Friday, 1 August 2008

A new look

I tried a new thing yesterday. Well, new to me anyway. I have had my free bus pass for a few years but never even knew where it was until a revised card arrived some while back. I think the difference is that I can use it with no limitation as to when during the day and it is totally Scotland wide regardless of the bus company. I can even use it to nip into England as far as Berwick to get to the railway.

So, yesterday, Norma was at her Quilters thing and had gone in the car. By 9 a.m. I had checked everything that might even remotely need adjusting. Checked the 'frig half a dozen times but nothing attractive had materialised there. Too restless in the brain to settle down and read until 5 pm when she was due back. The image of a small photo-id card came into view and I found it - that was an omen and sign in itself! Checking on t'net showed where I could go. Limited to just one itinerary and just the one bus per hour but I was now a man with a mission. Off to Galashiels.

The drive is one I like. About half an hour in the car but almost all over open country on a winding and up and down road, Sitting higher on the bus gave views missed in the car. My bus went all round the houses to serve isolated patches I would never get into were I driving so bus time was an hour. Comfortable. No more than a dozen passengers with only routine proportion of mobile phones deployed to advise the world "I'm on the bus". Couple of what at one time must have been school maternity uniform wearers with their kids in tow. Though now dressed in what seems to be some fashion of short short shorts over tights and bosom display whilst giving off a strong sense of chav, they did control their three four or five'ish year old nippers very well so that was OK. Remainder of us seemed to be aged persons; all female other than me. Very well dressed blue-rinse brigade who all seemed to know one another although they got on a different stops. Once again, I was drawn into musing how it is that the female of the species manages to kill off the male and then go on to live a nice life thank you.

Galashiels is a different place when deposited on foot in the town centre bus station. Our visits have been confined to Tesco or ASDA but there is another world there. Some grotty patches including one pub that should be preserved as a memorial to Scots drinking habits. There is a nice little river that runs through the middle of the place. Clean, bright brisk flowing water. No shopping trolleys or other junk. Ducks and seagulls. I went into town a bit deeper and bought a loaf of bread to feed the river birds but reserved some for feeding the crows and pigeons in the park area. All again clean and tidy with a very ample supply of benches under the trees. More exploration but I think there is plenty left for another day. Back home ahead of Norma's return. She never knew I had escaped!

This was rehearsal for when the nice kind and solicitous man tells me I am too aged for driving myself.

I think I might have another go today. Different place. Different time of the day. Norma is off with a fried but the car will be here. I'll save carbon and petrol costs by letting the bus take the strain.

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