Today I was in London for a meeting, to this end I had to take the train to get there (I could have walked, but apparently it's 57 hours which is a little long). So I prepared for the train by spending the two days prior to the trip gathering every coin I could find, in the hope that I might have enough acceptable change for the parking.
When I say acceptable change, I know full well that, depending on the machine, the time of day, the weather, the colour of my shirt and so on, the machine may not accept some of the coins. The other day I found one that absolutely refused to accept 50p's. Typically it will be the last coin that it rejects, the one that you need to put in the machine to get to the magic total - which is never a straightforward figure like £6, it's £8.26 and the machine won't give change so you have to ensure that you carry the amount of change a sub-post office typically holds in the hopes that you can get a ticket - so you end up frantically finding a newspaper shop or something and buying a paper to get some more coins.
Now, sometimes you can pay by credit card, or even by phone (although that seems to me faintly aberrant, as if you're calling a premium rate phone number typically found towards the back of a newspaper), but these options are not by any stretch of the imagination universal, which is why I make sure that I have a good five kilograms of change with me at any time, just in case I should have to park a car. After all, the prices for parking increase repeatedly and the £7.20 of change you've scraped together based on last weeks prices might not be enough this week.
Today, however, today... I was amazed.
The price for parking had reduced. Yes readers, it had actually gone down, and to a sensible figure - £5 exactly, no need for coppers or tiny 5p pieces. I was in a good mood.
Anyway London was very nice, the weather was great and while most of the time was spent travelling I did get a opportunity while walking to and from the meeting to take a few snaps:
|In Hyde Park I think. I didn't spot that bird until I uploaded the photo. I think I've just photographed it at a funny moment, because although it looks as though it's just been shot, I didn't hear a splash.|
|Another in Hyde Park. I never realised just how big the park is - it's massive.|
|On Millbank it appears that a Barclays bike has stumbled into Santander territory. I didn't hang around to watch what happened to it, for all I know I might have been next.|