Saturday morning arrived, and i was up and out, bright and early, ish, first stop my local Tesco-Express, i was short on reddies, hole in the wall, cash machine i thought., out of order, ah but i'd considered that possibility and had a plan B, i had enough money for a new MegaRider and that would do until i got to a local branch of my bank, sorted.
Cash shortage dealt with, i walked along the bus-stops looking for the bus-stop, when i found it there was a bus sitting there set to go but this damned bladder of mine, it would have to be the next one.So, twenty pence spent, and bladder relieved, i waited, Sun-crossword finished all bar one, where the hell is the Taj Mahal anyway? Yes, i know it's in India , but where abouts exactly? Four letters, doesn't matter, it's a scorcher of a day, and i didn't have to wait , Asda here we come.
"Are you going to Asda mate?" I asked as i boarded "Yup". "I haven't a clue where i'm going, will you let me know when we get please". "Oh you won't miss Asda", came the reply, ( he wasn't wrong)okay then i thought, Asda's.
Off towards the Crematorium ( one day i thought as we passed by), past a Travelodge, onto the main road, and that was that.
I'd never been out that way on a bus before, once we got back into country-lanes, i felt as though i'd died and gone to heaven.Wide verges with thick lush grasses, a riot of Cow Parsley and Dandelions, and occasionally my old friend the hawthorn still dripping with heavy white blossom. Where one could see over the hedgerows fields of crops rose and fell, dipped and rolled, with the contours of the land, i saw very little flat level ground, and then the village of Wilton, (an absolute jewel as it turned out ) appeared almost out of nowhere, we rounded a bend in a dip, and there it was. The bus stopped at a crossroads to let people on and off, and there in full view, right next to a recreation ground, a bowling-green complete with club-house, and the place was busy, men and women all of a certain age, dressed in white, bowling, how English summer is that? Amazing.
I'd had this nagging feeling at the back of my mind that the Optician's might not be open on a Saturday, i would soon be finding out.
At another village, i saw men in whites playing cricket on a field next to a church, i was in raptures, England oh my England, had i somehow fallen into a time warp? I had to pinch myself, and the sun shone.
Finally i got to Asda's, and like i said, the driver hadn't been wrong, it's huge.
So, having found the Opticians, and lingered at not the greatest selection of frames that i've seen, not that THAT matters, the least of my worries, i managed to catch the eye of a shop assistant,"can i help you sir?"
"Erm,yes, i've come ask about getting my eyes tested."
"Okay, shall we take a seat?"
At a table with a pc.
"I'm a bit, i mean, i'm not sure about the idea of getting glasses from "Asda's"."
Emphasising the word "Asda's".
"But Opticians are Opticians right? Where-ever you go".
"We're all qualified Opticians sir. Okay, let's see what we've got. What would suit you?"
So, we oooed and we arrrred, and i'm booked in for an eye-test a week today at 2.00.pm.
Right then a bit of shopping, a gentle stroll around, no rush, the size of that place, the range and variety of products, Heinz baked beans with garlic and herbs? Come to daddy.
I looked for hot x buns and teacakes, and settled for Raisin Brioche Buns, what on earth is Brioche? LOOK! I'm an old fuddyduddy, okay? Well anyway, mission accomplished, i had nibbles, and i was feeling pretty good about things, so far, bus-stop, erm, yeah, well, it's out there somewhere , not much more than an hour previous, i'd walked away from it, it WAS, out there. Setting off in the wrong direction didn't help, row upon row of parked cars and sheltered ranks of discarded shopping trolleys, interspersed with small trees and shrubs, if you've seen one retail park you've seen them all, but i got there in the end, man that sun was hot, i dug into my Brioche, not something to fill an empty stomach, but it was okay, not sorry that i'd tried it. And again, i didn't wait long, funny how things work out some times.
I had THE most idyllic ride back into town. Cricket, Bowls had given way to tea, tea and scones, oh i DO hope so, i found myself fighting an almost irresistible urge to jump off at the Co-op and buy them all an icie, a paddock filled with Buttercups, riding-ponies, and some of those cottages, oh my.
In no time at all, we hit the main road again, Travelodge, Crematorium, bus terminal, i felt peckish again and Brioche wasn't on the menu, i needed something a bit more substantial, Chips.
"Chips? With salt and vinegar? Open?" Asked the brown girl with the red painted finger nails, and with a smile, for a moment i felt like i was home," yes please", i didn't ask, she didn't need to tell me, i put the one-forty into her hand and went looking for some place to eat.
I sat and ate my chips, and as i put the last one into my mouth, literally the last one, i couldn't believe it, my bus.
Now i was starting to get suspicious, i had had a wonderful day, too wonderful maybe,was life about to bring me back down with a bump? What could possibly go wrong? I wondered, almost agonising over the possibility, well, nothing COULD, nothing WOULD, and nothing DID. I'm home, all dithered out, and i can't wait for next Saturday.