I always used to get stressed about leaving for work on time – because parking space is at a premium. In fact, if you’re not in there by 8.20am, you’re more likely to find a chilled-out T-Rex than an empty rectangular piece of car-sized tarmac.
So, I’m often left doing the ‘Car Park Shuffle’ – using short term parking, then moving on! We have several store car parks within walking distance of our building. The only problem is that they are limited to a maximum of two hours – some even less. And if you should accidentally go over your allotted time, you’re looking at a King’s Ransom in fines.
But if I can’t change the car parking situation, which, short of buying an Aldi store and levelling it, I can’t – there has to be another solution. I’ve had to look at things differently in an attempt to turn the negatives into positives.
There is a distant land where cars can stay, without fear of time limit or ticket. In the middle of a local park there are normally spaces to spare. But there is a downside – the long walk.
Realistically, the walk is less than 15 minutes each way. And now the British Spring has sprung, it’s a pleasant-enough hike on a tree-fringed tarmac path. And since I’m looking to increase my daily step count, it’s all good!
And through the seasons, while walking through the park I’ve been inspired to use my phone and take a photo or two of something that catches my eye. Be it a beautiful winter wonderland, a spring flower bed in full bloom, or a travelling fair setting up.
Sometimes there’s hardly a person in sight, but often there are little kids zooming around on push scooters, being taken to school by their parents. Or small groups of dog walkers who stop to moan about the weather, just as the sun breaks through the dark clouds.
A gardener occasionally chugs past on an industrial lawn mover like he’s in a Formula 1 Grand Prix race. A couple of the scooter kids give chase, leaving their parents trailing in their wake.
My route takes me past a big new-build house that I think looks perfect. I imagine myself living there, the owners having kindly moved out and handed me the keys.
The gardener seems to be happily driving at half speed, now the kids have been drawn away by the urgent ringing of a distant school bell.
And before I know, it I’m onto the road and outside my office building. Why did I ever think this option was a last resort?
On some days, I find myself walking around the park in my lunch break, taking different routes, and soaking up the atmosphere.
So what was all the fuss about? Maybe I really couldn’t see the wood for the trees.