Friday, 12 December 2008

Day 73 of 365: Victoria Square, Birmingham


I spent a greater chunk of time than expected in Birmingham today inside a reception room on the 5th floor of One Victoria Square. This was my view from said reception room.

Matt was in an interview and we had paid a fiver for two hours of parking. I realized he wasn't going to be out in time, so I asked the receptionist to give him the message that I had gone down to the car -- in the hopes I could stall the parking attendant if they attempted to give a ticket.

Initially, I got to the car and disabled the alarm. I looked down the road to see the attendant approaching with his handy dandy "ticket making" contraption. I jumped in the driver's seat (something I have yet to do in England -- EVER) and proceeded to make it look as though I was preparing to leave.

Simple, right?

If only.

I stick the key in the ignition...and...nothing. It wouldn't budge! I spent a good five minutes fiddling with the key and trying to get the engine to turn but I couldn't manage to get it off 'lock.'

Luckily the parking attendant walked right on past and then back down the other side of the street to the parking-violation-stalking-van. Meanwhile, the alarm starts to sound on the car. I fumble nervously for the button and disable the alarm once again, then I continue to attempt to start the car.

This continues for the next 35 minutes...attempt to start car...alarm goes off...disable alarm...look around for signs that Matt is on his way out...repeat. During this time I develop a "story" to tell the parking attendant in the event he decides to get suspicious and approach the car. My story, which not far from the truth, was that I was sent to the car by my husband to move it (even though I wasn't moving it, instead just trying to turn it on for heat and the radio), but because it's a newly cut key (as of 3 months ago) I wasn't able to get it to start the car. I thought to myself that I would even offer for them to try, so they could see I wasn't lying about not being able to start it. Either way, I was determined to keep Matt from receiving a penalty charge notice.

Thankfully, I didn't need to tell my carefully concocted tale because after almost 40 minutes of struggling, Matt appears from around the corner and I willfully resign my seat from behind the stubborn ignition. He then works his magic and the car begins to purr.

Tonight, I type this with a VERY sore pointer finger on my right hand. I think I even see a bruise. Owwie.

1 comment:

UK Christine =^..^= said...

I think I would freak out behind the wheel of a car here. It has been well over 10 years since I have driven a stick and I'm still not used to being on the left. :)