I got to the bus-stop with a few minutes to spare and was instantly presented with a dilemma. Should i stay here and risk getting spotted by the silly old devil who, whenever he catches my bus, spends the whole seventeen minutes ( i know, i've counted every one, so many times ](*,) ) talking absolute nonsense, or do i make a dash for the stop before this, sneak upstairs and thus avoid him? I thought of those words immortalised by Mr.eastwood, "do ya feel lucky? Well do ya?" Or something like that. I didn't. He never showed.:encouragement:
I think i'd dressed just about right. The sky was a perfect blue, and the sun was shining, but there was a swift breeze blowing, no chance of getting a sweat on today, i thought. Having said that, it really was nice to be out.
The bus arrived, and in the time it took to blink an eye we were approaching the town. Eight miles, " Ha'ha, juss like that.
So, the police station approached, i alighted, and was soon on my way. In the churchyard pigeons were cooing, and there were crows somewhere, no mistaking their deep throated drawl.
A flying visit to the library to extend the " due-back" date on a book i already had on loan. Past the blitz bar and 40's tea room ( i really must check that place out sometime:neutral: ), and onto Frydays. CHIPS!
I turned a corner, tall buildings on either side, and it was freezing. The sunshine was okay while were you in it.
Never mind, i had my chips, found a bus-stop shelter. An "empty" bus-stop shelter.Dining out, dither-style.
With a carton of hot chips, half eaten, and feeling quite relaxed, i found myself reminiscing. There had been a bus-station here once, with a cafe. Yes, it was shabby. Puddles of cold tea and coffee on the tables. Along with cigarette-burns, bread-crumbs etc. And we couldn't have cared less. I miss that. Ditto the old Derngate at Northampton. And St.Pancras, in London. The places had bags of character. The good old days.
On top of this, i was keeping a wary eye out for elderly female acquaintance and Downan I saw niether.
Having dined out with no interuptions, i was ready to go spend a pound. Spuds. When suddenly, the most bedraggled looking person was there, standing in front of me. "Have you got any spare change mate?" "All i've got is my bus ticket". I volleyed rather brusquely, without thinking, it just came out, as though i was firing a machine-gun. Verbal ACK-ACK. He DID, on reflection, look awful. For a while afterwards, i FELT awful, and i resented that, I really did. To the point of resolving to give him a pound if i saw him again, but i didn't, and i was sorry, and i resented that also. I don't need that. He probably thought same of me. Damn!
I made my way through the market, such that it is, at a leisurely pace, and i could hear a violin playing, it wasn't good. One could sort of recognise the tunes being belted out, but, mmmmm, go do something else eh? It was cringe-worthy, it really was, and i suppose he's hungry to.
There were bags of onions for a pound. Bunches of bananas for a pound. Poundland. Poundman. I like it there. Okay, if i was to weigh those things out, they might not be cheaper, sorry, " less expensive", than any place else, but the point is, that for a pound, a person can at least buy some Eh?:neutral: There was a bunch of small bananas on the counter and a sign that said " a free banana for every customer", but i didn't like to ask. I'd love to know how many people actually DID/DO, ask.
Next stop Morrison's, and i'd forgot that they had a public-toilet. A free public toilet. That's a saving of 20p. Kerching!
At this point, i might just mention that Saturdays, at home, for me, means snacking on "curly chips". Asda "curly chips". But they've become a bit " samie".
What could i do to cheer them up a bit? Well, i've got a very nice, seriously strong mature cheddar, at home in the fridge, and morrison's have this "burger relish" on offer, i call it chutney. And for how much per bottle? A pound. That's how much. That was it then, chips, with cheese and chutney. Heading home.
Through the market, two piano-accordions had replaced would be violinist, it sounded good, and it felt good. To somebody like me, who has never travelled, it seemed very rustic. French rustic. I liked it. And hope they'll be there in the summer.
With the sound of accordion ringing in my ears, i made my way to the horsemarket, and again, had only a few minutes to wait. Aren't i the lucky one? Whatever.
Upstairs again,looking out over everyday scenes as the driver waited for departure time;
The place was bustling. Life,happening. People, coming, going, shopping, chatting., idling dawdling.Smokers smoking, fidgeting, feeling a chill-wind. Skateboarders wearing baseball caps arse about face, as you do, skateboarding. Boys on BMXs. LIFE, being lived.
And going home, past MD's, another cracking chip-vendor. Who says that the chinese can't make chips? Those guys can. And DO.
The bus run was quiet, not many people got on, and the bus kept going.
Eventually, it did of course stop. And this geeky looking kid got on. Came upstairs. Sat in a seat opposite me. On went the mobile phone , and i was ruing my luck, i needn't have. I could not believe what i was hearing. No i wasn't earwigging. But there was this kid, discussing cricket scores, and future matches on which he seemed to have very strong and informed views. He discussed, at length, with whoever, local enterprise, venture and retail parks and investment. The state of British mail, and IT, being a loss-leader, hence it's apparent decline. All so matter of factly, with perfect pronunciation. Not to mention his range of vocabulary, this kid was cool, and good luck TO him.
I continued on my journey. Dog-walkers, and joggers (more hip replacements, just waiting to happen) were out in force. I saw a holly tree heavily laden with red berries. A back garden, with neatly manicured lawn, a swing, slide, kid's trampoline, and chickens. Yes! The ideal family. 2.4 Kids, and 2 cars, probably. And 2 chickens. Brilliant.
A crossroads with an obelisk, one village away now. Home James. Home.
The roundabout, where the three main arteries of the town, meet, leading to and from town, MY town.
It felt good to be going home.
Once home there were things to be done.
Get omelette cooking.
Re-heat yesterday's leftovers.
What to have with my curly chips?
Why cheese and chutnayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.
wishing you all a really nice day.
Sat. mar. 01.
Why Cheese 'n' Chutney? Because i like the sound. For me, it sings.
And MegaRider-Gold? That's the name of the seven day bus-ticket that i buy every Saturday morning.
So, going to work, commuting with Stagecoach Group Plc.
I work 5 nights a week,
there are numerous Excursions, shopping trips etc.
And as i travel, amble, wander and roam, i see, hear, watch, and learn, so much.
Even on a midweek shopping trip, most of the faces, of fellow travelers look familiar, and when going to work, i know almost without exception who i shall see on any given day.
Well,anyway, for a long time now, every Wednesday night, a girl, young woman, late teens i suppose, has turned up at my stop. I don't know who she is, where she comes from, or where she goes, but she's there, every Wednesday, And it's all so predictable. The bus arrives, she waits for me to board the bus then follows on behind. I sit at the front, downstairs, and she goes upstairs. Well that's how it was until last week.
Last Wednesday was different. As i waited for my bus, a young man appeared. Twenty, ish? Maybe. Medium height and build. Dark hair and beard. Casually dressed, not scruffy, well groomed, and well, quite good looking. Not that i was looking you understand.
He walked into the shelter saw me, and said " Hi!".
I responded with "How do?".
And that was it.
Young female appears, we stand around, kicking our heels, looking down at the ground, he, at one point, casually strolled a few yards up the road, and went into the bushes, for a pee, i imagined, but that's neither here nor there.
The bus arrived.
I boarded first, and went to my usual seat, downstairs, at the front.
Cool dude gets on next, takes the seat behind me.
Female gets on last, and takes a seat downstairs, the one adjacent to Mr. Cool.
We have a story.
I didn't see her sneaking any sideways glances.
And maybe i'm just a silly old fool.
I've observed so many situations, like this one, where boy sees girl, girl sees boy, no need to say any more.
For days, weeks, the nerves, the despair and desperation, etched on their faces, and then suddenly, one or both of them, don't catch that bus any more, and they're both left to ponder what might have been.
I take this position because it's the story of my life.
"Been there. Done that". And it hurts like hell. Even to this day.
So, am i reading too much into this?
Can't wait for Tuesday evening.
Yes, of course, anything could happen in the realms of fiction-writing.
For anyone with any sort of imagination, the possibilities are endless.
Homosexuality. She/he/or both about to take their vows in the church of whoever, to become priest or nun. Sexually transmitted Diseases, unwanted pregnancy, s & m, bondage, transvestism.
But i don't have that within me, really, i don't.
The best i can hope for, is that i find the testicular fortitude to intervene somehow. Engage HIM, in idle chat, draw her into it somehow, then step back.
But what if I'M wrong?