The human brain is an amazing thing, don’t you think? Amazing in its complexity; in the way that different sides of you brain perform different tasks, how each part of each side of your brain specialises in certain complex functions.
As an example, let’s look at my brain and its attitude to The Peel Centre in Stockport. There is a part of my brain which is convinced that it has a free car park, despite all empirical evidence to the contrary, starting with the fact the free car parking policy was abandoned around 8 years ago, and supported by the evidence of the 2 parking fines I have received there in the past few years for not buying a pay-and-display ticket.
This is a different part of my brain to that which operated yesterday at The Trafford Centre; then, when I realised that I couldn’t find anything suitable to buy my niece for her birthday in any of its shops, I decided I would have to go to Toys ‘r’ Us at the Peel Centre, and I checked that I had the 40p car parking money in change.
It is also a different part of my brain to that which was working as I entered the car park, and I thought I would try and park as near to the ticket machine as possible, before seeing how full the car park was and deciding that parking anywhere at all would be just have to do.
Clearly then something happened, probably when I was transferring my sleeping son from the car seat into his pushchair whilst trying (successfully) not to wake him. Somewhere along the line the “no, don’t worry, this is a free car park” part of my brain kicked in, and off I went around Toys ‘r’ Us without a care in the world, and 40p in change still happily jangling in my pocket.
Why was it that an hour and a half later, whilst failing to find basics like salt and rice in Asda, that the other “you fucking idiot, you’ve forgotten to get a pay-and-display ticket for The Peel Centre car park. Again” part of my brain reared up and slapped me across the chops? I do not know. The brain is like that. (Incidentally, I decided to shop at Asda for a change; another big mistake. Something that would take me 10 minutes in Morrisons, a shop I know like the back of my hand, took 45 minutes in a store whose layout I was totally unfamiliar with). That is why the great saving of £5, on a “buy 3 for the price of 2” offer at Toys ‘r’ Us, was largely overshadowed by the £40 parking fine I received; or £60 if I don’t post it within a week.
Of course, I should have realised; there is no such thing as a free car park.
Along with the parking fiasco, yesterday included trivial but cumulatively more irritating incidents involving snapping carrier bag handles, mislaid Tippex, CBeebies, an intermittently working oven and our dog who barks everytime a firework goes off, at a rough ratio of 3 barks per firework. I was not in the best of moods, so hats off to Portsmouth F.C. for their 2-0 victory over United, which along with a bottle of Hardys Bankside 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon certainly took the sting out of an annoying and somewhat self-pitying day.