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.


  1. Rob and I spend many happy hours watching the disabled parking space in the village. (It's just across from the café) It's mainly used by people with big flash cars or convertables. We've decided that they are probably mentally hadicapped. If they could park inside the co-op/postoffice/newsagents they would. If the disabled space is being used the yellow lines provide the nearest empty space for them

    The local supermarket is much better, most of the disabled places stay empty - only disabled drivers use them.

  2. "Hopefully the owner had read the notice before discarding it, and taken note that 'antisocial' parking is actually acceptable behaviour."

    As is Littering.

    Yeah. I'm sure the owner took notice.

    Hey look up there! A flying pig!!!

    I came out of my last therapy session and walked back to my car, to find a supermarket trolly up againts the passenger door, along with some shiny new scratches.

    The trolley park was only five yards away, but the git who unloaded the trolley into their car couldn't be bothered to push it there, so just let it roll down into my car.

    Let's face it. Some people ARE serious assholes.


  3. I love that set diagram. Sums it all up nicely..

    I also love your parking photos.

    We are lucky enough to have 2 off street spaces behind our house, much valued.

  4. In cutting-edge Brizzle, people have taken to parking on the pavement outside shops so they can just step inside. Not many yet, but no doubt the habit will catch on. Things that I would not have thought possible some years ago, are now so commonplace as to attract no comment.

    Here's a posh car in supermarket scenario, though it was more a protest about not being allowed to get even more shitfaced drunk than he already was, apparently.

    That must have been intensely annoying, Chrissie. Is yours the sort of car that doesn't worry too much about scratches? -even if not, it's the attitude behind the action, isn't it? I am annoyed because ours is a 'nice' neighbourhood, even nice without the quotation marks; but there is an increasing amount of selfish behaviour, chiefly from young professional types moving in.

    It's funny looking at photos of Bristol from only twenty years back, Chandira; it's striking how many fewer cars there were around even then. Of course, most students seem to have cars now, too, and cars that are posher than any I've ever owned...

  5. Dru asked..."Is yours the sort of car that doesn't worry too much about scratches?"

    It's a little silver Nissan Micra. Given my old job, I did inflict some damage on it myself, like a broken exhaust pipe and a broken offside mirror, both while reversing in total darkness in very confined, obstacle-strewn areas.

    Oh, and it's got a dent on the offside front wing, from when two pheasants crossing the road were knocked in front of my car by a high speed nutter coming the other way, on the road between Welshpool and Mach.

    But I try and take a pride in it, and it's the sheer "I don't give a shite about anyone else" attitude of some people that angers me...

    Sadly, when someone is like that it tends to apply to everything they do. They are not quite human, at least in my book.


  6. Your neighbours are clever and perceptive.

    They know that throughout history there was only ever one boat building project finished on time - and there the circumstances were, if I may beg to suggest, wholly exceptional.

    The commenter's cynicism has nothing to do with owning two boats, and growing up on (or in?) a boat yard.

  7. yes, it's that attitude that I hate too, Chrissie. Though in the long term it's better to have a 'lived in' car damaged than a highly polished thing. People used to get out of the way of my Sierra estate because it was obvious that I wasn't bothered about its appearance... sadly, I find that they are less afraid of the Moggy. But they should be....

    Cruel words, Jess. I fixed that hole in the hull in hardly any time, not quite a year... it was down in the boatyard at the time though...

  8. I don't think it's the poshness of the vehicle that counts. I was on my way to work on Monday past the wood recycling place on Cattlemarket Road, when the wood recycling truck pulled onto the pavement in front of me with all wheels off the road and blocking both the path and the cycle path. A very young man got out; I remonstrated with him. He said, very generously, and in an accent well to the right of RP, that he had left me a space to squeeze through. I wasn't going to get into an argument about why I shouldn't have to squeeze past his filthy lorry. I phoned Parking Services.

    I picked up a brilliant idea in the motorway services on Saturday. I was idly watching some bloke fossicking with his car, not really seeking to understand what he was doing. Then it slowly dawned on me. He was attaching rubber fenders to all four doors. You know, like boat fenders. It was a little pea-green car, not very blokeish to be honest, but it was an 09 reg.

  9. did he have vaguely Catweazelly facial hair too? -he sounds like the chap who runs the operation; met him at CREATE. I was a bit underwhelmed when I looked around the recycling yard... the fenders seem like a very good idea, since there is an increasing number of people parking with only the vaguest of nods to the parking bay markings, meaning you have to squeeze in or out of the car