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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Thursday 16 July 2015

Getting the Dyno Rod man to park your car. And other confessions.

I guess I should feel some shame, here. But I don`t.

I'd identified a parking spot roughly twice the length of my (tiny) car. (So...not *that* big.)

I'd given it my best shot: First swerving in backwards, quite speedily, with confidence. Then realising it was a hopeless angle, and repeating the manoeuvre; slightly more gingerly. And again.

I'd tried sighing heavily and starting from scratch; and using the tried and trusted (ha) "one inch forward; one inch back" approach.

And I'd also tried the "aww feck it" method; ending up roughly parallel to the pavement and deciding that was good enough. Even if it was still "three feet away" from the kerb.

I would've walked away and got on with my life at that point, if hadn't been for the muffled snorting of my two daughters. They were18 and 24 at the time, and both excellent drivers. The eldest freely admits she couldn't parallel park if her life depended on it. And the youngest (the one who confidently negotiated a tight and slippy sequence of icy mountainside chicanes on the road from Geneva to a ski chalet earlier this year...) (yes; my knuckles were whiter than the Mont Blanc snow...) strangely declined my invitation to complete the parking task herself. (It may not have sounded quite that polite, at the time....)

Instead, she hopped out to "guide me in" ; before giving up and (resourcefully, I thought....) asking the blokes in the Dyno Rod van in front of us if they could just (for the love of God...) move forward an inch or two so that we (I) could fit in the space.

I didn't give a damn, frankly, that the driver got out of his van with a leer; and half jokingly, offered to park the car for us. I didn't care a fig that his mate also got out, to watch the spectacle. I guess, probably, that all three of us should have felt a sense of shame, at failing miserably to have parked one of the smallest cars on the streets, but no, nothing. I leapt out, ushered him into the driving seat; watched him nearly stall (ha...) as he discovered yet another grinning daughter in the back seat, and timed him as he slotted the Citroen into the space. (Yeh, ok, about 2.1 seconds. Very approximately. Give or take).

It made me think about other stuff I probably *should* feel ashamed about. Like walking the entire length of a world renowned hospital's corridor in odd shoes; in two different heights, because I'd been in a rush that morning, and hoping people would assume I was a patient with a limp, rather than the press officer there. (Actually, I do feel a bit ashamed about that)

Or selecting a particularly plump piece of rocky road to have as my reward after an hour's session at running club tonight. And annihilating it within ten minutes of arriving home this lunchtime. Yeh, OK..that was bad.

But letting my daughters watch a complete stranger park my car because I'd failed?

No shame. I reasoned it was part of  a vital life lesson for them. Learn to park, ffs, or learn to laugh at your limitations. And never be afraid to ask for help (even if there are two, supersmug Dyno Rod geezers chortling all the way home .) Oh. And if you need cake, at any given point in your lives....just eat it.

Lessons in life. (Just laugh)

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