Home > Blog > Where Al learns that he needs a parking permit.

Where Al learns that he needs a parking permit.

So I was sat at my desk, having completed the last bit of writing work for the day. I’d checked the 8pm e-mail for any late comers, and was quite struck by the notion that on this lovely May evening I would like an ice-cream. A dear friend had been on the phone, asking if I wanted to meet up. Usually we would go for a pint, but I like to reserve my drinking for later in the week, and when it’s perhaps a little darker out. So I made vocal my desire to have ice-cream. He offered up the petrol in his car for my complicity in purchasing him a cone, and the bargain was set. I enlisted the enthusiasm of the slightly over-worked Alherself, offering up the boon of a restorative ice-cream. She was set to bring a girl friend and the four of us could go to S. Luca’s and pretend it was the 1950’s all over again. Somehow those huge spending cuts the public sector was facing didn’t matter. The general election and the back-drop of crime and terrorism and perpetual war, none of it mattered tonight. Goldstein was back in his box and we four would frollick in that blue-bell glade right under his restrained moustache. Suddenly it seemed that Nuclear Energy would bring us all salvation, clean and cheap. A new dawn was upon us. As if by magic, the click of the seat-belt, the grin across the head-restraint, and the gentle hum of the engine would take us a wafer’s width away from paradise.

No dice. He car-pools it with his auld man, and he had just that second taken it out for a spin. Just as suddenly I was 7 years old again, and I was grounded. The long summer nights were keeping me up past my bed-time, my other school friends still down at the park, I could hear them laughing from my bed-room prison. My all-so-grown up girl chum was even more work-weary than before, my plans’ scuppering had made me cruel in her eyes. Margaret Thatcher was on the backbenches. This was not the coming of age summer I had wished for, this was the realisation that buying four Cornettos from Tesco and eating them next to the dishes in my kitchen was the most adult, and thusly, the least enjoyable thing to do.

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