The sweet-faced woman on the Pulse bus this morning turned down my offer of a seat as she was only going to the library bus stop. Besides, she added (in case I might be inclined to argue on the basis that, while I have
reached a Great Age, she had certainly attained an Even Greater Age) she was going to be sitting down for the next two hours so it would do her good to stand for a bit.
It turned out that she was meeting an old and dear friend in town and they would be spending a fruitful time discussing what was wrong with the world and how to put it to rights. I did hope, I said, that she and her friend might think about passing
on their theories to those currently stalking the Corridors of Power; it was clear to me that the two of them would be talking sense. Wasn’t it the case, we agreed, that one of the advantages of growing older was the recognition that we had almost certainly
been here before? We were talking history, I hasten to add, not reincarnation. Though, had we had the time before the bus reached the library stop, I reckon we could have enjoyed a most fascinating philosophical discussion on any of many subjects.
Didn’t someone once say, my fellow passenger mused, that what happens today is always the result of what happened in the past? I found myself remembering saying something
similar myself when I was a Working Gal and giving presentations on strategic direction - that the past shapes the present, and the present shapes the future. Who says conversations on the bus can’t be deep and meaningful, however short the journey?
We both alighted at the same bus stop and said goodbye, I wished her a happy two hours with her friend. At which we both set off in the same direction and it transpired that
we were both making for St Paul’s Centre where I was attending a meeting and my new Best Friend was - well, you know why she was there. We shared a few words about the excellent community facilities afforded by the centre and how much we both loved seeing
the babes and toddlers with their parents - then I bought myself a coffee and headed into the glass cube of a meeting room. From within the glass cube I could see out to where the Sage One was perched like a small bird on one of the bench seats, her eyes fastened
expectantly on the doors through which her friend would come to greet her.
I kept an eye on her throughout the first part of my meeting, worrying because
she hadn’t been joined by her friend. She had been looking forward to it so much, I bewailed to myself, please don’t let her be disappointed. Eventually, when I had almost given up hope and was wondering if I should make my excuses to the meeting
and go out to join her myself, the friend turned up, her face mirroring the delight on her companion’s face. Disappointment averted!
On my return home, by
curious coincidence, disappointment awaited me. A letter from the hospital informing me that my operation, due in less than three weeks time, had been cancelled due to “unavoidable” circumstances. To say I was gutted - especially at the thought
of having to unpick all the detailed and tricky arrangements I have had to make for Mr B’s care during my absence and recovery - is an understatement.
B pointed out that there was no point getting upset as there was nothing I could do about it. His was the Voice of Reason but it wasn’t what I wanted to hear just at that moment. I wanted, I suppose, the verbal equivalent of a pat on the head...
Still, by Close of Play I was in a more reasonable frame of mind, having received lots of metaphorical pats on my head from family and friends. Mr B was, as always, perfectly
right - getting upset would serve no purpose apart from turning me into a snivelling wretch. Which is, as everybody knows, Not A Good Look.
the example of the sweet old lady I met on the bus, I will just have to wait, patiently, until my new appointment - like her tardy friend - turns up.