Monday, 6 December 2010

on the buses

I've discovered buses like some people discover god. It's all this ice and snow. The car is firmly in the garage and I find I can get anywhere - well nearly anywhere - by public transport despite living a mile away from the main road half way up a mountain.(slight exageration). The one mile brisk walk does me good and I arrive glowing and pink - eat your heart out L'oreal! I've become a bus evangelist.

Went to the gallery on the X4 on Saturday to find main street closed and cars and prone bodies in street. Black ice had claimed them and police had closed road. I minced to PO with parcels ofbook and xmas card orders with the help of shoe chains and walking poles - wonderful invention. ignoring all the fallovers - police dealing with them efficiently.
The buses started running again with arrival of salt from those well known Cumbrian salt mines.
Walzed out at 16.51 for my bus home which arrived spot on time - got on and found it had cancelled my route. How dare it!'I can drop you off at The pheasant' he said cheerfully. Is it far from there? Other road's too bad.'
'Yes it s****** is - just 6 miles in the dark'
I got off at the next stop and walked back to gallery fuming and rang M to say I was staying the night there with hot water bottle.
Sylvie my Saturday girl rang mobile to see if I'm on bus OK. (she's my beloved granddaughter as well and cares). I tell her where I am and she forces her pa - my son to turn back for me. He says he'll take me to St Bees to stay with them. It's on the coast so not as icy. (hey - I used to live at Castlegate House all on my ownio I could have quiet night in with good book and electric blanket). They'll be watching get me out of here and football. Help!
Ring M to say staying at St Bees. He says (glibly) he's been invited out to supper with lovely neighbours over the field.
Peter gets back and I pile into car. He asks how I'll get home Sunday.
Train and then bus.
No trains stop in St Bees on Sunday. He's taking me 20 miles further away from gallery and even further from home which had occurred to me already.
He turns round. He'll take me to the bottom of our hill instead (no vehicle has passed uppi there for a long time. It is pristine snow.)
I ring M to say I'm on my way home - he sounds disappointed. which is not good for ones self respect.
I set off for my one minute mile with bag with milk (4 litres) and bread(2 loaves no fishes) and computer (bloody heavy), feeble torch and walking poles. Now tell me how many hands you need for that??? At least 4- correct. I get 10 yards - Pete's headlights are long gone. It is total black when mobile goes. Help I need yet another hand now, It is M just checking I haven't changed my mind AGAIN. I assure him I'm on my way up the lane. I then spy a funny flashing light low and meandering ahead.
'Stay on the line' he says.
'I haven't got enough hands - I'll fall over' 'put it in your pocket switched on' he says'it could be a mass murderer!'
Gee thanks bud. That makes me feel better. He must be a dwarf though.
I march towards the mass murderer which turns out to be small dog with flashing collar doing a bit of rabbiting. His owner follows and we peer at each other through the fog. It is a man who was at the theatre launch Monday. He wishes to have a conversation about it at minus 11 degrees!! M is listening to this unintelligble conversation from my pocket! I take my leave after exchanging inane pleasantries..
'What the hell was all that about?' says my pocket/
Just a man and a flashing dog. wanting to know about the LitFest.
He doesn't believe any of it obviously. Thinks I've flipped. I switch him off.
I fight the 6 smelly rams who are waiting hopefully at the gate fuelled by testosterone -it's that time of year. They are hopefully waiting for sex or food - typical males.
M has soup and red wine awaiting my arrival and the fog suddenly clears and the sky is full of stars.It's good to be back.