Through October, in collaboration with R-U here? we’ve been taking to the bus, journeying and chatting with passengers. Recording images on http://www.R-U.org.uk and the instagram link.
I used to commute daily by bus, up to an hour and a half each way on a good day, involving two buses and some walking. My circumstances changed and I needed that time to be spent elsewhere so took to the car. It is hard to get back to the bus after cocooning myself with my choice of temperature control and sound; but it was not long before got back into the routine and being able to read on the commute.
Office space changed and the car returned to main mode of commute as the number of buses was severely cut, and my hours would not fit with the revised diminished timetable.
Now this route has been cut entirely.
It was not without a sigh that on the first working day after the removal of the bus the main road route had it’s bigger smarter buses diverted past our abandoned stops! It felt like salt was being rubbed into our collective wound of disconnection.
Now a few months on, the time table frames have been removed from telegraph poles, green mossy, lichen patches are the tell tale remains, stenciled in place by those frames.
Lonely bus shelters along the route, maybe useful for the school coach queue, but most of the day useless in the layby, awaiting a new life as a notice board, perhaps.
In recognition of the lost route, the invitation is out – join us and walk a section of the route, 2 November 2019, Saturday morning circular route. How many former bus stops do you spot? Can we come up with alternative ways to share lifts?
Ok, it is right that on Friday I was not taking the longer journey by car, but just getting down to the main road, I had to question ‘what is happening?’ Is it a Sunday? There was so little traffic, had the day been declared suddenly a national holiday. (Yes, to add fuel to another debate probably happening somewhere else, we should have an autumn bank holiday)
Anyway this was a time when it is ‘good’ to drive, there was no queue, no distractions just the getting from A to B .. and because of the conditions I made B a lot further away and the journey was the thing. Because the present was the actual journey in the car, and it went so quickly, it was easy to miss (disregard) entirely what was being driven through. Because this was so unusual – no holdups, so I did continue rather than parking sooner to catch the bus, and yet. This made the Friday event the drive, because there was no time to stop and stare at anything else.
Again though if the roads were always clear, then using the bus would be more straightforward – they would keep to timetable because of the reduced number of blocked roads – more people could use them – more bus routes opened, because that would be the transport of choice and opportunity.
Getting off the point … because the journey was quick, no queues, no delays the attention did not wander, and the places passed through did just disappear, insignificant.
Road traffic so heavy
Everywhere so slow
Only following plan to be able to get home tonight quickly
Might need a rethink if same plan represents itself for another day
Of course the main issue is that I want to do something in the day
I need to get home to do more of something in the evening
And I want to go out (ha for relaxation and yoga) in the evening
And have meal with family
Doing less would release the pressure
Making getting somewhere slower more permissible
Being a little more realistic – more healthy
And that probably would apply to a lot of the people also sat in their cars around me .
Today it is probably the relaxation class which will be missed.
But yes warm and sunny in between those start and end positions of the week days
Walking across the car park this evening , 7 pigeons, 2 magpies also scouring the ground for treasures. I found a 5p coin, not sure what their pickings were. Perhaps crumbs after lunch remains now most of the cars had departed. Also screeching gulls in the distance. Looking around to locate them I spotted instead the geese flying formation strung across the sky to the south.
The formation in the distance though was quite fluid, not sticking to the arrow shape. If I had had the camera .. (First time in ages without it.. ) The stills shots might have looked like join up the dots puzzles each attempting to make a letter as the shape changed as the group made its way across the sky.
Homewards for me too.