This is my home!
Bond's World by Anita Bond For the first time, in thirty years, I had been the recipient of a parking ticket. This, I had managed to get, while stamping my feet, groaning and moaning about someone who had hit my car; not with another car but with his wheelbarrow. No matter. Now this was something totally new to me – a serious quarrel with a Spaniard over parking - and, later, to finish off the day: a parking ticket!
I have to admit that this particular part of Calpe town is foreign to me. I so rarely find a parking place and then when I do, I go off to buy my shopping, only to forget completely where I had parked the car.
Now regular readers will know that not only do I do my best to carry myself erect after all those operations, but I am also taking along with me my over-excited 10-kilo Terrier whose only wish in life is to dance around me, and keep anyone else far, far in front from me.
It is heart-warming to have such a pet but sometimes difficult when meeting those people with whom I would like to be able to keep a relationship going! The saying, ‘Love me, love my dog,’ springs to mind, but I have friends who just do not like ‘dog hairs’ on their clothes. And I truly respect that.
Anyway, back to the parking ticket: On the ticket left under my window screen-wiper, was a hand-written note stating that I needed to renew my ‘residencia’ parking claim.
Of course! I had been so long in the hospital that I had forgotten that many privileges need renewing each year.
When your parking time runs out and you have not bought a renewal ticket or removed the car: this will also make you the new owner of a parking ticket telling you that if you return to your car just a few minutes late, then rather than charge you €40, there is the possibility of pressing the long number on the ticket machine into the parking machine and, therefore, cancelling the parking fine.
This was rather difficult for me and strange – I normally put enough money in the machine to give me parking privileges until the next day.
The waitress who had served me in my local restaurant had done the €4.50fine bit. However, there was a handwritten complaint that I did not have an ‘up to date’ permission to apply the ‘residencia’ parking charges – somewhat cheaper, than the general chargers. All that was on a Friday: So, on the Monday, I set off with all my documents, including the birth certificates and the documents of my parents. I felt sure I had all that was needed.
Get off !!!!
By this time, it was Tuesday and I was again waiting to speak to the person who had attended me before. “So”, I said. I surely had everything this time, I proudly presented.
“Nooooo!” said the lady from the Ayuntamiento, “You do not have your car documents”. “Oh, I can get them immediately”. “Doesn’t matter”, she said and I could feel she was irked by this time thingy.
Finally, she issued me with a blue shield to stick on the inside on my front glass car-window. It was so similar to the one I had been issued a couple of years before, I said I could not understand why there was a change.
I asked the woman in the Ayuntamiento, “Why is this new badge only good until the end of December this year? ... and not through to June/July?” as is the normal time for when the permits are issued.
I queried this. She looked at her computer and did all and everything not to answer me. (This was not a ‘speaking and be happy’ attendant.) Then it occurred to me...
“Oh”, I said, in sudden and sad acknowledgement, “is this because of Brexit?” I asked.
I did not get an answer. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled a strange sort of ‘who knows’ smile at me.
Thirty years I have lived here and the first that they do is cut off my somewhat cheaper parking privileges! This alone frightened me, what next?
I am actually writing this on the week after it happened. I am booked for lunch with Viviana and I will not cancel this because Spain and my Spanish friends are a real necessity to my happiness here.
It is really a horrible mess that the British government are making of the lives of us, the British people, who love Spain, and are living here, happily and lawfully; and I imagine there are other people in other EU lands, who just want to live in peace and quiet.
When I look at Britain as it is now, and this I do in the British television news series and other programmes, I feel more than happy to live here. I am in the winter of my years, and I want to go looking at a wonderfully blue sky and bluebells growing at me feet.
It goes without saying, that I expect Sebastian, my dog, is to follow me on this last adventure...