Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A van drove into my house today

Today, a van drove into my house. Not right in, you understand, it just scraped the wall, but I had to get your attention somehow. In his defence, it wasn't entirely the driver's fault, he was squeezing past a particularly poor example of the bad parking which sometimes afflicts the Saxon back-streets of old Wareham Town. While the parker in question was in the car at the time she just couldn't or wouldn't move, and it's not like there was a Waxwing on the wires or anything which would have made parking cock-eyed in the middle of a narrow road entirely understandable.

Waxwing (Poole, 2010): not on the wires outside my house today, but the first of several tenuous connections to birds in this ranty post about parking.
It is impossible to suggest to a neighbour in such a situation that they might have found a better place to park without sounding like a clipboard-wielding man from the council, so I don't usually bother. I made an exception today though on account of the bad parking having made a van drive into my house, and went with a factual appeal to self-interest: 'I'm just a bit worried that you wouldn't get a fire engine through there if your house was burning down'. She said she took my point about the fire engine but couldn't find anywhere else to park, thus proving she had not taken my point at all, and demonstrating the modern car driver's order of priorities in which 'convenient parking' ranks several places above 'the death of my extended family in a house fire'.

Sora (Attenborough, Notts, 2006). If I found one at Swineham, where would everbody park?
I've often wondered what would happen with parking in Wareham in the unlikely event of me finding a major rarity at Swineham and sparking a big twitch. It shouldn't be a problem, there being precisely 201 public car parking spaces and a fair amount of off-street if you can be bothered to walk a few hundred yards (any neighbours reading this, please note), and several spare pitches worth of space at the rugby club, who might not be averse to the income generating opportunity.

Little Gull (Swineham, 2012): one of the best birds I've found at Swineham in 18 months of regular watching. Parking wasn't a problem that day.
But back to the contretemps: having secured a moral victory in the fire engine debate I was happy to leave it at that, but she followed up with the not entirely rhetorical question 'where do you suggest I park?'. I resisted the temptation to say 'I'm sorry Madam but you seem to be confusing me with Wareham's Parking Czar, who might not only care about your problem, but be in a position to solve it'. When I moved in I promised myself that I wouldn't get upset by the bad parking which I could see even then would occur from time to time. And I honestly didn't, until, as I think I've mentioned, a van drove into my house.

Arctic Tern (Inner Farne, 2010): tenuous connection number four coming right up.
Now at the risk of getting a visit from Trading Standards for not having a high enough percentage bird content in a publication clearly entitled a 'Wildlife Blog', I should attempt another tenuous connection. Unlike me, my wife got upset about the parking long ago, so contacted the local council (we have three), who said contact the police, who said contact one of the other local councils, who had a meeting about it and said contact the remaining local council, who said they had spent their budget for dealing with idiotic parking this year but would give it serious consideration next year, though there could be no guarantees due to 20% budget cuts and a 30% rise in the incidence of idiots. OK they didn't say that but the chain of events is barely exaggerated. By the time she had gone round the houses with this I reckoned she'd travelled further than - here it comes - the average Arctic Tern on its annual migration.

Alpine Accentor (Pyrenees, 2006): old, imported Spanish bird photos in a so-called up-to-the-minute British wildlife blog? Somebody call Trading Standards! Bad parking could be forgiven for one of these.
Having got that off my chest, I can now return to more positive bird-related thoughts, like finding a mega at Swineham in spring. I look forward to seeing you there. But please, in the immortal words of Rare Bird Alert, park sensibly.

1 comment:

  1. I know what parking can be like in Wareham (and many other places) and it drives me crazy, have people forgotten how to walk more than 5 paces at one time?