As I get older I worry sometimes about turning into a small-minded self-obsessed miserable old git, who moans all the time about the good old days and picks fault with everything around him. I’ve seen it happen and thought it might be happening to me when, a few weeks ago, I started taking photographs of cars. Beginning with the Ferraris.
Now I’ve always liked Ferraris, from the boyhood days when I used to go and watch them racing at Aintree, to seeing the latest footballing sensation driving past in one. “That’s what I’d have got” I’d think “If they’d ever let me in the LFC first team.” But I like to think I’d never have parked two of them up on the pavement in front of the Bluecoat. So I took this photograph which, within half an hour, got picked up by the Liverpool Echo and caused all kinds of gratifying fuss. Some of it self-justifying anger from the self-entitled owners of said Ferraris. Which goaded me into taking lots more pictures of cars up on pavements and worrying about whether I was turning into a miserable old git by objecting to them.
But a bigger problem than whether I’m miserable or not would seem to be whether a lot of people ever think about other people or not? Because there are always excuses, if you ever ask the owners of these offensive cars. “I’m in a rush, I’ll only be a minute, I’m just popping in the shop, I’m running late.” All of which, together with their car up on the pavement amount to either “I matter more than you do” or, perhaps “I matter more than anyone else does.”
Whether you’re shopping, going to work, pushing your baby’s pram, negotiating an already busy street with whatever difficulties you might have, or me, just walking around, a car parked on the pavement in front of you is a great big message from someone who thinks their life is much more important than all the rest of our lives. And I’m absolutely sick of it, as you can probably tell.
Now I could broaden this rant into ‘society’s problem’ by talking about the domination of roads, too many cars, too much dependence on cars, better bike lanes and improved public transport. But I’ve already written that blog post so I’m not going to write it again. No, this one is about thinking of other people and suggesting that we all do it. Even if we are in a rush. Or feeling a bit pompous because we’ve got a Ferrari, or whatever car you’ve got. Thinking of other people is basic and non-negotiable for all of us humans in a civilised society.
So try and be a bit more human could you?
In ending, well done to Liverpool City Council, Greenbank Ward, for getting this done at one of the worst of the pavement parking places on Smithdown. It’s worked.
But really, do we have to rely on the Council putting up these little metal barriers before we think of others as much as we think of ourselves? Surely not?