Wednesday, 17 June 2009

my pink half of the drainpipe

thank you, Gaping Void!

Nothing can my peace disturb. Well, apart from the chavs down the road who wake up at about eleven in the morning and put crap music on too loud. Which is probably no more noisy than the sit-upon lawnmower that the aspirational neighbours fire up to mow their five square yards of tired urban grass. But is certainly more annoying.

Some people try, though. I found a hand-delivered letter on the mat yesterday, from someone at the City Council. As it had been correctly addressed to me, I inferred that one of my neighbours had complained about me to the Council.

I note that your boat/trailer has been placed on the carriageway of the public highway at the above-mentioned location for some weeeks. The boat/trailer displays no reflectors or license plate and faces the wrong direction to traffic, therefore I must instruct you to remove the boat/trailer and not replace it on the highway in future. Sections 143/149 of the Highways Act 1980 empower the Council to remove from the highway any structures/items causing danger/obstruction and recover the expenses of so doing from the person having control or possession of the structure/item.

So I turned the boat around and put a towing board on it with a number plate and reflectors. And I called up the chap who signed the letter and explained that the boat is only going to be here until I've finished repairing it; and that there is never any shortage of parking in my road anyway. He was fine about it, and commented that he at least had nice neighbours. "So do I," I said, "...mostly".

I didn't bother adding that there'd be even more parking if people weren't so fiercely protective of the space in front of their houses, especially those people who jealously assert the presumed privileges of dropped kerbs, which, even long after their original purpose (access to basement garages long converted into flats) has ceased to be, demand the right to park their cars across this space on the road....

Suburban pettinesses.

Here are some choice examples of local parking from my collection, by the way. They aren't parked in these odd places because there are no better places available; they are parked like this because their owners don't want to walk more than a few paces to their front doors.

One of them recently had a polite notice from the police stuck under its windscreen wiper, suggesting that they may have action taken against them. A week later the car and the notice were still there. Then one day the car was gone and the notice was in the gutter. Hopefully the owner had read the notice before discarding it, and taken note that 'antisocial' parking is actually acceptable behaviour.