My annual diabetes review went off OK – my blood glucose levels have settled back to ‘normal’ following the hump when I was taking steroids. We had a discussion on cholesterol and I was given a booklet to read. So I thought I would tell you about my experiences as a parking attendant.
Liz sings in a community choir which is a community singing group. They sing all types of songs from all over the world traditional, folk, pop, ballads, gospel, jazz, blues…. They learn these songs by listening and copying, it is a choir you don’t have to audition for and you don’t need to read music. It is singing for fun and while they do give performances at places like Towersey Festival and at Christmas events in Oxford and Chinnor these are not compulsory. They even recorded a jingle for a local community radio station based at a nearby garden centre.
Each autumn they organise a community choir festival in a local school which attracts about 150 people from other community choirs in the area. Last year was the fifth time they had done this and so they asked Liz to bake a cake or two (actually it ended up as four large cakes). This was so successful that they asked her to do it again – that’ll teach us to do a good job. So for the week before the festival I was busy with various shopping trips (“We need more eggs“, “Can you get some more cake bases and boxes” and so on) and dashing into the kitchen when summoned to give a hand or to cut a cake in half so that a filling could be added. Actually I was quite impressed with my cake cutting skills!
On the day of the Community Choir Festival we got to the school first thing to deliver the cakes and for me to don my Hi-Viz jacket so that I could make sure the participants found their way to a suitable parking space. I had two assistants so it wasn’t an onerous task – in addition to the main school playground there were some other smaller areas that we needed to fill so as to get everyone in. Unfortunately there were gardeners cutting the grass and their van and trailer blocked a significant number of spaces while they would need a huge swathe through the main parking area in order to get out. However a quick word with them and they moved to opposite the exit so that it would be easy for them to make a quick getaway when they were finished – all we had to do was stop the streams of cars coming in when they were ready to leave.
While we had a clear idea of where we wanted people to park first, I knew there would be at least one person who would want to leave early so needed to park near the exit. I also expected one or two people to completely ignore us and choose their own spot (they must wear special glasses that make people in Hi-Viz jackets invisible). Fortunately none of them went to a spot which caused problems (or where I could block them in with later arrivals). What amazed me was how many people went in to their space forwards (which made getting out when the car park was full much more difficult) – it was refreshing to hear a driver say “May I reverse in?“. For other people I felt that we really should have offered a valet parking service (although I rather expect that we wouldn’t have been covered by insurance).
But the best response came when my colleague asked one driver to reverse in to the spot we had found for her and got the response “I don’t do reversing“! Apart from the minor question of how on earth did she pass the driving test, we did wonder how she was going to get out since a wall blocked the way forwards. By the time the festival was over we had long gone and so weren’t able check. Perhaps I should go back and check if she is still there.