These days I am not accustomed to being out and about quite so early. I am (supposedly) retired after all which is generally thought to mean long lie-ins, year-round holidays in sunny climes and the opportunity to suit
myself. None of which applies to me, of course. Not that I am whingeing and moaning, you understand, life being far too short and far too interesting for that.
only reason I am out during the morning rush hour is that I have to report to the hospital by 9 a.m. sharp where I have an appointment with the consultant who operated on my Problem, now Recovering, Shoulder - also known as Tigger. The consultant, I mean,
not my shoulder. Even I haven’t gone so far as to give my shoulder a name though, if I had, it probably wouldn’t be repeatable in polite company. For polite company, read the regular imbibers of the Daily Blog.
I am standing at the bus stop, clutching my £3.20 (being as I can’t use my free bus pass because it’s twirly - i.e. too early) and watching the traffic rushing past at speed in the
frenzied hurry to get to work. I can almost feel the stress. A procession of school-kids pass me as I wait and I wonder why so many of the girls have bare legs. I mean, it’s so cold this morning! I want to wrap them all up in blankets and tell them to
hop home and pull on some tights before they freeze to death. When I was at school, our winter uniform included bright red, thick stockings, ensuring that, if for no other reason, our school’s pupils stood out from the crowd. At least we were warm.
The passengers on my bus, when it arrives, are also a very different crowd from those I usually meet up with on my travels being definitely much younger than the average
free bus-passer. There is a different vibe on the bus, too, lots of parents taking their children to school and workers bound for the office, the shop or the factory.
One little lass is engaged in a fascinating conversation with her father, trying to impress on him the many reasons why she doesn’t want to go to school but would rather (I am suspecting emotional blackmail here) stay home with him. He skilfully
manages to deflect all her arguments, with his final, indisputable words being: “That’s life!”
Another small girl scoots the length of
the bus when it reaches her bus stop and gets a mild telling off from the driver as she alights with her mother who looks much more embarrassed that the Errant One.
The mother of a boy sitting at the back of the bus calls to him to wait till the bus stops before coming to join her at the front. The boy, who is wearing a coat decorated with dinosaurs (Young Faris would love that coat, I find myself thinking) starts
down the aisle when the bus pulls up at traffic lights, only to find his legs giving way underneath him when the lights turn green all of a sudden and the bus lurches forward. Several hands (including mine) reach out to steady him on his way to the safety
of his mother’s arms. We are all united in our concern for the littl’un. This is why I love bus travel, there’s a sense of comradeship, of being one with each other in our support of public transport, however many and varied our individual
motivations may be.
The appointment with Ms Tigger goes well. My Recovering, once Problem, Shoulder is now officially a Recovered Shoulder. I am back home with
Mr B, even with a couple of shopping bags in tow, by 11.30 a.m. Sometimes it pays to be out and about early.
You see what I mean about life being, not only too
short, but also too interesting?
Oh, dear, did I really just hear someone mutter “it all depends what you call interesting....”