Musings on driving, parking and life's direction
I have just got back from the nearby shopping mall, feeling somewhat frazzled. I am an anxious driver and although it is only a few miles away I have never driven there before. I needed to go to Debenhams (the department store) for a certain item of clothing it turns out I need to go with my dress for a concert. This is what happens when you have a bias cut silk dress and healthy eating hasn't been top of your list for the last few months. I had a most interesting discussion with my singing coach about this. Apparently it is completely normal to need special stage items. Then came the discussion about silhouette vs actually being able to breathe (always handy when you're singing). It appeared Debenhams would have the answer. So I psyched myself up and went.
Parking is always a problem for me. If the space isn't three times the size of the car you can forget it. I thought a weekday morning would probably be ok in a multi-storey so I looked online for the closest one. The Fareham indoor shopping centre page was most helpful, detailed directions and a postcode for the sat nav. I only had one mishap on the way there, I turned left just before the car-park instead of into it. That resulted in a 16-point-turn in the taxi pickup point but I was reassured by the fact that I could at least SEE the car-park. I eventually got inside and drove around until I found a very easy space to navigate. I took careful note of the level I was parked on. I've been known to be so relieved to have managed to park I completely forget to make a mental note of this trivial detail and spent the rest of the day searching for the car.
With the help of the floor plans in the mall I find Debenhams and think/hope I have what I need. I gather a few other bits of shopping and head back to the car-park which is helpfully signposted inside the centre. I find my ticket, pay the fee and head up the stairs feeling virtuous about not using the lift. Level 1 doesn't look the same from this end so I walk around a bit. It really doesn't look the same at all. I'm sure those concrete pillars were painted purple and on the wall is a large 'This way to the shops' sign. I don't remember there being anything as helpful as this when I got out of the car. Hmmm... It begins to dawn on me that I'm in the wrong car-park, but hang on a minute... the machine took my parking card, and my money!! Maybe all the car-parks use the same universal system. Oh NO!! I've paid for my parking and I'm now on a time limit to get my car out of the car-park! Only I'm in the wrong car-park and I don't know where the right one is!!
I head back down the stairs and look at Google maps on my phone. A stupid thing to do, whoever heard of a sat nav finding your car when you don't know where you left it! I find the floor plan again and find (or course) there are two car-parks adjoining the centre. I must be in Osborne Road car-park... I do HOPE I'm in Osborne Road car-park! So the ever-so-helpful website sent me to the car-park for this centre that is not called 'Shopping Centre Car-Park'. I silently curse Fareham Borough Council as I dash past the shops trying to retain the directions out of here in my head. I eventually make it back to the correct car-park and much to my relief the machine accepts my ticket and lets me out.
I think I'll stick to writing songs! Shame it doesn't pay enough to take a taxi everywhere.