All I want for Christmas is a parking space. One of the worst things about being back in the city is not having a place to park.
What a joy it was in Skye to have my own space. It was down a precipitous track, right enough, and the turning angle was tight. But there was no one around to laugh at my inept manoeuvres, and if I parked all wonky that was nobody’s business but mine.
And, oh, how lovely to see my car outside my abode and to unload my groceries just a few yards from the front door.
Back home, I have to park about 150 yards away from ma hoose. There’s parking in our street, but it’s a war zone, with bodywork scratched and tyres slashed as feuds break out among the unhinged.
Scientists estimate that, in any Scottish street, roughly 38.46 per cent of the residents will be deranged. I don’t have a problem with that. But they shouldn’t be allowed to drive.
So I decided to do what comes naturally and has been my guiding tactic in life: I retreated. I just don’t get involved. I park far away. Prior to that, folk would park right on my bumper: actually touching it.
If you ever venture into big cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh, you’ll find parking is a seriously expensive business in the centre.
Even in Perth, protests have taken place against rogue car park operators ripping people off, and the matter has been raised in Holyrood.
It’s one of the best assets to acquire if you want to make a fortune: nothing. By which I mean space, in which to park a car.
Minimal upkeep. Just provide an automatic machine into which desperate punters must pay their tithes.
There’s been talk lately of driverless cars, which would be pooled, so no one would actually own their own vehicle. Bring it on!
At least, if these machines were programmed properly, no one would drive up your bahookey any more.
I had that a few times driving home from Skye, even in low winter sun (serious problem; couldn’t see a thing at times and was effectively driving blind).
Driverless cars might be a problem if you were in a desperate hurry but, presumably, they’d go at optimal speed, and you’re not supposed to break the speed limit anyway.
Besides, Sod’s Law dictates that, any time you’re in a raging hurry, roadworks will appear or you’ll get stuck behind one of those old boys in the flat caps driving at 15 yards an hour.
Cars: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Certainly, in a place like Skye, you’d need a car, though you could probably get by in Portree.
I might even have moved to the island by now but for fear that I’d be marooned if I had to give up the car. Well, that and a number of other reasons, not least the fear engendered by urban friends that I’ll be found dead in a lonely, windswept cottage with an otter eating my face off.
Och, away! Naebody’s deid yet, not with Christmas to look forward to. Let’s just hope that Santa can find a place to park his sleigh and has change to feed the meter.
Have a good one, chums.