Sunday, 12 August 2012

A fine day

Eucharist this morning, first at Vinaròs, and then Brenda travelled with me for the service at Alcossebre. We were so busy chatting when we got out of the car that I forgot to put any money in the parking meter. I remembered this finally, just as I was about the begin the Eucharistic prayer, which was the worst time to come to my senses. Anyway, I got a parking ticket, plus a little envelope and a message whose words I could understand, but required a little help to make sense of. Fortunately others at church were familiar with the procedure. 

If you press a yellow button and put small penalty sum €4.25 into any ticket machine in town, it prints you a receipt with 'fine cancellation' written on it. This goes into the envelope with the parking ticket, which is then posted into a small letter box atop the machine. This is all you pay if you pay the same day. Pay any time after that over a month and the fine is €20. Pay after a month and it's €40. It's quite a decent system really, giving an incentive to rectify your mistake speedily. I imagine it saves the town council a tidy sum in fine collection administration too.

I had it in the back of my mind as we were arriving a little early, to drop off Brenda and move the car up a couple of streets to where parking is unregulated. Thursday last, I found a free spot which remained in the shade throughout my stay. I'll have to be more alert next time.

In the evening I watched most of the Olympic closing ceremony. It wasn't really my kind of spectacle with far too much emphasis on British fashion and pop music performances from several generations of star musicians. Although the whole spectacle was brilliantly organised and demonstrated mastery of all kinds of electronic technologies, there wasn't enough celebration of Britain's new generation of science and technology innovation, delivering so much more to the world than ephemeral consumer music and clothes. Anyway, I'm glad its all over. The sport was thrilling and inspiring at every level, but the level of  media commentary throughout was banale, formulaic and repetitive. Hardly a great showcase for the BBC which showed the way how to broadcast to the world in the first place.

Only two weeks to the paralympics now, which promises to be equally if not more inspiring and thrilling to watch. It's only the drivel from the commentators I dread - what sort of job will they make of avoiding unintentionally patronising remarks or attitudes, and what sort of row and reprisals there will be if anyone makes a boo-boo live on air.

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