I remember the first time I drove from my then new home to Exeter. I got there, rang a local friend to ask for recommendations for parking, and ended up sticking the car somewhere I shouldn't because there was absolutely nowhere legal left to park. I thought it couldn't really be that bad, Exeter after all is a tiny city surrounded by vast tracts of land, and that I just needed to get to know the place better. I eventually found a huge multi-storey that only ever hosts a smattering of cars, and that was that.
This week I have to go to Exeter four times. This is highly unusual, never mind unpopular, and if I'd have had any say in the matter would have been organised very differently. But there you are. With masses of time in hand, knowing that there will probably be a bit more traffic due to seasonal consumption, I arrive and start to trawl for a space.
One and a half hours and five car parks later, including having to pay 90p for the privilege of driving up and down ramps fruitlessly at one car park that issues you a ticket on arrival and won't let you out again unless you part with coin, I turn my back on the city and head for home, meeting abandoned.
With no reasonable public transport options possible I am going to have to attempt this again each day for the next three days. I need a campaign plan, a large box of Nurofen and whale music (or is it dolphins?). I am contemplating painting my car white with go-faster stripes that might be mistaken for the cops or paramedics. If it didn't take three hours to cycle there, I might consider that. Perhaps I could go in at midnight and camp out until my meetings start, arriving with something of The Lady in the Van about me. Perhaps I could make some big signs saying "free turkeys this way for drivers" all pointing out of the city centre.
All I want for Christmas is a flying carpet.