On a dull, dark, dank day, i've completed the first leg of my journey in quite UN-remarkable fashion, i'm feeling peckish, and chips are definitely a no'no, i can't go for an eye-test smelling of salt and vinegared chips, would have to make do with Morrison's teacakes, or similar.Thankfully there's a row of bus-stops next to the shopping-center, they're sheltered, no need to put my brolly up here, and it was so nice to step into the warm atmosphere of indoor shopping. Then back out into the driving rain, onward to Morrison's, back to the shopping center, and a warm sit down to chomp on teacakes. I found a seat and just sat for while, enjoying a few moments of quiet contemplation, watching the world, and his dog go by.
Eleven fifteen, three buns down, and i needed to spend twenty, "spend twenty", doesn't have the ring/roll off one's tongue like "spending a penny" does it, and it got me thinking, why hasn't the twenty pence piece got a nickname? We've had coppers,quids,tanners,half-crowns, and twenty pence pieces, just a thought.
There was a bucket in the middle of the floor outside eurochange catching drips from a leaking roof.
Back at the bus-stops, twenty ( can't call it a score cos that's twenty quid. How about scorepee, a score" p " as in pence". Ho'hum. ) spent, and now four buns down, i go looking for a timetable, passed a middle-aged looking gentleman, sprawled out on a public bench snoring his head off, he, seemingly totally oblivious to the comings and goings of others, and they equally, seemingly, totally oblivious to his snoozing. There's something very wrong about that imo, it's not right, it just isn't, he looked well enough though, and tanned.
How he could sleep through the hell that was raised by one small little girl was beyond me. There was the dad, i assumed, with three girls, couldn't have been above three or four years old i reckoned, one older girl and pair of twins it looked like to me, well, she didn't want to go this way, she wanted to go that way, and no, she didn't feel the slightest inclination ( i don't WANT toooooo ) to keep up and hold dad's hand right now, screaming like a banshee, crying and yet not shedding a tear, red in the face, and was getting quite warm under the collar.
"Oh DO come on" he said calmly, his tone changing ever so slightly once or twice as he offered words of encouragement, she kept up, and finally they to sat and waited for a bus.
Just five minutes to wait and i'd be on my way, that's if i'd read it correctly this time, well, i had, and i was.
I was going to hit Asda's one and a half hours too early, i scoffed my last two buns, the bus-driver kicked on, and another parent-toddler battle raged at the front of the bus, "we're getting off at the next stop and we'll walk home". Well that'll work won't it. The bus stopped at the next stop, they didn't get off, Waaahhhhh!!! She could do worse than go seek out that dad of three i reckon.
Then a bunch of young lads got on, loud, out for fun, having a laugh, and quite full of themselves, brazen and brash, and yet, there was something about them, they were different, smart, well dressed, well groomed, short-haired, couple of spikies, "smart casual/casual smart", they soon settled, and y'know what? Seeing them gave me grounds for optimism, decent kids if i'm not mistaken, twelve-thirteen year olds i'd guess, well mannered, well heeled, and each one of them a credit to their parents, the experience was like a breath of fresh air and i was heartened by their presence, nothing like the ferals that i see on my way to work every night. My word, Dither, complimenting adolescents, whatever next?
Anyway, village after village , along narrow roads, tight bends, and around the houses. No cricket or bowls being played today, and my beloved blackthorn blossom had taken a hammering, but the Cow Parsley hadn't flinched.
I started to wonder if, in all the gloom, and condensation soaked windows, that i might actually MISS my stop, no over-heard asks for fares to Asda's this time, then i began to notice things, the Castle pub with the beer-garden, the Bus Depot, and then on the horizon, very soon it WAS the horizon.
12.30. i had an hour and a half to kill, so i took a walk around the block, some block;
Asda, Poundland,Brantano, Matalan, Boots, Next, Halford's, Next, i could go on, and the air was so laden with the smell of big Macs you could taste it. Talk about "smell the onions".
And in Asda's there was the optician's, Supercuts-hairstylist, a dry-cleaner's, Travel-Agent, Photo-shop, Pharmacy, it wouldn't surprise me if there was a dentist in there somewhere, discreetly positioned among the drugs and the cosmetics.
I wandered, i browsed, and i dithered.
What the hell? I would be going into the opticians with a bag full of shopping, i was bored witless. I walked in at 1.30. they said they could do it then so that was it, no more hanging around.
The eye-test was pretty straight forward but seeyng the optician really WAS, an eye opener. He was polite, respectful, and attentive. He asked, i answered. I talked, he listened, he ACTUALLY seemed interested, and explained/told me so much about what was happening with my eyes and why, he was a foreigner of course, all the better it seems, and that's a shame. Why don't WE care?
I had already checked out the frames so i knew what i would choose, was happy with the cost, and hopefully, they'll send me a text in two weeks time. Job done, i hope.
Home-time, STILL it rained, and again, i only had a few minutes to wait for my bus, these past two trips to Asda's have gone like dream, bus-lucky i guess.Getting on and off/off and on, buses, can be such a shitter, but not for me right now, happy days.
Five minutes into my journey home and i gave way to tiredness, and y'know what's so amazing? Not only had i not been relieved of my boots and my shopping, i woke up just one stop away from Frydays, and YES, I would be having a tray, salted and vinegared and not wrapped. "Be careful", advised the shop assistant "they're very hot",
another foreigner, such a simple act is so appreciated, why don't we do that? What is wrong with us? It really is, so very sad.
I found myself some place to eat and wondered if my bus would be so obliging as to turn up as i ate my very last chip like last week, that wasn't to be but i didn't wait long, so, having enjoyed a thirty minute nap, feeling the benefit of a warm inner-glow courtesy of Frydays, i was feeling pretty good, although it was damned cold, dry, but cold, i wish i'd worn my Snorkel-Parka, but I, was going home.
As i got off the bus on the very last leg of my journey, and turned to walked home, for a few minutes, i felt warmth on my face, from the sun, it was almost as if somebody up there was saying " hey dither, how's it going dude?" But that was short lived, when i turned off the main street into my estate, i faced a cold wind and the sky was as black as thunder.
Another jar o' juice i fancy.