Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Beast from the East

that is what the weather front has been dubbed.

Daft in a hat, that is what I was this morning.

Why when I went out to this


and this


did I think it was a good idea to try and get the bus to work at my usual time?

Although in my defence there was movement on the road and I arrived at the bus station in good time.

My hat somewhat snow encrusted where it was not covered by my hood.


There was no sign of Parker Man and the bus I was waiting for was late, however one that would do (that started from a closer depo) arrived so I thought it would be OK.  Even saw the original bus a bit later.

Perhaps I should have taken it as a sign, my being the only one, other than the driver of course, mad enough to be on the bus.

I arrived at the stop I had to change buses at just as the next bus I needed pulled away.  I was not the only one to just say miss it.  I commiserate with the other lady that at least it should be only ten mins before the next one.  Mind the snow was still falling and the wind howling and blowing around.

The next bus did indeed come.  On we got, off the driver got to wipe down his wing mirrors. In the snow blew.


The white you can see on the floor of the bus is snow.


You can just make out the drivers footprints when he came back on.

So on the second bus, not making bad time all things considered, sit back and relax?


Well not really.

There were several slow spots

Tight can we get past the parked car spots.

The bus shimmied and slid as it hit ruts in the snow, the drifting snow obscured the view and the bus was often moving at a crawl. 

A second lady joined us at the Church stop.

She knew the first lady, both worked  at a nursing home and were endeavouring to get in and already late.  Out came the mobile phones to advise of lateness and where they were.

Shortly after I get a text, about not going in , too late I am on my way.

Well I was, we are now at the bottom of a fairly steep bank. The traffic is still ahead. I can just about make out another red double decker in front...yes the one I missed.  It appears to be stuck going up the bank.

The traffic coming down is also stuck.

A bit of shuffling at a side road got the blockage of the traffic coming towards us freed if they turn, the ones past the turn are still stuck so behind the bus the road both ways is blocked and in front our direction of travel is blocked. The cars in front  u-turned slowly and also managed to go down the side street. No room to be doing anything with the double decker.



After thirty mins, the nursing home ladies are calling into work to update, they are told someone has a four wheel drive and if they get off the buss (into the freezing cold) and wait and he will come and get them.  They frustratedly ask how he will manage that given the road is blocked...and suggest it will only work if he has a helicopter!

After an hour, and some more cars resorting to the U-turn we edge up, and I can see a little further up the road and there are three stuck red double deckers ahead and one of the smaller busses is just behind them.  Small bus thinks "I can" and tries to get up the bank and past the other buses.  Nope he can't, just manages to get slid in between two of the reds and not block the road further.

We edge and edge, still some distance to the other buses and our driver notes he thinks he can, with a clear run up the wrong side of the road and if nothing is coming, get up the bank.

He goes for it, past red bus one, little bus, red bus two and horn blaring just in case of oncoming traffic past red bus three and on he goes.  Not daring to stop incase he can't get started again all to the top of the hill.

Hmm glad now that I missed that first red bus as it is still stuck!

We congratulate our driver and he points out he is very motivated..he rather needs the toilet.  Now that he has mentioned it his passengers note they are similarly inclined.

So moving again, so what shall I do , get off at the first stop I can and work my way back?  Stay on till the destination bus station, pop into work and take it from there?

Well at least the bus station offers shelter and it is still blowing cold out there so I stay on.

We get to the main road and are back to a crawl, stuck cars , delays at roundabouts and there the slip road off is approaching.  Another crawl down the slip road, round  the island here is the turn to the bus station 

and

 it is blocked off by the police.

Back up a slip road half back the way we came and then through a housing estate, pick up a grandmother whose grandchildren have insisted she needs to go to the shop to get a birthday cake for their dad and she is going!

Finally there. Over three hours after I set off.

I get into the office, they are surprised to see me. I say how long it took, they look out the window at the weather and say...go home!

So I do, back to the bus station, chat with someone who took two hours to get to work with the same result as I did and we wait for a bus.

Oh a red double decker.  We get on and things are moving so easily I start thinking perhaps I should have stayed at work, the roads are improving, things are going better. 

Silly thought, daft even not in the hat, which is still a bit damp from the snow!

We slow, we stop.....why have we stopped? The engine stops and we sit and sit, the engine starts and we sit and we sit.

Ah there is a lorry just shy of being jackknifed.

Some cars move, the bus engine is off, is on, is off and our driver finally decides that unless he takes a hand nothing is going to get sorted.  Out he gets, high vis jacket on  and managed to direct the lorry to reverse and pull back next to our bus...verry close to the bus. and back and back. 

Ok moving again and finally reach  midway point for the return journey and time to change to another bus.

I look at my watch, nothing would be due for at least twenty  mins brrrr. 

There is a man at the stop and we note that perhaps timetables are not a thing to dwell on today and we will get what we can whenever it comes.  He is in my opinion dafter than me, he is heading out simply because it would be boring to stay home look at the walls and dust.  I may not delight in dusting but it is better then freezing.

A bus approaches.

Good it is one that I would normally get , although usually it goes to my hometown then on to two other villages and the next town along the coast. 

This time the sign on the front indicates it is just going to my end destination.  So the route has been shortened, there must be issues with the roads between that and the next town.

Each passenger getting on the bus is asked for their destination to make sure they are not trying to go further than the bus will take them.

Fourth bus of the day and nearly almost back where I started.

I should stop having thoughts like that.

There is a small hill then quite a dip then the pull up.

More snow, even more wind and the powder from the fields and the world turned white.  Slow and steady does it and we get past that bit.

There it is the bus station, now just for the walk back home.

No chance of the little bus today.

The paths were OK, powder is easier to walk on than compressed and frozen.

The wind remained bitter and the snow still coming down with intent.It was a cold walk.  Mind a cold walk home is still better than a cold walk away from home.

These are the last set of steps on the way home. 



 Honest there are steps there.

It takes some shoving to get the garden gate open.

Brush the snow off the door so it does not all get dumped inside when I open it.

And I am home!

Quick text to the boss to let her know (as requested) and time for porridge to warm myself up. 



at last a sensible decision.

(I better note that was not all for me )







Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Parker Man talks

oh it was a cold day, a bitterly cold day with what has been termed a lazy wind (it can't be bothered to go round, it goes straight through you)

It was cold in the morning but the connections had gone well.  It felt colder in the evening and the connections had not gone well at all. 

Twenty five mins waiting at the middle stop for the second bus I was chilled to the bone. Even with the help of those nifty chemical hand warmers.

Arriving at my destination too late for the little bus I set off to walk home.

As I reached the first set of traffic lights Parker Man drew level with me, glanced across and spoke to me....and what did he say for this first conversational gambit after all these months.

The most English of conversations of course.

"Blooming cold isn't it!"

So certainly not a tough Northern Lad if he admits to "feeling the cold"

Today has been a double connection win, both morning and evening buses flowing so that there was minimum time waiting in the cold.  

Thursday, 18 January 2018

An odd little conversation

was had on Monday at the Church stop.

A cold morning, although not as cold as forecast, in fact wrapped for the forecast I was feeling reasonably comfortable as I waited for bus two.

A bearded and hooded young man joined me in the shelter with the comment
"can it get any colder"

My response "of course it can"

"if I was at home it would be warm" he did have a bit of an accent.

" cast nary a clout till May is out" I grinned. He looked puzzled so I explained
" don't discard you winter clothing til May, it can snow through April into May"

" yeah my birthday is in April hope it won't be snowing then, that's not as weird as my girlfriend her birthday is 23rd December, how weird is that!"

"some people are born on the 25th of December"

" that is just weird, I am not at all religious no not at all" glance at the Church " a priest or a vicar could tie me to a chair and peel my eyelids back and read the bible to me, all of it every page and I would not be religious, I have said it before and I will always say it you will never get me to take a stance on religion"

"erm you just did, that was a stance"

Pause
"ha so I did" ~"I don't really do coffee , but I could do with a latte, that's the only coffee I do,  isn't it cold" 

" I don't drink coffee" a look of utter astonishment appeared on the face of Mr I don't drink coffees face.

The bus arrived and as he got on he asked for a sixteen and under ticket, the conversation made more sense now, sort of. 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A parker


with a fur lined hood! 

Just a shirt Man has completely caved in to the cold

And it wasn't even that cold today!

well guess he is not a tough Northern Lad after all.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Celebrity Driver

As the end of November fades and December gets underway I get braced for the seasonal delays on the bus occasioned by a combination of the weather and the increased traffic and number of passengers.

Of course the delays always feel so much longer in the dark and the cold .

Wednesday came in with a cold biting wind and having stood at the middle bus stop in the rain experiencing one of those delays I was not looking forward to the walk home form the bus station.

As I arrived at the bus station I remembered the little bus that is a new feature and goes past my home removing the need to trudge up the incline (that I have before noted appears to be a steeper gradient on the home up journey than on the down to work) I have occasional arrived just in time to catch it.

This time, there was no little bus waiting however, I popped my head into the bus station and noted it was due in two minutes, worth the wait, it would still get me home quicker and avoid a cold wet walk.

As the bus pulled in I was already feeling rather jolly at the  prospect of a warm ride and a decision well made.  As I stepped on the bus I almost voiced out loud my immediate thought on seeing the driver.  The mature, portly white haired and fully white bearded driver.

It's Santa Clause! 

Only if his uniform had been red would he have looked any more the part. All of the ride home (short thought it was) the thought that Santa Clause was driving my bus kept me amused and in a rather more jolly mood than the earlier delay and winter chill had forecast.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Its not even snowing

and

just a shirt man had a coat this morning!

Admittedly just a thin coat.

He is a tough Northern Lad after all.

Mind I was hard pressed not to make a comment about the weather.

Which was particularly chill this morning.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Riding backwards and moving forward

A different bus journey today.  A busy bus and for part of the journey sitting in a seat facing backwards. Not my favorite direction.

But as I travel to meet my best friend and her family for a most special day I contemplate beginnings. 

A journey my friend started years ago has come to a certain sort of ending that is in fact a beginning.

Today my friend had her graduation ceremony from the Open University. A journey that included her starting a blog life outside the washing basket and inspiring me to start mine. The Beggining

There have been some interesting stops and starts, ups and downs and experiences on the way for us both.

So here is a rather blurry picture of that moment of confirmation.


(an update by permission with the much better picture taken by her brother)



well done Roni. 
So then whats next?