Parking tickets, dog biscuits and perhaps a lost muse

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August 17, 2016 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette July 28th 2016

Very recently I saw a council parking attendant issuing a ticket in Rustington’s Waitrose carpark because the vehicle had two inches of a rear tyre on the white line. It was an end bay so the vehicle was not in causing an obstruction. Similarly a driver was issued a ticket in Sainsbury’s car park in Littlehampton because the boot – not the rear wheels – of the car was a few inches outside of the box, again not causing an obstruction and, according to the driver, not his fault as he had parked as close as possible to the vehicle occupying the bay in front of him which had since departed. The question is, are these tickets issued under instruction from the council or merely at the whim of overzealous wardens? Either way, not very resident or visitor friendly.
I walked a holidaying friend’s dog one morning last week under a sky that turned to lead and threatened to drown the pair of us and, although the rain held off, I thought it prudent to seek shelter and a coffee in the newly reopened Putting Green Cafe. A big drawback of having a dog is the fact its company excludes one from entering so many places and the café, I suppose rightly so, was one of them.  A tad irritated I ordered my coffee, sat outside and kept an eye on the grey sky. When the coffee arrived it was accompanied by a sympathetic smile and a little bowl of dog biscuits. A very nice touch that and a decent cup of coffee. We shall return.

An old friend and I were talking and he said reflectively and rather sadly, I thought, ‘I used to write poetry when I was a young man.’ So why did he stop writing poetry? Is it something you can actually stop doing? I wanted to ask him why, to explain, but did not want to intrude.

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