Daffodils, Butterfly Flowers, and a Bulb of Garlic

Being the adult-y sort of adult that I am I thought I would try my hand at a little bit of horticulture. I have had a few pot plants before and they did alright, and I’ve managed to kill an orchid so I’m fairly sure I know what I am doing.

Hoverfly on Flower
One of many flowers to have lived, and died, in my “garden”

I’ve always dreamed of having my own veggie patch, and a herb garden, so I figured:

“What am I waiting for? Why not just crack on and see how it goes!”

There is, alas, one slight set back to my dream garden. I live in a second floor flat with a small triangular balcony. But hey ho, you gotta work with what you’ve got.

So I bought some daffodil bulbs back in the winter. Nothing to extravagant, nice and simple to begin with. These sprouted and flowered for a bit, seemed to do quite nicely, but withered when the cold came back.

Daffodil

So I bought some seeds, specifically ones that are supposed to attract butterflies but not bees and I’ve got them planted. They seem to be coming along nicely.

Finally, the garlic. I’ve popped a couple of cloves in a pot. Should start to see some growth soon and with any luck they’ll be ready for harvest in the autumn.

And that’s how my balcony garden started. With some daffodils, butterfly flowers and a bulb of garlic.

The Parking Ticket or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Parking Nazis

A parking ticket? A parking ticket?! (My kingdom for a parking ticket!)

We Got a Parking Ticket

We Got a Parking Ticket – Adam Gerard

Furious doesn’t even begin to cover it. There are millions of words in the english language, but I don’t think I can string enough of them together to accurately describe just how angry I am. But apparently I’m about to try.

The reason I am so annoyed is that due to a technicality the parking company have got me over a barrel. The reason for the ticket being issued is that I “failed to correctly display a valid permit or ticket” for my residents parking space. I do indeed have a residents permit, which is displayed in the windscreen of my car, however it appears in the recent cold weather it had lost its sticky (I assume due to condensation) and had relocated itself to the passenger footwell.

I got the ticket on Tuesday, and had last used my car on Sunday so naturally I have no idea at what point this adhesive failure actually occurred.

Having sent an appeal in explain the situation as above I have received the following response:

Having considered the points you have raised and reviewed our records, we are unable to accept your appeal. Our main reason(s) for this decision are as follows:

The signs at the car park make it clear that the land is private property and that a charge of £100 will be levied if vehicles park outside of the Terms and Conditions displayed.

The signs make it clear that a valid permit must be clearly displayed in the vehicle parked; on this occasion the above detailed vehicle was observed parked whilst not correctly displaying a valid permit therefore you became liable for the Charge advertised.

e appreciate that you have now provided us with a copy of your permit; however the evidence shows that the permit was not clearly displayed at the time the vehicle was parked. It was your responsibility to ensure that the permit was clearly displayed before leaving the vehicle parked.

In recognition of the particular circumstances, and as a gesture of goodwill, we are prepared to offer you the opportunity to pay a reduced settlement charge of £20.00 provided that payment is received within our office by the 24th December 2018 after which the amount payable will revert to £100.00.

Well, I guess £20 is better than £100. And it’s a lot of effort to take the legal route of pointing out that I have never actually agreed to the use of a parking enforcement agency for the car park (residents were not consulted), but the use of a parking space is permitted in my lease, as such I don’t need a permit. 

Article 1 of the First Protocol: Protection of property allows the freedom to enjoy property and any perks it comes with, which arguably extends to the ability to park ones car. However, I run the risk of being shafted in to paying £100 so I’ll forget about my rights for a second and just pay the £20.

And then remember my other rights. Specifically the right to a Subject Access Request demanded access to all data relating to me, my property, and my car from the company, which will likely cost them the £20 all over again. What can I say, I like to get my money’s worth.

The Baby Bedroom Bonanza

Well this is it. With only a short while to go (33 days at the time of writing this post), it is time for Buttercup and I to get the room for Lentil sorted out.

Lentil is due to arrive on 29th December, and therefore won’t actually need their own room until about June, but we already have a lot of baby furniture so it needs to go somewhere. Cot Bed, changing table and various other bits, all take up a lot of room, especially in a two bedroom flat.

Our problem is that with dad having moved out to Paphos, and and us having moved in to his flat, there is a lot of his stuff still knocking about. Most of his things have already gone to Cyprus, but other non-essentials are still here. Some bits like paperwork obviously need to be retained so will go in the loft space (one of the perks of being on the top floor and having a hatch in to the roof void). Other bits need sorting out and either chucking, or getting stored elsewhere. This is where the fun begins.

Quite honestly I really don’t know what we are going to do with a lot of the stuff. I don’t know where to begin. What is important? What isn’t? What of the stuff I see as useless is sentimental to him? Or is there anything that I think he would want me to keep but actually is just junk?

I think every man has that weird dream of starting with an empty room and building a dream nursery from nothing. I have a nightmare instead. Knowing that I am starting with a full room, and ending with a full room. No blank canvas, no drawing board, no real plan. I know what I am starting with, and I know what I need to finish with, I just don’t know what the bit in the middle is.

Currently the task list is as follows:

  1. Assess room
  2. ????
  3. Admire achievement

I mean, seriously, I don’t think I could have a worse plan if I tried.

Buttercup tells me not to stress about it, and I know I really shouldn’t. I can’t help it though, it’s what I do, it’s the kind of person that I am. I could literally scream.

Who knows. We’re getting started on this monumental task tomorrow. So we’ll see what happens then….