So I’ve been working funny days this week, and in between times I’ve been knitting and knitting and knitting an Yvette hat because, (i) it’s getting seriously nippy round here and the Stoic Spouse nicked my other hat, and (ii) my friend gave me some chunky, colourful yarn that’s perfect for the job. At precisely 3pm this afternoon I’m due to take my place outside in the twinnage’s school playground in order to help with the class cake sale, and if I’m going to stand out there freezing my bits off for very long, I NEED a hat. I also need some cakes, so I’d better go and pop the oven on in a minute…
So all week I’ve been driving my car (known without any affection at all as the Stinkwagon) through the crisp and misty winter Oxfordshire countryside to work. The driving is the easy bit. Parking at the hospital is… a tad trickier. Unless you’re super-early for work, you need to be a wee bit strategic. Really, creative parking is an essential vocational skill. Given that all hospitals have parking issues, they should cover this stuff in clinical training.
Various options exist:-
- Legitimate parking spaces. Congratulations: not only are you early for work, but you can also bask in your moral rectitude as you roll neatly into a designated space. Of course the downside is that any time you venture near the car park during the day, a convoy of hopeful drivers will follow you slowly and dolefully, sensing the blood of a possible imminently available space, and promising themselves that they’ll definitely get up for work earlier tomorrow in order to avoid this agony. That’ll be awkward if you’re just popping out to your car to eat your sandwiches in peace.
- Not-strictly-proscribed places that nobody has previously thought of. We’re all creative people here, yes? Well some folk apply that creativity to their parking. You’ve gotta admire them for their originality in manoeuvring their car on to the old tennis court or up a tree, but let’s allow them to test out that newfound option first to see whether they get into trouble before you risk parking there tomorrow.
- The mildly forbidden areas that would, in a more benevolent universe, be legitimate parking spaces. So let’s get something straight. Enthusiasm for your job is a good thing: everyone appreciates the employee who goes the extra mile. But the chap who painted the double yellow no-parking lines at work took the ‘going the extra mile’ concept a tad too literally and wiped out yards and yards of roadside space in the process. The cautious-by-nature and the super-well-behaved will avoid these spots, so really they’re just parking areas reserved for the mildly reckless. Count me in.
- The ‘No (Parking) And I Mean It This Time’ places. If double yellow lines mean ‘no parking’, then double red lines mean ‘really really no parking and I’m not joking’ in the same tone of voice that your mum used when you were six and she was properly cross with you. Sometimes they’ll even add a couple of traffic cones as well, which ramps it up to ‘RIGHT, THAT’S IT! DO THAT ONE MORE TIME AND I’LL CONFISCATE YOUR TOYS’. Parking here is the best way to get a photo of your car emailed round the entire hospital with a sarcastic description of your idiocy. Of course if you’re madly proud of your car then you might want everyone to see a picture of it, but leaving your Lamborghini in the ambulance bay probably wasn’t the cleverest way of achieving that, yeah?