The unplanned car park bonus 

Saturday, m25 , anti-clockwise somewhere nr junction 26 or 25 

A regular journey for me, not in the commuter style regularity admittedly, but a frequently used route. For once I’m passenger . All lanes slowed then ground to a halt. 

It always makes the road scene odd when drivers open the doors , first to lean out try to get a view jammed in a sliver of opening , half body  and a leg then still holding the position arm hooked over the top of the door, just incase there is a sudden change and movement. Then swinging  open the whole door … Bravely two feet on the Tarmac any better view, what’s happening? 

Several heads bobbing up as the collective unspoken agreement spreads , it’s ok you can get out. 

All looking ahead. 

What they missed, and what I saw looking left, from the car back seat, were the deer.

On the high banks away from the road, running through the green, zig zag around the trees. 


A selection of parking places … 


And Wolverhampton both with views over rooftop places .. I guess it is easy to point out which is which? If only down to the surrounding  buildings .Mid day at one and not for the other ..
Still think it would be good to orchestrate a car game in a car park . Al black cars swop  with a white all reds in a row ! 

Parking and waiting

It may be a generational thing, as I’m not sure this happens so much now …. does it? Men waiting in cars in shop car parks while the woman does the shop?  Now a days im sure both are pushing the trolley around together.  Don’t know what made me think on that. Possibly  being  in the car awaiting  the allotted rendez-vous time and having so much spare time. Seems a gift 

To sit here with no especial need or requirement. Other than watch the traffic go past. No pedestrians here along the wide pavement  on a road on the outskirts of North London.. . Well is it even London?  Magpie in the tree opposite  a tall lime tree . And four or five learner motor cyclicyclists who have faced back and forth several times now. Traffic is fairly intermittent 

Time available to appreciate the quiet.  But I can hear the motorway just down the road.. almost with a wave sound like the sea.  

But actually I don’t know what’s here at all not my patch  

Competion for car parks ?

Not a thing that I know of…. but probably exists … what type of categories …. largest smallest  generating the most profit providing the most services?   All possible.  What about the category best situation?  Even that may need subsections:

Rural ,urban, suburban, private , totally enclosed, subterranean  , multistorey …


Well in the public park and ride category I would like to nominate the park and ride for the City of Bath.  It does need you to look beyond the immediate car park provision.  And in fact in the pouring  rain on Monday the ground was a sloppy sandy mess, and the week before the failure of the public unisex toilets to open despite piling in the money.  But beyond those the car park sits sheilding  a playing field and beautiful views across the valley . Not an obvious attraction though  when parking . Because mostly thoughts are on getting to the City.

Leaving  Bath the road takes me along a minor road twisty and relatively narrow with banks and hedges on either side . Not single track . But if I were walking one I would be worried about quick escape routes from oncoming traffic.. no verges. 

Leaving Bath early evening I was just in a slow trail . One of those where you can be stopped and wind down the window and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the place. I was so close to the hedge I could have taken the hawthorn for tea… the bread and cheese leaf. The traffic line was mostly so slow it was stopped for ages between moving  just a car’s  length so with the window down I could take a picture … to be loaded up and shared

Image to come … Close up of hedge .. Hawthorn leaves at close quarters ..










Double commute

Bright and  early, such a beautiful start to the day. Out of ordinary today as it involves trains. But first to get to the station so car to park and ride or bus, then which bus ?

All choices needed to get to station for at least 730 and pick up ticket. And what a lovely morning.  Luxuriating in the glorious views of tbe frothy white and green verges and hedgerows of early May.   Very light traffic … no one on the toll bridge.

Climbed  out of the car at the park and ride … even though the bus was there I was early enough to be able to take in the area. So few cars and very light traffic meant i could hear the birds and there were plenty announcing their boundaries.  I must confess to feeling quite pleased with myself and the morning.  Rummaged  through the bag for purse to sort out parking.  NO PURSE

No cards . No money.

Back in the car.

Very light traffic  and  even lighter in my direction

Back home . NO PURSE.

remembering the petrol stop yesterday located card in jacket pocket, but no purse.  Back in  car .

Still lightish traffic … no queue at toll bridge (does everyone work at home on a friday?)  Back to car park no listening to birds now

Bus there and waitewaited  for another 5 minutes . Might just make original planned train

Ticket  code on phone  , somewhere,  got ticket just as the planned train drew out!

Missed it.


Dandelion Day cont’d

It’s not a thing but perhaps it ought to be ..maybe somewhere it is. I really like dandelions: that big sun head giving all sorts of insects a landing-place. Greeting the spring  when many other flowers are still a little shy to show up.

Caught in the tail back which snaked around the roundabout and stopped. This offered the chance to look to the clock faces, the mass of fluffy heads getting ready to blow out the time with the next gust of wind.  I came back here on the way home, hoping the day had been still and the seed heads remaining.

I came back to park up and take the photos.

Have you spotted these dandelion days? They happen twice –  the day you first notice that the those yellow heads are all out everywhere .. the first flush. Then the second when they all transform to clocks, simultaneously; sometimes whole fields certainly along the road verges. Ok I agree perhaps less exciting when in your own garden, but I have to admit to enjoying them even there.

Being held in traffic, and viewing the verges reveals there are varieties, or perhaps mutations. I have no botanical background  but I have noticed the variations in leaves. the expected ragged, toothed leaf  the source of the name lions tooth, in some places  almost entirely smoothed out.  Reasons?   dandelion roundabout resized

In a recent project, concerning gratitude, I was looking at the very involved flower language developed by Victorians, and while it would be possible to build a bouquet of flowers representing a variety of emotions and messages no combination settled the subject sufficiently for me. Consulting several guides I could not find a reference in there for dandelions either. Strange? The plant itself can be useful  tasty vitamin c laden salad leaves, symbolic time references, roots dried and ground for coffee substitute (or so I read ) and in the past a treatment for jaundice. Perhaps the thing against the inclusion for the posy makers is the flower will not stay open when picked, losing the sun it closes down.

In looking into my gratitude plans,  I am proposing the dandelion is the symbolic plant for my subject. I am not going into my discussion on gratitude here .. still much to explore, but I will briefly mention why the dandelion

The flower head .. bright sunshine yellow, the immediate reaction.  Thankfulness for the gift, the offer , the past action someone else carried out which enables you to now do something ,

The deep tap roots this plant has –  that past action  may not have been with you in mind, someone else’s selfless act, waiting for the spring, and even the effects of the gift embedding itself in you gradually changing your attitude or actions

The seed head – superb dispersal system of this plant.  The gift the idea, how best to truly acknowledge the effect but by taking that and using it yourself , spreading its effect further.

These are the basis of my reason for adopting dandelions to carry the idea of gratitude.  I have wandered from my roadside commentary, but sometimes it is while you are stuck in traffic that these other thoughts are given time to mull and sneak around your head and the seeds of ideas get planted.

Enjoy your commute