Today I mostly want to rant. I don’t do it often but this is becoming an increasingly large and frequent beef with me and I am 100% certain that a lot of you will agree.

PARKING!!! What gives anyone the right to look at me in my car and decide that I don’t look like I should be in a blue badge space??? I get people pointing at me, staring at me and some even have the nerve to come over and challenge me about where I’m parking. Yes I may look perfectly ok to you through my windscreen, you with your two perfect legs. I am grateful on some level that I have a very visible disability so my heart goes out to you guys with an invisible illness. Why the hell should we have to justify anything to Mr and Mrs Nosey Joe Public. Sometimes I say just mind your own business, sometimes I get out of my car and say is that disabled enough for you?? It is something I just don’t understand and I would never dream of doing it to anyone, even before my disability. If you have a badge then crack on and it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS!! What has happened to society that we have these ignorant independent vigilantes policing disabled bays expecting us to ask their permission to park in one??

Then there’s the other side of that coin where you get the perfectly healthy people without a badge parking in a blue badge bay. They also look at you like a piece of doodah if you dare to remind them they have no right to park there. I won’t be long, I’m waiting for someone, or just a general *off is the usual reply. So as a disabled person we seem to come off badly on both sides of the argument! Sometimes on a really ranty day I’ve blocked people in so they have to come and ask me to move and I can remind them what a low life they are! Again, not popular! I was at the gym the other day (get me!!) where there are only 4 bays, all taken, only one with a badge. The staff had told me to park right in front of the door if that happened and then they would hunt down the perpetrators. So I did, Shame on those people at a gym who took a disabled bay and probably went in and ran and pumped for a few hours yet couldn’t be arsed to walk 30 yards down the car park to the front door. In France they have a sign on every disabled bay saying ‘take my space, take my disability’. I wonder how that would suit them! See how quickly they’d cry about it.

A few weeks ago I was parked in York on double yellows perfectly legit, clock up, and went off for an hour…came back to a big fat yellow 70 pound parking ticket! I had to dig around in the small print to find that I had been partially obstructing a dropped kerb, and that’s why they gave me the ticket! Most hours of the day you can go to this particular stretch of street and you will find maybe 6 cars, 2 at best with badges, and the rest just because they feel like they have the right to. There’s vans for the market stalls, people popping into different shops. It is the most abused section of street for parking in the city. I suspected the council would not let the fine go and I was right. I appealed but they wrote back to me like I was some kind of criminal. It is nothing more than a money making exercise by the council, Shame shame shame.

Have you ever parked in a parent and child space when there’s no more disabled bays available? Try that and see what a colourful mouthful you get from those Mamas and Papas! What has happened to basic human kindness? When did it perish? Why is there so much resentment and so much entitlement? What has happened to common sense? People have lost their lives in arguments over parking which is unbelievable.

‘Why should they get to park for free?’ I don’t mind paying, make me pay, I don’t care. All I need is a space that’s wider for a wheelchair to get next to, or a space that’s closer to my destination so I don’t have to walk quite so far if by some miracle I’m walking.

So what arguments have you had with people over disabled parking? Has anyone ever threatened you? Do you feel scared to challenge someone if they’re parked without a badge? It’s such a basic everyday thing that adds to the everyday stress we have to deal with already.

Rant over. Breathe. Namaste.