Wednesday 5 January 2011

Endearingly Shambolic Transport

26th October

I went for lunch with The Endearingly Shambolic Comedy Songwriter in Camberwell. Arriving at his house in Rainbow Street reminded me of when we used to keep our car there for a while. Because we move every two weeks it makes sense to park your car outside a mates’ house where they can keep an eye on it. If we’re moored in London zone 1 we can’t park near the boat: we don’t have a residents parking permit and we couldn’t pay to keep it on a meter for two weeks. But this meant that we didn’t see our car from month to month and the Doctor would have to travel on public transport to collect it. I don’t have a driving licence. One time, we were moored in Uxbridge, which was a significant mission by tube for the Doctor to reach Camberwell. When he arrived the car was gone. He called at the house of our friend, and The Endearingly Shambolic Comedy Songwriter had not noticed the car was gone. A brief investigation revealed that the car had been vandalised. Because the window was smashed the police thought it was a “terrorist risk” and the local authority towed it away. They wanted £100 to release it! It had not been illegally parked but it was accused of being abandoned. Our much loved endearingly shambolic car had only cost £250. When you don’t have anywhere safe to keep a car there’s no point in having an expensive one. The Doctor argued and reasoned with the vehicle impounding people until they yielded to his mind-bending time tricks and gave our shambolic travelling machine back.

A different car of ours got its windows smashed in Stoke Newington. When the Doctor first bought his boat as a bachelor pad, (now our family home) he parked his car at the quiet rural railway station of Long Buckby, near Daventry. We collected the boat from the boat yard and spent a week cruising south towards London. The Doctor then returned to Long Buckby by train to collect the car, on an arduous journey thwarted by engineering works. When he finally arrived at the place outside Long Buckby station where the car had been parked, there was nothing but smashed glass on the tarmac. After a while we stopped buying cars.

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