According to a recent report, the oldest mum in the world is 63. Well, my mother is 82 years old… beat that!

Which brings me to the subject of mothers and children. It always pleases me when people email me suggesting subject matter for this column. So, I was delighted when I received a few words from a regular reader outlining how disgruntled he was by the ‘misuse of designated parking bays’. And, of course, he has a valid point.

He pointed out that, being a grandfather, he was particularly annoyed by those openly flaunting the rules regarding ‘Mother and Child’ designated spaces at Livingston Centre. He says that while there, and dealing with unloading his 6 month old grandson, the granny, and all the necessary paraphernalia, he watched aghast as drivers openly swept in and took up spaces clearly reserved for ‘parent and child’ and the disabled. Surely not?

But yes. As the writer pointed out, some drivers seem to think that just because they HAVE a child – though their little precious is not actually with them – and have a child seat fitted in the car, this gives them an automatic right to a space.

So, just who are these lone females – usually in 4X4 vehicles – who think the rules are for everybody else, but not for them? Who are the overweight Fiesta drivers who think that because they want their Big Mac quickly, they can park in close proximity to the fast food outlet and ignore the parking rules?

Well, I can tell you. They are thoughtless, selfish individuals who think they are better than you and me. The sort of boor who has no conscience about making life more difficult for those who need to be closer to the centre, and who need a bit more space around them. Those people who think that world revolves around them.

As the correspondent put it: having introduced parking fees, how about spending some of this revenue on policing the system for the benefit of all?

I have a better idea. If you are disabled, or you have tots in your car, I suggest you keep a fluorescent jumbo permanent marker in your glove compartment… You can probably see where this is going.

You could scribble messages right across their windscreen such as: ‘Judging by your shape, you could use the exercise. Find a bay you’re entitled to.’ Or even just ‘Thank you for taking up this space, you selfish git’. I’m sure you could come up with some of your own.

Anyway, that way, we’ll all know who they are.

Now, having said that, I am taking my old mum to The Centre next week. Does that entitle me to a Parent and Child space? I rather think it does.

Drew McAdam


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