May 19, 2015 by Michael Madden

Who Is Arabella?

Well, its amazing just how many people have fallen for the PCN scam, and not just at Aldi in Macclesfield. Now, I am no legal expert, but I have reproduced below the 2 letters that I sent to SIP Parking, the second of which is a standard letter that clearly states your case. It is almost a year to the day that I got scammed, and I have paid nothing. Not had a letter for months either.

Dear Sir / Madam

I am writing in response to the above PCN that I found on my car a full 13 minutes after my ticket expired. Whilst I do agree that my ticket had expired I find your £100 of charge (even with discounts) extortionate, and what amounts to a penalty which, of course, you are not legally permitted to impose.
So, I am attaching a cheque for £5 to pay for the additional parking (although it was only 13 minutes your minimum is £1 per hour so £1 it is), plus a very generous £4 (400%) for disbursements (i.e. sticking a ticket in a plastic bag and putting it on my windscreen).
The cheque for £5 is in full and final settlement of this PCN.


Dear SIP Parking Limited
You issued me with a parking ticket on 5th June 2014 and although not on the Parking on Private Land Appeals list of grounds for appeal I believe the ticket was unfairly issued and I will not be paying your demand for payment for the following reason:
The fee is disproportionate

According to the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations, parking charges on private land must not exceed the cost to the landowner during the period the motorist is parked there. In my case, the £35 charge you are asking for (rising to £100) far exceeds the cost to the landowner of £1. (The parking was 13 minutes over though your minimum is £1 per hour so £1 it is).

So what else has been happening? Well, I had a bit of a culinary disaster myself. Not on the Sally, ‘call the fire brigade, what was that actually supposed to be? we’re going to need a new set of pans’ disaster. Quite simply, my nougat didn’t set. Do you remember Texan bars? They sure were a mighty chew, and although they were discontinued many yeas ago, they were brought back briefly in 2005. So, I decided to try to recreate them. I thought a layout of nougat and a layer of caramel, covered in chocolate would do the trick, but the nougat didn’t set. I had even bought a food thermometer to ensure the sugar temperatures were correct, but I think it was down to the egg whites – probably too many of them. They were whipped in my electric mixture for ages. I really wonder what the Victorians did. Victorian women must have had arms like Mariusz Pudzianowski with all of the hand beating they must have had to do. Anyway, it went in the fridge and firmed up a little, but the caramel was perfect. I amalgamated the two, then I thought a quick blast in the freezer might do the trick. I then found out that soft nougat doesn’t freeze (or my freezer is broken). Anyway, the mixture of caramel and nougat was firm enough to pour chocolate over, but it didn’t look pretty. Tastes very nice, a bit like chewy marshmallow. Undeterred – I will be trying again soon, with reduced egg whites.

What has happened to the weather. Its freezing. I played cricket all weekend and went to Birmingham yesterday, so today its back in the saddle, but a very quick circuit of Buxworth is about the extent of my ambition, and I’ll have to be a bit sharpish in between the showers.

Have you noticed the difference between the minutiae that is stored in a woman’s head compared to that of a man. I can recall the winning goalscorers from most FA Cup finals from the 70s and 80s, but I wouldn’t dream of sharing that information unless specifically asked. But, when I asked about someone who lived in Whaley, the trail was endless. So who is Arabella? Oh yes, she used to go out with Derek who lived with his mum on that new estate. Just next to where the hairdresser lived who found out her husband was having an affair with that woman from New Mills, the one with the dog that bit the policeman, and she ended up going to court where she met her second husband who left his fishmonger business with the kids after they eloped. And his eldest went to Marple College studying law until he got thrown out for taking drugs that he supposedly got off that man on the narrowboat. Anyway, no one ever saw those drugs again because one of the teachers took them home. Pot Head Peter they call him, he lives in Hayfield next to the chippy, Ooh isn’t that chippy wonderful? Well not any more, not since she left with that actor, Seems she had her head turned by The Village when they were filming there. Was Peaky Blinders filmed there too? Probably not, but I’m sure they’ve filmed other stuff there, and they had the festival last year. Oh yes, Ole is going to YNot this year, he’s still in the middle of his exams but I bet he’s not paid his mate for the ticket yet. Did I tell you about my ticket for parking in Aldi at Macclesfield? So remind me, who is Arabella?

They have similar issues with shopping. Hell Dog was round at mine last Friday, refusing sweet treats as she didn’t want to put on weight. She admitted that she had a Holland’s Pie in her fridge at home that was calling her. “Why did you buy a Holland’s Pie when you don’t want to put on weight?” I quite reasonably asked. “Because it was on offer,” was the somewhat illogical reply, at which point Sally admitted that the Holland’s Pie in our own fridge was purchased for the very same reason. And guess what? It is still in our fridge and will be until it expires and can be transferred to the bin.

I hope you are enjoying this blog! In a few days time I really must meet up with my good friend Clive Ashton who’s life is as colourful as it gets. Clive wants to start his own blog, I will send you the link when he gets it up.

Sapphire is as boisterous as ever, and at meal times Bobby can often be seen munching on his food, as well as Sapphire’s, with the kitten hanging around his neck. He has taken this in good heart up to now, letting Sapphire know when he has had enough, but Sapphire always likes to go that irritating but further. Anyway, Bobby is getting on a bit now, and he has not brought home any kills for quite some time. Mice, voles and even the occasional bird used to be presented in a disemboweled state quite regularly, usually on the front door step. This morning, however, his instincts returned with a vengeance. Ole opened the door to see half of a baby rabbit. I say half, it was probably more like three quarters, as although the external part of the top half was missing, the brains and guts were there. Is this a reminder that he is still around and has still got it? Is it a lesson for Sapphire as to what is expected? Or is it a warning to Sapphire that he could be next? I await the next kill with interest! Needless to say, Ole and Zac went to school, Sally went to work, and the corpse was left with me to dispose of.

I couldn’t finish without mentioning the car! Renault Manchester are waiting for Renault UK to get back in touch regarding their decision that the car is fine. I am still driving around in a Clio that is clearly inadequate for one junior and two senior games of cricket complete with large bags, helmets, and grass. Nothing has changed, but Renault Manchester have promised to call me back later today. If they don’t, Joe from Auto Express, who is keen to take up my case, will be getting a reply!

I’m off to Ireland on Thursday to meet up with my mum and my three sisters. Expect some Guinness fueled blog entries later in the week.