The first was in Covent Garden back in the days when you could park free after 1230 on Saturdays. I parked at 1229 without putting money in the meter, and yes, when I came back I'd got a ticket!
On the second occasion I put 4 pound coins in a meter in Kensington, but there was a ticket on my car when I returned well within the timescale. The meters were cunningly placed so as to make each one actually serve the space next to the one that seemed likely. Bummer!
The third time was in the pleasant little town of Biggar. I parked in a row of cars where there were no yellow lines. When I returned, two policemen were waiting and gave me a ticket. I pointed out that there was no obvious parking restriction and they replied that: "Yes sir. That's what everyone says who parks here. You've no idea how many visitors do it." Apparently there was a very faint yellow line further down the road that I certainly couldn't see.
You'd have though that a town in Dumfries and Galloway would have been more visitor-friendly, but Biggar's not actually in D&G although some think that it should be:
David Mundell, Tory MSP for the South of Scotland, has written to his constituents in Biggar, on the edge of the Borders, suggesting they could hold a referendum to alter their postcode from Lanarkshire to Dumfries and Galloway.And why?
Such a move could save some constituents as much as £300 on car insurance because insurers associate Lanarkshire with parts of Glasgow and a higher rate of crime, according to Mr Mundell.Most of the locals seem to like this idea, but a voice from Labour's Lanarkshire heartland disagrees:
Karen Gillon, the Labour MSP for Clydesdale, said people should be proud to live and work in Lanarkshire.The Scotsman's editorial on this weighty matter says that:
She said: "I’m not sure that we should be looking to score cheap political points on this, but should instead educate insurers on living in Biggar.
"Biggar is a lovely place and I think that residents should be proud to come from Lanarkshire."
Some will scent snobbery.Of course they will. That's Labour's ultimate put-down, even though it's the party of the rich.
I say: let Biggar join Dumfries and Galloway, the home of my birthplace and, perhaps, of fewer parking tickets.