We had the most cheerful driver on the Pulse bus this afternoon.
Her hair was dyed a kind of pinky-orangey-red colour and
she greeted us all personally as we boarded her bus. This made a change from the grunt with which some drivers generally greet my merry halloo. So warmed were we by her welcome that it made us all quite forget the fact that we had been waiting rather
a long time for her bus to come along.
By we I mean me and about a dozen other characters of mixed ages and gender – no, Mr B wasn’t with me, he’d
taken the car to Waitrose to do a bit of Clicking and Collecting on behalf of the Middle of the Darling Daughters (Mr B and I like Clicking and Collecting, especially around Christmastime, even when we are clicking and collecting for someone else) and left
me to run a few errands in town and travel back by bus on my lonesome. If you can be lonesome on a busy bus, that is.
Waiting at the bus stop, I managed
to secure a perch on the wooden bench in the bus shelter, which was useful as I was able to sit the Rather Large Christmas Present I had just bought on my lap. I told the woman sitting next to me about the amazing bargain I had just secured. She wasn’t
as impressed as I thought she should have been but this might have been because the Awfully Large Christmas Present was definitely invading her space. The bus information sign said our bus was “due” which was encouraging. However it continued
to be due for the next ten minutes while other buses bound for Places Elsewhere kept trundling up. Hence we might have been a whole lot of grumpy passengers had it not been for the Sweetness and Light emanating from our colourful bus driver as we boarded
The spirit of cooperation continued on board with everyone keen to help each other out. I moved from my seat so that a young mum didn’t have to
fold down her push-chair and the woman I moved next to took the Ginormous Christmas Present onto her own lap for the duration of the journey. She told me such a sad story about how she had taken her nephew into her home when both his parents died and
how she was struggling with his learning difficulties while trying, unsuccessfully, to get him the help he needed. I remembered the report on TV a few days ago which highlighted just how many families were struggling in this way; now I was sitting next
to one of them and couldn’t think of a single thing I could do to help.
At this point in the journey the bus stopped to let on a woman in a wheel-chair.
The driver leapt nimbly from her cab to put down the ramp onto the pavement. “You’ve chosen the very worst bus stop to get on,” she informed the new passenger, cheerfully. The woman manoeuvred her wheelchair skilfully into a vacant
space, the bus driver jumped back into her seat and tried to start the bus. Nothing doing. A skinny gent in a flat cap suggested meekly that maybe she should remove the ramp from the pavement? Cue much laughter on the bus. Our driver took it all in good
spirits, telling us she forgot the ramp all the time and asking the skinny gent if he would like to drive the bus?
I was almost sorry when it was my turn to get off the bus, we were all having so much
fun. I retrieved the Humungous Christmas Present from my neighbour, wished her well and thanked our driver for making our journey such fun.
Mr B was waiting for
me at home. What took me so long? he wanted to know.
Well every reader of the Daily Blog could tell him chapter and verse. But I bet there are a good few of my
Nearest and Dearest wondering just whose present I was struggling home with so valiantly.
Like me at the bus stop, they will just have to wait...