Parking in London is a nightmare! In the days when I travelled to work by public transport, OK, maybe I stood on the train all the way, but at least I arrived at the office calm and relaxed, refreshed, ready for a new day. Since I got the car and started driving to work, I have of course travelled in style and relative comfort. But obscenely, there is no parking allowed on the street where my firm is located, unless a business parking permit is bulk purchased from the local authority by the business concerned. My colleagues have always parked their cars in a council housing estate somewhere behind our building. But its not only our firm that uses the estate for parking. The residents of the estate do too, and all the other businesses on our street, who like our firm have failed and/or refused to obtain business parking permits for their staff. The result is a mad dash in the morning for parking space, which leads to cars parking in every available space on the estate, including the pavements. And it is absolutely hellish! I understand that the residents of the estate had fought a battle against the Council for free parking on their estate, and won. But I wonder if they don't regret it now, seeing as everyone within a 1 kilometre radius come to the estate to park their cars.
This morning, while attempting to squeeze the car into a tight parking space, I nearly reversed into a resident of the estate, a young mother who was taking her three small children to school. All hell broke loose, as this woman saw me as a convenient target on whom to unleash all of her frustration. "You want to kill us?", she screamed at me, ignoring all my apologies. "Can't you see this path is for pedestrians? You cant park there, I'm gonna phone the Council and let them know.." Its a Monday morning, I thought to myself, the start of a new week. I wasn't going to start the day with an argument. So although this very spot was my favorite where I'd parked everyday uneventfully for the last 2 weeks or so, I quickly moved on and fortunately found somewhere else..but it was such a tight squeeze that by the time I'd managed to get the car in, I was already sweating profusely. And it was just 9am and the work day (which promises to be very busy one) hasn't even started. I wrote this post because I thought it would help calm my nerves and relieve the stress...and I really do feel better now..