Believe in England!

World Cup fever is upon us whether you like it or not.

And you know what, England has a chance. We’re still in it (admittedly it hasn’t started yet) so who’s to say it couldn’t happen?

One of my clients is the English FA. They asked us to come up with an idea for Facebook that would help get the fans behind England for the World Cup and show the fans’ support to the players.

So we came up with this idea: We are all part of the official England squad, players and fans together. The players have 1 to 23 on their shirts and now the fans can have their own unique squad number too. It’s like we’re lining up for the national anthem alongside the team (except that wouldn’t be entirely practical).

Stephen Fry has no.30, Jonathan Ross is 28 and Nick Clegg is 67.

250,000 now and rising!

So if you go to http://apps.facebook.com/englandteam/ and click Create Your Shirt, you can select a red or white shirt, choose the name you want across the back and then you’ll get your official squad number on your shirt which you can then use as your profile picture to show your support for England.

It’s the tasteful online equivalent of decking your car/home/face/kids/pets with St George’s flags.

One week on and we’re already up to 166,000 which is phenomenal (he says modestly).

The target is 1 million though. Can we do it? Maybe you can help. Where else can you rub shoulders with JLS, Heston Blumenthal and Dame Kelly Holmes?

When work and PiS collide.

I’ve only just realised the acronym I’ve been labouring under. Parking in Stevenage. You’d have thought I’d have got more hits – the one with transvestite tags pulled like a rhino. Maybe I’m overestimating the number of people who can’t spell piss properly (or can’t spell piss for shit).

The old 'gluing the ears to the shoulders' trick.

 

So here’s a poster for the new Vodafone campaign, guarding the entrance to Swingate, my usual car park of choice. I’ve been working on the same ad campaign myself – my work doesn’t involve posters, I do the internetty stuff – but it all has to tie in together. It felt like big news at the time. Now that I’m updating my blog it doesn’t seem such a big deal – but that’s Parking in Stevenage for you.

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