In Blackest Night – Yesterday, Something Good Happened
I was going to poke fun at ‘yesterday’ – the mere concept of time is something that is lost on me at the moment. Days merge into one another, hours can fly by or can stretch to the point that the fabric of time may tear. I have no idea what day it is most of the time; my internal calendar is somewhat updated by the kids going to and coming from school. But I know yesterday was yesterday, so I can say with confidence that something good happened yesterday.
It will sound trivial but in a day to day life of bleak, even the tiniest speck of light can make all the difference. Last November, we all went to Cardiff to see ‘Peter Pan‘ in Cardiff (starring David Hasselhoff and Mike Doyle). I hate driving to Cardiff. Driving out of Cardiff is usually fine, it’s just getting into Cardiff often feels like the awkward teenage fumbling at a chastity belt. A few weeks after, just prior to the wedding, I received a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for driving in a bus lane that very night. I was initially going to pay it: £35 if I paid within 14 days of receipt. But I decided to challenge it. Worth a shot, right? They put the payment period on hold until a decision is reached – what’s the worst that could happen?
I was lying on the couch yesterday morning, just checking the web and writing a blog post
(I think…I’m pretty sure I did one yesterday and put this one off to save ‘shooting my load’ all at once). EDIT: Yep, I did do a post. I was thinking to myself that I hadn’t heard anything back in regards to the PCN and wondered whether I should chase it or just continue to wait – I’ve never had one before and I get antsy when I’m dealing with new situations (that’s anxiety for you, I suppose). Just over half an hour later (I think, it felt like it was about that but then again it could have been ten minutes) the mail arrives.
I open a very wordy letter addressed to me in response to my appeal against the PCN. The wording and facts used seem rather defensive and my heart sank as I read it. In my appeal I mentioned how confusing I found the road layout (the sat nav insisted I followed the route I ended up taking) especially as a non Cardiff resident. I also noted that the images supplied showed I was in the lane for a small distance and suggested I felt the charge unfair due to the “twenty metre grace”. I stated that I was aware it’s a discretionary “grace” but, and I didn’t say this in my online form, a number of people suggested to mention it when I researched it online. I could have also gone into detail about how stressed I was (shouting and swearing at the sat nav as well as having a go at my then, would-be wife. And, of course, my ongoing struggle with depression but that would be more of an argument for me to not be driving.
After reading the first side of the letter – the wordiness certainly seemed like an intention of drawing me away from my defensive points and blinding me with facts. Side two wasn’t much better. The wordiness continued to the bottom of the page – two A4 sides filled with text. The second-last paragraph, which initially didn’t sink in on the first read, proclaimed that they were going to revoke the charge based on the points I had made. They went on to advise that, based on me having had no previous PCNs (I’ve had a pristine track record) and my points given, that they were happy to revoke it on this occasion but, should another infraction occur, any future instances will unlikely be reversed.
Like Ice Cube said, and if I had written this yesterday, “today was a good day“. Well, it was until the moment passed and the darkness came back. But a win is a win, even if you’re lying on the ground broken and beaten by the end of it.