Since I stupidly crashed the Land Rover, I have been driving around in a car loaned by our very lovely Swedish friends. This has been a real double whammy. Not only am I mobile again but I get to drive a car on Swedish plates. I smile and wave at speed cameras as I fly past and have accrued a small mountain of parking tickets. I have even been looking forward to getting stopped by the police, so that I can do my world famous impression of a Swedish tourist speaking French. A childhood spent watching the Muppet Show means that I have been forever convinced that all Scandinavian’s speak like the Swedish Chef -’eeergh de birdy cheecken’.
Last week I had to take daughter number two to the orthodontist, again and I was late, again. I am always late and the fearsome orthodontist is always cross with me. So as I screeched into the car park, I was really narked to see that it was completely full. I was even more narked to see that the only places left, were disabled ones. And of course, there were lots of them.
Why is it, that every car park these days, is designed around the principle that all the disabled badge holders within a 200 mile radius, will choose to do their shopping at the same time? The planners also seem to think that they will bring all their disabled cousins, neighbours and friends with them too. In separate vehicles of course. There are always far more disabled places than needed. Its almost as annoying as the fact that there are always more mens toilets than required and never enough for us women. Who, lets face it, cannot easily go in an alleyway and need to go rather more often.
Now I am normally very respectful of disabled parking bays. I remember only too well, when the children were small, how annoyed I used to get with fat salesmen parking their Vauxhall’s in mother and baby spots. However on this day, I was so late that I decided to cast my morals aside and hope for the best. And I realised smugly, with my Swedish number plates, I was hardly likely to get a ticket.
Unfortunately, I parked next to a very grim looking woman. She looked at my car thoroughly before pointedly sticking her disabled badge into place. She then started walking purposefully towards me.
I took the only possible course of action. I leapt out of the car and set off for the dentist at a cracking pace. I did however drag my left leg behind me in a sort of ‘Life of Brian - I’ve had Leprosy’ kind of stage limp.
I also hissed instructions at the daughter to only speak in Swedish. Funnily enough she opted to say nothing at all. It was probably for the best.