So, anyway, my sister, my daughter and I trundled off to Chester to re-tax the car. And I’ve decided to look on the bright side:
1) They hadn’t actually clamped my car when I got home, and discovered the friendly policepeople and clamper milling around my car. If I’d been twenty minutes later, the cost would have been the same, and I’d have had the added inconvenience of waiting for them to return and unclamp my car.
2) No-one, not the men who came, the woman I spoke to in Swansea, or the people manning the desks at Chester, were at all horrid to me. Any one of them could have been snotty, officious, awkward, or difficult, and they weren’t. They were ALMOST sympathetic. Not quite, but almost.
3) Going to Chester saved me a trip to Widnes – the original plan was that I get my new tax disc, then take it to the clamping people in Widnes, so they could reimburse me (part of) the clamping charge. When this plan was presented to me, it was based on the assumption that Widnes is easier to get to than Chester (well, I don’t know about that, but it’s certainly nearer), and that a tax disc could be acquired at any local Post Office. Since I later discovered I didn’t have a Vehicle Registration Document, the Post Office wasn’t an option, and since I was going to Chester anyway, the reimbursement could be sorted out there, instead. So, one trip for the price of two.
4) It didn’t rain in Chester.
5) We got away without paying for the carpark – it’s pay on the way out, and the little man had gone for his lunch.
So it could have been worse.
The worst bit was the flashbacks to school. I was a basically good child – I didn’t want to be naughty, I tried everything in my power to be good, and to be approved of (I still attach far too much importance to other people’s approval, actually, and it ties me up in large knots). I used to get detentions for forgetting things, which struck me as grossly unfair, and a way of punishing me for things that were genuinely beyond my control. I mean, no-one ever sat down with me and tried to give me strategies to NOT forget my French books again. They just punished me for being… administratively inept. Forgetful. Dippy.
I have some strategies now, but they still let me down from time to time, as this week’s events would demonstrate. I’d rather be spared the fine for forgetting, though.