Two weddings and a car park

The GherkinHow bad is it to not turn up at a wedding because you can’t find anywhere to park?

It’s bad isn’t it?

Mmmm.

I tried though.  I looked up the venue online and checked where local car parks were on Google Maps, left at 7:30am to get there, drove around the area for an hour and a half, and Everything.

Let me excuse myself by saying that my friends were getting married in a church in the City of London.  For those who have no reason to know, the City of London is not in fact the great metropolis.  Ho no.  The City is ‘the square mile’ of the original Roman frontier town.  2000 years later it is the financial district.   During the week, like the Tory Party, it is full of bankers, spankers and wankers, but at the weekends it is shut.

My friends were to be married in a church in the City at noon and then a bus would take us all to the reception somewhere outside the M25, with buses back in the evening. My plan was to find a car park as near as the drop off point for the returning bus as I could.  Easier said than done my my chickidees.  Easier said than done.  Not only are the sandwich shops and food stores all closed on a Saturday, so are the car parks.  I got up at 7:00, set off at 7:30, and arrived in the City at about 10:15am. Plenty of time to find one of the half dozen car parks marked on my map, park up and walk to the church for a service that starts at noon.

You’d think.

There doesn’t appear to be a road in EC1 which is not bounded on one or both sides by orange barriers surrounding piles of dug up pavement.  I know.  I drove down all of them.  Twice.  Three times in some cases. Not to mention a couple in Whitchapel and Bethnal Green.

Up and down the City Road
Twice past the Gherkin
Fuck knows where the car parks are
Pop goes the wedding

By 11:30 I realised that even if I found a car park, I would still struggle to find the church, so I phoned the one who wasn’t with me and arranged to meet up with him.  At 11:50 I discovered that the car park in the Minories is open on a Saturday, but on the other hand the Minories is a good 20 minutes walk to the church and I didn’t have a map which showed both, so I could have spent another 40 minutes trawling around on foot.

It was a baking hot day.

I was wearing velvet.

I know when I’m beat.

Fortunately the one I’d just phoned was at wedding in Birmigham that very afternoon. So I gatecrashed that one instead.

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