Jaqui's Daily Blog

Eavesdropping, Conversations and a Precious Phone Call

The bus into town was crowded this morning. It must have been the sunshine that drew us all out. As far as I could tell,ma general topic of conversation was about clothing - as in, "I really didn't know what to wear today!" A quick assessment of my fellow passengers proves that most have kept to their winter weather coats, apart from one foolhardy soul who is in tee-shirt and shorts. I am all on my lonesome so nobody thinks to ask me how I chose which coat to wear today.

I sit at the front of the bus, in one of the three seats facing inwards to the aisle. These are the preferred seats of the two oldest of the Little Welsh Boys. I used to tell myself that they chose these seats because then they could sit either side of me - but it soon became clear that the main attraction was that both boys could hold onto a bar on which a bell to stop the bus was sited. There they would perch, all the way into town, each with a small fist curled protectively around his bell push, each determined to be the first to press the bell when the time came.

I used to find these seats a little perilous, likely to throw an Unsuspecting Soul forwards into the aisle should the bus driver pull up sharply and unexpectedly - but now I always sit there when the seats are free and I am travelling alone. I can almost sense the friendly presence of a Little Welsh Boy on either side of me.

I am in town to collect Young Morgan's present from the local Argos store. Yes, folks, I have been "clicking and collecting" again, saving myself a cool £3.49 in postage and packing. Plus, because I order on line via the Give As You Live website, I am able to clock up a donation to Voluntary Action Worthing, the organisation I am proud to chair. Mind you, my donation on this occasion was a not particularly record-breaking 20p but it's the thought that counts.

While I am waiting for number 700 to come up on the computer screen, announcing that my purchase has arrived at Collection Point A, I chat to two small boys whose mother is valiantly putting together two new scooters for them. I am all admiration as she wrestles with wheels, nuts and bolts but, as she says, if she can just put the darn things together the boys will happily scoot all around the town for the remainder of the morning; if she doesn't, then she will have two heavy boxes to carry home along with two unhappy companions. This serves to remind me that I am Out Of Touch with Motherhood Problems and Solutions.

Number 700 is called so I collect my purchase plus a business card inviting me to take part in a survey recounting today's "customer experience" - every store seems to want to know what I am thinking today. The mum with the two boys is now onto her second scooter; I say goodbye and wish her luck but she doesn't respond. Maybe she thought I should have set to and lent a hand?

I buy food for today's dinner then decide to have a coffee and a toasted tea cake in the Lido cafe, overlooking the sea. I watch two fishing boats heading out to sea, text the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, and find in the newspaper a list of timings when the Election results in several of the key marginal seats are expected to be announced. I was on duty for the last General Election in 2010 but I can't say I'm not perfectly happy to be Just Another Voter this year.

Two chaps sitting at the table next to mine are talking about bowling and Naughty Goings-On out on the bowling green. As in people not obeying the unwritten etiquette of the Great Game. I used to fall foul of this myself when I was playing short mat bowls so I have a certain sympathy for the unknown bowlers who have brought down the wrath of the More Accustomed Ones on their unfortunate heads. It occurs to me that I may actually know the complainers if they happen to be members of our club - but in order to check this out, I would have to turn round in my seat and give myself away as an Eavesdropper of the First Order.

The Pulse bus is waiting for me, there at the bus stop on the promenade so I clamber on and take my accustomed seat (see above.) Half way home and we find the road ahead closed on account of an accident. Our driver is not a Happy Chappy. He chunters on about schedules and diversions and I eavesdrop with interest as he outlines his dilemma. Until, that is, I realise that I am his nearest passenger - and that the poor man is talking to me. That's the problem with eavesdropping. It really should not be confused with a Proper Conversation.


Mr B tells me, when I finally arrive home (having played Agony Aunt to the bus driver until a young Community Police Support Officer came to tell us that the road was about to be opened again) that I have missed a call from the Darling Daughter in Law and the Duracell Bunny. I phone back and the DB (aka Morgan) and I sing songs at each other. We sing Happy Birthday (his third birthday is coming up), Row the Boat (good for screaming!) and, somewhat inappropriately, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Every so often, I hear him, a note of importance in his voice, telling somebody in the background that he is "talking on the phone to Nanna."

Conversations. It's been quite a day for them. But none sweeter than singing songs across the phone lines with the Duracell Bunny.


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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