Tag Archives: parking

Death, where is thy Sting?

Where is thy sting, O Death!

Grave! where thy victory?
The clod may sleep in dust beneath,
The spirit will be free!

 

John Bowring

A few notes on life.

I have just spent the best part of a month’s wages on car repairs. I admit that my earnings are far from huge, but it still seems a lot of money. The car had a service, new brake pads and an MOT. It also had a new pollen filter, which was something that I didn’t even realise it had.

To add insult to injury it then needed a repair to the wing mirror that it didn’t really need because some jobsworth in a government office has decided that looking neat is now part of the new MOT. That alone cost me a day and a half of my pitiful earnings, and it isn’t even colour coordinated. It allows me to see behind me, but it did that already. It also flashes again, but as I already had an indicator in each corner I’m not sure why I need the extra one.

Then there was the matter of the water pump that was pumping more water onto the road than it was circulating through the engine. At 60,000 miles it should not have worn out. It certainly shouldn’t have worn out on a Volkswagen, which is supposed to be a durable car. I won’t be buying another one.

I have an intermittent toothache. After a couple of months with an occasional twinge it is building up a head of steam and aching for a part of nearly every day. It’s clearly not going to go away and needs fixing.  Tricky one – don’t like toothache, but I don’t like dentists either.

Finally, a word on car parking. The forecourt for the shops was, as usual, crowded this morning. I parked across three cars. This blocked one in completely, but it hasn’t moved for several years so that’s not a problem. The other two were left with plenty of room to get out, even if it did need a bit of work – you have to reverse a yard before driving out of the space at an angle. It’s not difficult and people do it all the time.

Unfortunately the lady who came asking for me to move my car couldn’t see this. She had parked in front of the shop and walked to a separate block of shops to have her hair done. Despite taking the space reserved for our staff and customers, she decided that she hadn’t caused enough disruption and insisted that I moved my car. I pointed out that I had left enough room for her to get out, but she insisted. I went out and showed her there was plenty of room, but she still insisted. In exasperation I pointed out that I had parked considerately but was now being inconvenienced by someone who actually had no right to be parked where she was.

She wouldn’t be persuaded and told me that I’d just have to put it down to her being a woman driver.

A hundred years of having the vote and fighting for equality would appear to have passed her by.

I’ve not had a good week, but this was by far the most depressing point.

No pictures today as WordPress is playing up again.

I’m hoping things will start getting better next week.

 

 

 

 

Book Review – “Pier Review”

Pier Review: A Road Trip in Search of the Great British Seaside by [Bounds, Jon, Smith,Danny]

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (11 Feb. 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1849538115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849538114

Again, with this being a Kindle book I’ve taken the book cover art from the Amazon website, so thank you Amazon.

It’s a good book, though one with quite a few rough edges. You can tell this before you pick the book up because the less enthusiastic reviews, and even some of the more favourable ones, refer to grammar, blokiness, bad language and beer. I’m not that bothered about grammar, as you can probably tell from reading the blog, and, in truth, I didn’t notice any bad language. That probably results from me being desensitised by having two sons and a background of working on farms and markets. Like so many of my contemporaries that year at Finishing School eluded me.

It’s a tale of two immature mates and their driver, Midge. The narrative is based on them travelling round 55 piers in two weeks. It is, unsurprisingly, a badly organised and under-funded trip. It’s a familiar model and it felt like I’d read books by this pair before. After looking at their previous books I discovered that I hadn’t. I’ve merely read other gimmicky travel books by similarly immature, badly organised blokes.

This isn’t a criticism, just an observation. It was interesting to spend time learning about different lives and their relationships with the seaside, each other, their laundry and their past. There’s even a bit about piers in places, though not a lot.

One of the things they discuss early on is a quote from someone – J G Ballard, I think – that travel books never mention the parking. I take this badly, as my post on Cromer, our first attempted pier visit, does feature parking quite heavily. Now it’s going to look like I’m copying them.

Apart from that, I have a sneaking feeling that they planned the book better than it looks on the surface. They meet people, they stay in various places (a B&B, camp sites, floors of friends) and they space out the reminiscences. It could be an accident, but it could, under all the casual chaos, be quite a well-planned book.

It can be a bit tedious reading about people drinking (even more tedious than actually having to listen to them whilst they are drunk) and about their constant bad planning, but they are likeable idiots and the time passes quite easily as you read.

It cost me £3.99 on Kindle, which is more than I normally pay for a Kindle book, but I was happy with it. However, it’s a book about mates on a road trip: if you want to learn about piers buy a different book. I’ll review that later.

 

Fish and Chips in Felixstowe

When we arrived in Felixstowe we found the sea front and threw the car into the first parking space we found.

Fortunately the space was just across the road from the Regal Fish bar, which looks like a poky fish and chip shop from the outside, and a hollowed out hotel from the inside. There’s a choice of large or medium fish. I had a medium haddock (with chips and peas) and Julia had a large plaice with chips and salad. She fancied plaice and they only do large plaice, so she opted for salad to make it a bit healthier. She says…

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Large plaice on a large plate

The medium haddock was quite large too.

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Medium haddock – it was good despite looking like it had died writhing in agony

I really don’t know what to say now. It was excellent fish with good chips and good peas. I’d be happy to eat it every day.

So, excellent food, bright, clean surroundings and friendly staff. Beef dripping again. I forgot to check on gluten-free alternatives again. I must start checking that so I can look like a concerned and touchy-feely member of the 21st Century.

Don’t worry, I’m not softening, I’m just pretending to be concerned.

Meanwhile I saw this notice in the toilets – it seems that modern life is a lot more complicated than I thought. If Julia ever gets rid of me I’m going to become a monk. The vows won’t be much of a problem – after 30 years of marriage and 25 years with kids I’ve got the obedience and poverty cracked.

I can’t see the tonsure being much of a problem either.

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The complexity of modern life

 

 

Full Speed Ahead, and Damn the Cholesterol!

The first life-threatening dietary experience of the holiday was fish and chips in Sheringham. We started the day with bran flakes in the hotel room and, after a long, hot walk round Strumpshaw Fen decided it was time to head off in search of a pier.

I think it’s time to reveal that we have set ourselves the target of visiting every pleasure pier on mainland Britain. This may expand to encompass Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight, but then again, it may not. There are about 65 of them and based on the events of this week I may run out of cash and stamina before I see them all.

We tried Cromer pier, but couldn’t find anywhere to park. They seem to have obtained a large supply of No Entry signs since last time we visited, about 15 years ago. What with the one way system and the road works we tried three different ways to get round and failed each time. Eventually, after a seven point turn in a narrow street, I broke the cycle and parked behind the church, only to find out that all the space was reserved for disabled drivers and taxis. One of the reasons I hadn’t noticed this before parking was that the painted signs were faded. The other was that there were no disabled drivers or taxis using the spaces. This was to become a familiar pattern of the holiday.

That effectively broke my spirit and I decided to call it a day and head for Sheringham. You can park in Sheringham, next to the station with a preserved steam railway and a Victorian Penfold letter box (originally in use 1866-79). They seem rather more welcoming in Sheringham.

We eventually ended up in the Sheringham Trawler, a bright and cheery fish and chip restaurant. I was going to link to an information site – visitsheringham.co.uk – but they have a notice on the page telling me not to link to them without permission. While I can understand them having a problem with me stealing content I’m not sure why it’s a problem for me to link to them. They are, after all, a site that you would think would want exposure for Sheringham.

The establishment was, as I said, bright and cheery. They have pictures of local scenes on the walls and a programme of local events in the menu. The staff were great and the menu was good, though as long as they have haddock and chips with mushy peas all menus are good for me.

When the meal arrived it lived up to our hopes, being very tasty, generous in the portion department ans accompanied by a good-sized lemon wedge and a plastic container of tartare sauce. I suppose we shouldn’t be using so much plastic but that and the fact that they don’t tell you where the fish comes from, were the only two negative points that I can think of.

The batter was light and crisp too, which I forgot to mention earlier.

Another nice touch was the use of beef dripping for frying. It’s supposed to be healthier than more fashionable fats and why just upset vegetarians when you can also offend pescatarians and Hindus too.

I have a low opinion of pescatarians, so this is a plus point.

 

 

Lost in Leeds

It’s been a depressing few days. I’ve had a cold, and chest infection and sinus trouble. I’ve also been taking the problems of the world too seriously (let’s face it, I’m not going to change anything), feeling guilty about bringing children into this world, dwelling on past failures and thinking about how I’ve wasted my life.

It’s possible that a late Spring has had something to do with this lack of cheerfulness. There’s something rather forlorn about barbecue supplies replacing Easter eggs in the shops while freezing rain falls outside.

The fact I’m less than a month away from turning 60 may also have something to do with it. I know it’s only a number…

In fact it’s probably a good thing to turn 60, as one school of thought claims that ages ending in 9 aren’t good for you. You’re more likely to have an affair at one of those ages and more likely to commit suicide.

I am also, it seems, more likely to post a fast time in a marathon.

I allowed myself a slight smile at that thought.

Julia, on the other hand, had a good laugh.

Too lazy to kill myself, too ugly for an affair and too fat to run. Is this what my future holds?

Last night, whilst feeling ill, I drove to Leeds to pick up Number One son. I am such a good father. He’s lived in a number of places in Leeds and the last one was easy to find and convenient for parking.

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Leeds – convenient parking

It’s a shame that he moved away from there and took up residence in a glitzy block of flats in the centre of town. They have many good features, but being easy to find and in possession of convenient parking aren’t amongst them.

That was how I came to be parked between the flats and a shopping centre loading bay, and how I was able to experiment with low light photography.

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Leeds – low light photography

 

 

 

Misery…

We were selling some coins to a customer this morning when someone entered the shop demanding that we move a car to let him out.

The forecourt of the shop allows you to back a couple of cars upto the shopfront and then park one across. Normally it works well when we confine the parking to shop staff, customers and residents of the flats above the shops. Because we’re all in the same boat we tend to get on together and there’s no problem.

However, when someone across the road parks on our private forecourt, then comes in throwing his weight about when a customer is in the middle of a purchase, it doesn’t quite work.

We explained that the parking was for the shop during business hours, and he just kept repeating that he had two cars and only enough space to park one of them on his drive.

I’m not quite sure why he thinks he’s entitled to use our parking spaces but if it happens again I may have to suggest he buys a bigger house or sells a car.

Apart from that, I have a cold. It started yesterday in the car, abated overnight then gradually crept back as I spluttered and sneezed and coughed my way through the afternoon.

It’s just a cold and should go in a day or two, but if the man from across the road comes back I will do my best to infect him.

I arrive home at 4.20pm and went straight to bed. So far, six hours of lying in bed shivering and looking pathetic have produced very little in the way of tea and sympathy.

Quite clearly I need to work on my whimpering.

 

Blood Test Thursday

It’s light this morning, and I’ve breakfasted on overnight oats with blueberries so I’m all set up for the day.

I’ve answered last night’s comments on the blog, come up blank for an idea for a post, and made a mental note that I need another night of reading posts to catch up with people.

That reminds me that I also have a report to write tonight. Sigh.

I’m 12 days behind with some blogs, as I found last night, so I do apologise if you are feeling neglected. That gives me an idea for a post – Blogging and a Lack of Time.  I will develop that later, as I don’t have time now. (Sorry – predictable but true).

My leg just started ringing, which means it’s time to get down to City Hospital, moan about parking and let someone stab me in the arm.

Nobody told me life would be like this.