Parking Fines, Pisces & Grunting – Week 28 : 2019

July 10, 2019

Katrina, Favourite Eldest Daughter, is leaving London and her old job to move to Manchester. London was fine but she cannot envisage ever getting onto the property ladder in t’Smoke and the North offers much better prospects. I’m not sure that the fact that her younger sibling is already established there is the draw! (Sophie is flourishing at adidas and now moving into her second flat with her partner). As a professional Human Resources professional Katrina’s job in London was very much a ‘coal face’ type of responsibility looking after the NSL employees servicing Westminster Council’s parking regime as a contractor.

Her previous job was at the plush offices of the National Broadcasting Company in central London. She went from here to hot desking above a shop somewhere in Westminster. Apart from a salary there were no cushy perks. She handled the recruitment and disciplinary issues of over 150 staff. It seemed to be a completely male dominated environment with a large churn in Parking Marshalls (wardens to you and me) of considerable ethnic mix. These people were not highly paid and trudging the streets in winter issuing tickets and on occasion receiving abuse cannot be the easiest way to earn a living.

As a parent you have a lot of confidence in your children but what are they like at work? It seems Katrina with her intellect, values and personality won them over in her two years and ran quite a tight yet fair ship. HR is a complicated matter with many legal pitfalls if handled badly. You cannot cut corners and she needed to shepherd those she worked with to go about all these matters properly. Her resignation drew great dismay. A collection was made and turned up in the form of vouchers – a depot, the management and HR group colleagues stumped up £260! How wonderful and touching. Below is a mug she got and the presentation pack for one of the vouchers.

Amongst my several failings is following cycling groups on Facebook. The administrators of these forums instruct members not to be ‘snarky’: I do my best. I draw your attention to the post below about astrology and cyclists. As they say ‘only in America’. My incredulity at this nonsense grew when I look at how many participants willingly contributed.

Grunting and Wimbledon tennis is back. Why do wisps of women looking ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’ suddenly become impersonators of King Kong coping with constipation when you put them on grass with a tennis racket? This noise is imposed on thousands watching (and millions viewing) by these maidens. Horrible! Which coaching manual dreamt up that a service was enhanced by this? 

You can see below Anna doing her impression of Theresa May (albeit keeping to the path between the barley) and despite my advanced years I learned that broad beans have flowers! You need not worry that this blog is about to turn into nature watch.

 The sound of humming bees was considerable.

Whilst dealing with Anna then we spent the one day of summer at Copmanthorpe Carnival running a tombola raising money for Home Start. The weather was superb but hasn’t been seen since. It was £1 for 5 tickets that eventually progressed to 10 tickets as we lived in fear of having to take all the ‘prizes’ home. Storing them for another year is not good for cashflow. The carnival was busy with lots of stands, music, food and beer.

Lastly, there was considerable celebration and pride at my remembering to take some books to my former brother in law. This task was preceded by my first wife reminding me the day before I was down to see him. The next morning I was reminded again. To continue my spouse’s ‘belt and braces’ strategy my car keys were then deposited on the said paperbacks. Miraculously I did remember to take the books and give them to him.

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