This is my home!

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - Bond's World -

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...

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