So there I was, minding my own business when I saw a tweet asking for women over a certain age and of a certain size, who could get to London to try a dress. Sounded like fun to me so I replied to get more information. I would have to get to London by midday, have hair and make up done and try out two ‘miracle’ dresses: one by Gok Wan, the other a Marks & Spencer’s version. Expenses would be paid and £50 fee too. Perfect, how could I turn down that opportunity? I could put the £50 to my charity fundraising total. What could possibly go wrong?
The day duly arrived, I had purchased online, a parking ticket for the day, to try and be organised. I got to the station at 10am, in plenty of time to catch the train at 10.20, or so I thought. I drove into the car park, it was full, I went to the multi storey car park and drove up, and up and up, still no spaces, commuters had obviously filled it. The time was getting on and panic was setting in. The station car park was undergoing ‘improvements’, which meant it had been dug up and there were no spaces. My next option was the NCP car park, which I’d used the last time I’d been to London, only to discover it had now been built on. All the other car parks nearby were permit only, what could I do? I had now missed two trains! I went to the neighbouring retail park, there were dozens of empty spaces in front of the half dozen shops which themselves only had a handful of cars parked outside. It was not ‘pay & display’ but meant for customers only. I parked in a far corner, crossing my fingers I wouldn’t get a ticket.
I caught a fast train to London and made my midday appointment, I had a lovely time having my hair and make up done, being generally pampered and made to feel special. After the session was over I caught the (slow) train back and thankfully there was no ominous yellow ticket on my windscreen. However, a couple of days later a letter arrived with CCTV photos of my car and a demand for £70, or a special ‘discounted’ rate of £50 if I paid within 14 days! I have written to the company and appealed to their good nature, explaining the mitigating circumstances. They have replied saying I now have 7 days to pay £50. So there goes my contribution to my charity and the end of my modelling days!
And just in case you are interested, here is the link to my charity page and the article about the dresses.