Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Parking Dilemma

I work in a building that was built fairly recently and has 121 offices inside.  However when the offices were built no-one obviously thought about how people were going to get to work as they made no provision for car parking.  The closest affordable car-park is about half a mile away.  However, there is a bed shop with a rather large free car park that’s only a couple of minutes’ walk away.  There are about 15 of us commuters that have realised this and we all park our cars in there for the working day.  There’s one very small sign that says parking is for customers only and any non-customers will be clamped but we all ignore it.  There are so many spaces in the car park that it’s not like actual customers will be short of one. 

A couple of months ago a note was left of my windscreen saying that the car park would be closed for the next two days for resurfacing. I thought that it was rather strange and wondered if the staff had just got bored and thought they’d kindly let the commuters know about the resurfacing.  So reluctantly the next day I left my car in the further away car park and walked in to work.  When I walked back to the car that day there nothing seemed to have happened in the bed shop car park with regards to the resurfacing and there were still cars parked in there.  So the next day I went back to parking at the bed shop. 

Two days ago I got back to the car and found this note on my windscreen- 

‘Any cars parking that are not registered to park need to do so straight away by calling us on 014****3996.  Do not call into the shop.  If you are not registered your car will be clamped without further warning’.  

So yesterday I parked up in the further away car park and on my way back to the car after work there were still quite a few of the commuter cars in the bed shop car park and none of them had been clamped. 

I didn’t park in there again today but I’m already wondering whether the bed shop’s threats are just empty because let’s be honest how on earth are they going to clamp 20 cars?? Already this year I’ve saved £140 on parking money so if I did get clamped I’d still have made a saving because surely they wouldn’t charge me £140 to remove the clamp?? What would you do? Would you risk it to park closer for free, or would you pay to park further away?

Alex x 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Tropical World

Yesterday, at 7am, all of the 5 fire alarms in our house started going off and there was nothing we could do to shut them up.  As it was a Sunday our letting agents were closed, they have no emergency number, and the landlords mobile was turned off.  This resulted in us either going crazy or going out.  After having had a late night the night before I wasn't so happy about having to get up so early but we ended up having a lovely day out.

We went to Tropical World in Leeds which has the largest collection of tropical plants in the UK (outside of Kew Gardens) and houses butterflies, birds, fish, crocodiles and nocturnal monkeys and bats.  It's a ridiculously cheap day out at £3.50 an adult so it's definitely worth the trip if you're in the vicinity.

I have an irrational fear of most animals, and especially butterflies, which I know sounds ridiculous because there are utterly harmless but I think it's their erratic flying I don't like.   Anyhow, I had to overcome this fear because I wanted to get some good pictures with my new high zoom camera lens!  

Which is your favourite?

Alex x

Friday, 13 April 2012

Song of the Week # 3

This is the new song by DJ Fresh and Dizzee Rascal which is due to be released in June.  I've got a feeling it's going to be a big summer tune!

Alex x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Talented Mr Ripley

The Talented Mr Ripley is one of those where you just wouldn't guess what was going to happen next.  I've seen it so many times, and it is still brilliant.  It's a film that is so often on TV that it has evaded my DVD collection for years so for Christmas I asked for a copy.  Unbeknownst to me the film was actually based on a book so as well as the DVD my Mum bought me a copy of the book.

Even though it was written over 50 years ago it feels very undated if you disregard obvious things such as mobile phones! The film follows the book fairly closely with only subtle differences but it still makes a great read and one I would certainly recommend.

If you haven't seen the film it's about a young guy called Tom Ripley who is struggling to keep away from the jaws of creditors/ law.  One day he bumps into an acquaintance whose son live in Europe against the wishes of his father.  The acquaintance offers Tom a free trip to Europe with the purpose of getting his son to fly back to America.  Once Tom reaches Europe he gets a taste for money and the good life and isn't willing to give it up at any cost.  

I was, as I always am when I finish a good book, disappointed that there wasn't any more to read.  However, it is the first in a series! I went out and bought the whole series last week and I'm now half way through the second which is called Ripley Under Ground.

It is just as gripping as the first and I am left with high hopes for the next three books. The book is only a few £s on eBay so if you like thrillers or know someone who does, buy it!

Alex x

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Vienna and a Night Out at the Dogs

I haven't had chance to blog for a week now as I've been in Vienna on a business trip.  I didn't think I'd get to see too much of the city as I knew most of my time there would be spent at the conference. However, the hotel was located right in the centre of town so I got a chance to have a look around in the evenings.  Vienna is a beautiful city and is spotlessly clean.  I didn't see one piece of litter and they seemed to wash the streets every single night (they obviously don't seem to be low on water!). 

Some nice lights projected onto a church
The Town Hall 
A theatre opposite the Town Hall
One of two matching buildings that were opposite each other
On the second evening we took a short tour of the city in a horse and cart. The gentle rocking of the cart made us all feel quite sleepy! 

My colleagues and I in the horse and cart
I'd organised for us all to have dinner in a restaurant that was on a boat on the Danube canal.  It was quite similar to one of those pop-up restaurants but had a lovely atmosphere.  I had lamb and one potato- and that was the whole dish.  What there was was delicious however I was left thinking where was the veg?

The boat restaurant
I got back on Thursday and it was nice to be back with Lea again.  We went to a greyhound race track last night as we'd got cheap tickets on Groupon.  It was the first time I'd been to see dog racing and the first time I'd ever really placed a proper bet.  I won 4 out of my 10 bets and we only ended up losing a couple of pounds so it was quite a cheap night out! We went outside to watch for the last race of the night and even though I don't really like dogs it made me a bit sad to hear one of them whimpering just before it's race. Although my dad pointed out that raising dogs to race is no different to raising animals to eat.  I suppose that they live a longer life and are shown more affection than farm animals are shown.  Do any of you have any thoughts on this?

My next business trip is to Zurich in May so I'm hoping I get enough time there to see some sights too.  Can any of you recommend things to see in Zurich?

Alex x