Every week BARBARA FISHER looks at issues that affect us all – the issues that get you talking. You can join in by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
WE DON’T need the Wizard of Oz to tell us that home is where the heart is.
My satnav constantly reminds me. As soon as we enter Uxbridge a little heart appears on the screen where our house is. Aww...
But on a practical note, home is also the place we need to park our cars and it’s getting more and more difficult isn’t it? Even our public car parks are overflowing.
I did feel for that couple in Cheltenham who lost their car for a few days when they forgot where they’d put it. A nationwide appeal meant that someone eventually spotted it, although sadly by the time they retrieved it, it was decorated with parking tickets.
Years ago, Mr F and I once thought his Polo, (the car, not the mint with a hole) had disappeared from a vast Ikea car park, rather like the nuts and bolts that go missing from their flat pack furniture. Luckily, we had only temporarily mislaid it.
To avoid reporting it as stolen if we were daft enough to lose it again, we now make a point of always clocking our cars’ position with some kind of marker like a hoarding or direction sign so we can easily trace it later. Please do not look smug if you have always done this. Some of us need time.
If parked in a massive field, at a festival or concert, we now fly a distinctive ‘flag’ from the aerial - a sock or scarf or any item of clothing that can be decently displayed in public.
Talking of public appearances, it was great to see our MP Boris Johnson and Ray Puddifoot, leader of Hillingdon Council, meeting residents concerned about a possible huge development being built on the Halfords/Wickes site in Harefield Road.
You will remember the plan (now slightly amended) was to build 264 flats including one 12-storey block, with only disabled parking spaces, meaning a massive overspill into the jam-packed neighbourhood roads. Any new residents would be expected to sign up to not having cars (hmm- really?). But what about deliveries or visitors?
The two politicians listened intently to the very real worries and arguments against the proposal, including the pressure on services. They agreed wholeheartedly that this was the wrong spot. It’s great that they’re listening – and backing local people.
But it might be easier to put on ruby slippers and click our heels three times.
Take us back to Kansas. There’s plenty of parking there.