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Luck Comes in Threes


They say luck comes in threes don’t they? Usually we are referring to bad luck because we dwell on it rather whilst with good luck we are too busy savouring it to properly analyse and quantify its regularity. Another thing to consider is whether there is an accepted timescale in which this trio of events occurs, have you an acquaintance who is forever complaining about his, or her, lot. After having had two bits of bad luck in a matter of months do they go on and on saying “Well, there’ll be another one pretty soon,” and you have been too polite to point out that a year has gone by since the second?

Well I’m not a grumbler as you well know but my story starts on the 23rd July and we had gone to Cardiff to attend The Last Night of the Welsh Proms, a great night out and as you can imagine with so many Welsh voices in the audience the roof of St David’s Hall must have been in danger of lifting off on several occasions. We were staying overnight in the Hilton which, rather inconveniently does not have its own car park so we had pre-booked a space near the Marriott hotel. We had a post code so finding it was relatively easy by means of that amazing and wonderful development, the SatNav system. We were approaching the City Centre from the Docks area and when I got to the railway bridge the SatNav told me to turn left, I’m sure I saw an arrow on my lane pointing me to the left lane so I took it and after a bit of head scratching we found the car park. We met our friends Dave and Joan and had a meal before wandering along to St David’s Hall for our entertainment. It was splendid and after breakfast on the following day we made our way back home to Swansea by way of the Royal Mint in Llantrisant where we had a very informative and interesting tour around the works.

There was nothing much to complain about until the Wednesday when the post arrived and I had an envelope containing a request for £70, reducing to £35 providing I pay within 21 days of my offence. What was my offence? When I had taken the left turn under the bridge I happened to be in the bus lane and a very nice photograph of my car testifies this fact. I had the opportunity to challenge this but the fact that I did it cannot be doubted, however I am convinced that there is insufficient signage existing to prevent someone not completely familiar with the area to make the same mistake. As it would cost me at least £35 and a waste of my time to revisit Cardiff to confirm (or not) my suspicions I remitted them the money with a covering letter which stated ‘I would not do these things knowingly and am not completely satisfied in my mind that your road markings are sufficiently clear and will assess the situation on my next visit to Cardiff.’ That must have made them feel uneasy!

So that was one bit of bad luck but it did not make me fear for another because we don’t, do we, we only forecast a third after a second, we never forecast a second and a third after a first. Unless of course you are a fully accredited, sworn pessimist.

So the second bit of bad luck arrived last Friday the 12th August and I am now living in uncontrollable fear. You see my friend Dave does a bit of volunteering with the RNLI, passing on his depth of knowledge to holidaymakers, wandering vagabonds and minstrels, waifs and strays in fact anyone who is prepared to listen. He is a volunteer guide and he had said to me that were I to turn up at about 4.00pm and the afternoon rush had abated he might be able to actually take me on board. I became very excited about the prospect until he pointed out to me that we were not going to launch it and have a bit of a run-about in the bay, what he meant was that I could actually go inside. There was temporary disappointment I must admit but what I had been offered was still a rather exciting prospect. So at about 3.50pm I parked the car in the car park above the pier, walked down the steps and along to the end of the pier where the lifeboat station quietly spends its time. It was absolutely amazing, the technology, its carrying capacity, its twin engines – everything needed to save lives and keep them saved was here. State of the art and self righting it may be but in spite of all that crew members still risk their lives each time they go out.

Anyway I bought a book about lifeboats from Joan, Dave’s wife at the shop and walked back to my car. As I was on the last few of the many steps a little thought crossed my mind, I had not bought a parking ticket! But what are the chances of being caught in such a short time I optimistically thought, so it was with a little joyful skip that I approached the car, can’t see anything at the moment, no I think I’ve got away with it! And then I saw the plastic envelope discreetly stuck to the bottom of the windscreen. £85, reducing to £50 for prompt payment.

Suddenly I’m a pauper, brought down by these debts for which I have made no provision! And according to folk-lore there will be yet another any time soon!

Woe is me!


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