Parking in Edinburgh…The little wins in life.

If you live city centre or anywhere near the centre you will have experienced the joy of buying a permit to park in permit bays. To be fair there are usually plenty where I live but there is a bit of building work going on and so I don’t always get home from work to a convenient parking space. Cue the Russian Roulette style game of how long can I get away with this before the ‘blue meanie’ (parking warden) catches me. If you are visiting Edinburgh (do – its a beautiful place) then this also applies to those drivers parking and paying for their tickets. My advice would be to get the bus / tram / taxi. Its better for the environment :-)! I live here and so need my car.

I won today!

I forgot last night whilst parking that I wasn’t in work this morning. I have a permit displayed sparkingly clear in the window; but I wasn’t in a space. I forgot. I had a glass of wine and this morning lazily decided my bed was the best thing ever. Having leisurely gotten up and sauntered through to the kitchen to make an espresso I opened the curtains and thought…’what a lovely day’. I spotted a car parked outside of a bay and considered how long it would take for that red envelope to be printed and stuck under the windscreen wiper (the fine!). Whilst wondering this my mind wandered to my own car. ‘Fxxx’!! The sudden realisation at 10.54am that I was on a single yellow line dawned on me. The parking restrictions start (here) at 8.30am (at 8am further into the centre if you need to know that). This was a problem in my problem free morning.

With no thought given to my wildly messy hair or the fact that I hadn’t properly dressed yet I pulled on some clothes, zipped up a jacket and ran out! Passing the builders who looked a little bewildered I got to the car and…joy…no ticket. Fist pumping the air (I held back from the winner dance to avoid serious embarrassment) I jumped in and drove the 50 yards to safety. Today they didn’t get me. Today I had a win. Anyone who lives with these parking restrictions will understand the significance of this. It is sometimes the little things, the little wins, that amuse me. I have had some amusing brushes with the blue meanie law (parking) enforcers.

My best examplesT

The absolute best

This one still makes me laugh. I had parked just outside the Royal Edinburgh hospital. This is a hospital for all sorts of mental health issues – from the secure unit to addictions to eating disorders. Nestled in a posh part of town the parking is horrendous. I had a ticket but my appointment with someone in the hospital (not as a patient…as a professional) ran over. So my ticket had run out. When approaching my car I saw the parking warden bloke. Mind overdrive – ‘I can make this, he might not have printed it yet’. So I wildly ran towards him saying (probably moaning incoherently) that my appointment ran over. He looked panicked. He didn’t print out the ticket but said he hoped I was ok and went on his way. It really wasn’t until I was in and starting the engine that it dawned on me what my behaviour might have looked like. I probably scared him…just a little. Win!

A definite contender

This time I had a ticket and it had plenty of time on it. However I didn’t really bother, whilst in a rush, to stick it to the window. So I got a ticket. Instead of paying it or ignoring it (both definite options), I decided to write a letter. My letter detailed my ticket and provided them with photo evidence. I made it amusing and begged for forgiveness to be given to them for not providing me with a sticky enough sticker. I received a lovely reply that basically told me it was my fault. But because I had brightened up their potentially dull day, my ticket was quashed. Win!

The hug

I caught him just in time. If you manage to get to your car before they have tapped some details into their little machine they will probably let you off. So…just like in the movies…this blue meanie got a hug. I am convinced we both felt better about life.

The meaning in all of this

Absolutely nothing. It made me chuckle and it is one of those things in Edinburgh. I have had a few tickets over the years but I don’t really remember the details. I do remember the wins.

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