What is it about a person in a hat with a notebook and a pencil that seems to make us shake in our shoes?
I remember town parks and gardens in England always had a superintendent with staff who seemed to delight in telling children to ‘keep off the grass’ or point to signs that said ‘no ball games’. One of them seemed to have it in for some of my young friends – asking them their names and ‘where do you live’ and writing it all down in a little note book. It was usually me who was the one charged with keeping an eye out for the ‘parky’ (park keeper)which was fine because kicking a soccer ball around certainly wasn’t my idea of fun. I’d have my nose in a book hoping I’d catch a glimpse of ‘that man’ before he caught a glimpse of us!
We also were very wary of police – in those days they also had a hat, a notebook and a pencil. The thought of what your parents would do to you if one of them knocked on your front door and then consulted their notebook was enough to turn me and any of my friends off misbehaving for life.
All those feelings came back yesterday when I drove to Camberwell (a near the city suburb about 35kms from my place) I’d been using the train for the past few Tuesdays but the weather has changed to much cooler…..even wet some days….and after getting ‘a bit on the wet side’ walking back to the station last week I decided it was time to check out the drive / park close by option for future wet days.
Don’t believe everything they tell you about heavy traffic in the city (Melbourne) – the heaviest I encountered that morning was right on my doorstep! Canterbury Road from here all the way to Elgar Road was bumper to bumber, cars trucks buses bikes (both push and motor) you name it, I’m sure all the residents out in the east were going west. Oh what a difference it was after I turned left onto Elgar Road, and made my way down to Riversdale Road – almost as if everyone had stayed in bed that morning. Then of course there were the trams to contend with along Riversdale Road….nothing for it but accept it’s ‘trundle along behind and hope to overtake somewhere.’ ….but not while the tram is stopped…..which wouldn’t have been too bad if it was before 9am……but after that parking is allowed in the clearway zone next to the left kerb so it’s down to one (and a bit) lanes 😟
Anyway I had a fair idea of where I was going to park, just had to hope there was a vacant spot! Free parking is very limited in most places these days and if there’s one thing I don’t enjoy it’s paying to park. How do you think I get to enjoy my overseas trips – by not paying for parking lol. I’m about to turn into the car park when I saw a figure walking out of the first lane –
Mmm it’s the parking inspector.
One of those people similar to the ones I remarked on earlier – one who walks around in a hat with a notebook and pencil – only these days they have a little machine and a dreaded piece of chalk in their hands!!
(Not this actual one though)
Bugger – two vacant spots and he’s standing right there!
If I drive in I’m sure he’ll turn round and mark my tyres…..if I go round the block whats the chance they’ll stll be there. Surprise Surprise – he started to talk to someone and moved off into the next lane. Hooray, panic over, I needed about three so that meant I had the two hours before he returned to check marked tyres and a bit more from then. Wondering if you’re going to get a parking ticket is not the best way to spend a morning so there were smiles all round when I returned and there was nothing tucked under my wiper blade 😊
Isn’t it ridiculous for a grown woman to be wary of someone who is just doing their job. Like the kids in the park or skylarking in the street I’m not trying to cheat the system, I just don’t want to be on the receiving end of their perceived ‘wrath’ if I fall foul of one of them.