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Wednesday 20 January 2010

Disability Blue Badge Parking Warning

This really peeved me!

A warning notice to all people who use a Blue Badge, and their carers.

My niece, Lizzie, took her Gran (who incidentally is a lady in her 80’s) to see The Rat Pack at The Sage in Gateshead on 29th November 2009 as a Christmas present. It was when we had the floods and gale force winds here in the UK. They nearly decided to cancel, but didn’t.

Lizzie’s Gran has a Blue Badge (disability badge) so they headed for the disable car park bays. There was only one disabled parking bay left, but it wasn’t a full bay; check out the photo and you will see there was a huge skip dropped in such a way that it obstructed the front of the space.

This meant that Gran had to get out of the car before Lizzie attempted to park. There were no other empty spaces. Gran had to stand in torrential rain while Lizzie maneuvered into the spot. It was impossible for Lizzie to get out of the driver’s door so she had to climb out through the passenger side.
If the driver had been disabled I wonder how they would have managed?

After the show they headed home. Lizzie (who resides in North Yorkshire) had to stay at her Gran’s house overnight because the roads were flooded; the road home was actually closed.

Two days ago Lizzie received a parking ticket, and a fine, stating that she parked in a disabled bay while not displaying a blue badge. This is not true.

The photo shows clearly that the badge was displayed, however, it was displayed the wrong way round showing the photo instead of the date.
I can understand why they have to be so careful, but this is ridiculous.

And, to top it all, the parking ticket must have blown off the car in the wind and torrential rain because it wasn’t on the car when they returned to it after the show.

I spoke to customer services at Gateshead Council (who were very sympathetic) they said somebody could have removed the parking ticket! So now Lizzie has to pay £70 instead of £35 because she didn’t pay within fourteen days of receiving the ticket.
A ticket she didn’t know she had been issued with!!!

It was obvious there was a blue badge displayed in the car window. You could see it. Would it have been a problem for the Traffic Warden to return to the car and ask to inspect it at the end of the show? I think not. After all, this was an afternoon performance and it was in The Sage car park so it doesn’t take a lot to work out that whoever was in the car was in The Sage.

How many people know how to display a Blue Badge correctly? Lizzie does now!

I used to be a voluntary driver, and many a time took people for appointments using their blue badges. I just popped it in the window. Not one of those people mentioned ‘a correct way’ to display their badge. Did they know?

And what about the skip?
It was clearly parked encroaching into a disabled parking bay. Again check out the photo. Surely Gateshead Council should take some responsibility for their actions?

Photos copyright - Civil Enforcement Officer No. 414 - who had reason to believe that, and I quote the ticket 'Parked in a designated Disabled Persons parking place without clearly displaying a valid disabled badge.'

Monday 11 January 2010

The Frosty Family

Amy and I having fun building snowmen while the ponies watch in amazement. Katie got a little excited.

Saturday 9 January 2010

Combined Radio and Video Show

This is me setting up my equipment ready to broadcast my Thursday night fun show on Durham Dales Radio

I thought I'd try a different approach this time, and try to video stream at the same time, so that radio listeners could see me whilst listening to my show. Clever stuff eh!

Of course, I had to dress for the part.

Initially there were one or two hiccups, but I got those sorted eventually, and away we went.

It was fun, but exhausting, as I was singing and dancing to the songs.

This puts a new slant on multi-tasking.

A little note: To hear AND see you need to log into both Durham Dales Radio, and

Will I do this again? Of course I will . . . BUT you will have to listen in to find out when.
My show broadcasts Thursdays and Saturdays 8-10pm GMT and you can send me requests beforehand to

But what will I call these double shows . . . my RadVid show or VidRad show? Any other suggestions?

Saturday 2 January 2010

Christmas 2009 and New Year 2010 in the North Yorkshire Dales

Katie New Years Day 2010

Christmas Eve morning 2009

Chloe showing off her new rug on New Years Day 2010

Boxing Day 2009

Katie and Chloe, our wrapped-up ponies, prefer to weather the snow. Doesn't Chloe look cute in her new rug? They have free access to their stable - 24/7 - but don't seem to want to use it, except for eating. They always dine in!

We had a hard time fighting our way through the snow to clear the field of droppings :-(
I didn't know I could ski until I lost my footing.

My niece, Amy insisted I try her new wii fit plus, which I was more than happy to do. There are some fantastic games on it. I got a very high score on the Kung Fu, and boasted about it, until the next day when I couldn't understand why my shoulders were so painful. Not to mention my neck and arms. Such pain! Amy said I had to practice every day and build up, but I'm still recovering. It's funny how you don't feel the pain at the time.

I presented my radio show on Durham Dales Radio Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Years Eve, and enjoyed every minute thanks to my listeners who sent lovely messages. At the moment I present Thursday and Saturday evenings 8-10pm GMT. So, if you have any requests let me know in good time and I'll play them and give you a shout! Send them to or if you are on facebook there is a link.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Have a fantastic 2010!