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Parking lot in paradise turns me Nimby

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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

I am a great fan of Joni Mitchell. If I could only bring ten albums with me to eternity Blue would have to be one of them. It might even make the top five. Joni recorded a fabulous song called Big Yellow Taxi many years ago. She was way ahead of her time when she told us that 'They paved paradise and put up a parking lot'. I have played it for years and always thought it was a lovely song.

Now a lovely song is a song that does not quite get the the core of your being the way Imagine does. Or Into My Arms. Or Satisfaction or Make You Feel My Love. Those are ones that stop you dead in your tracks. You sit down and listen. Well, Joni has entered that elite band.

When the Celtic Tiger was roaring, I went into the bank as I had very little money and they had lots. Every time I looked at my credit card the limit was increased so I could probably have bought the crown jewels if I so desired. But I am from that background that pays off my credit card. I am a bad bank customer as I do not give them loads of interest. They do not give up easily and were forever offering me money.

Back then I had discovered, and frequently visited, paradise. It is also known as the South of France. I had loved every waking moment. Plus, I had my eye on a seaside village and regularly checked the local property sites. Sure enough, eventually, the perfect apartment came up for sale. It looked over a public park and out to sea and was high enough that I could sit on my balcony, sorry shelf, and watch the world go by. The word paradise was not being used loosely here.

I went to the bank. They thought I was mad. Why would I not buy in Bulgislavia or some such place? I would double my money and Ryanair would take me there for next to nothing. Was I mad, I was asked as I explained that I loved the place and that I might make a quarter of a per cent if I was lucky? They lent me the money and I have been paying them ever since and will be doing so for a century more. But I love the place and negative equity never reared its ugly head.

The mayor, however, did, a few weeks ago in the shape of a parking lot on my paradise public garden. Overnight, I became a Nimby. I engaged my fluent French friends. We composed stinkers that should shake the entire commune. He will not get away with destroying my view.

I suppose the mayor of Bulgislavia wouldn't be much better. And he would have pocketed all my money.

"Don't it always seem to go

That you don't know what you've got

Till it's gone"

Sunday Independent