Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Bank Holiday Blues

Yesterday day started out relatively dry and rain-free. As Carol was off work,  as it was May Bank Holiday we decided to go out in the car. We haven't been anywhere in particular in months. The cost of petrol and weather conditions have not made it possible, or at least, were the principal factor, so it was with trepidation that we left the house with the intention of going to Oxford. We had considered going to a National Trust house, but as the weather was so uncertain our minds turned towards Oxford. If it rains, at least we could go to the Ashmolean Museum of somewhere similar. We have been several times before, in particular visiting the Ashmolean Museum and to see productions staged by Creative Theatre and Propellor Theatre. We put petrol in the car at Asda and drove out of Milton Keynes along Standing Way towards Buckingham. On the outskirts of Oxford we were looking for the park-and-ride carpark, so we could leave the car and then catch a bus into the centre of Oxford. We went to one carpark which appeared to be closed up but there were no signs to suggest that busses weren't running into the city centre. We immediately got back in the car and drove to the Peartree carpark, where we've parked in the past. We got there to discover that you have to pay for a ticket to park the car (in a carpark, which, frankly, leaves a lot to be desired as regards it's surface. I don't mind paying to park if the cash is being used to maintain the carpark, but certainly not here.) There was a queue of people waiting to board a bus which turned up as we arrived, so we went to the back of the queue. We had been to a cashpoint and taken out a £10-note in order to pay for our bus tickets. On reaching the driver who was taking cash for tickets, he would not take our £10 note but had plenty of cash in his tray for change. To us this was annoying, as we had already paid for the carpark (this seems to be a new feature, that you have to pay for parking your car as well as for your ticket to ride on the bus. Just another way for local authorites to extract cash from hardup people. So we got back in the car and left, eventually arriving back in Milton Keynes and went to the local Weatherspoon's pub and had something to eat. Meanwhile, the rain was pouring down and we had spent a considerable amount just driving to Oxford for nothing. I think next time we will catch a bus there and avoid the wretched park and ride system, which is supposed to prevent people from driving into the centre of towns and cities in their cars.
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