Category Archives: Travel

Coming down the home straight – only two more sleeps

The past forty eight hours have gone by in a kind of unbloggable blur… Not totally unbloggable, though!!

I now have new favourite men, the delightful ticket office people at the little station I get the train from to go to work. I’ve just graduated to needing a season ticket, but because I only needed one for three weeks before the excitements of a two week break, I’ve been purchasing weekly tickets.

However, because of the inclement weather on Wednesday, I changed coats… forgetting I’d left the weekly ticket in my pocket, as the bus was uncharacteristically prompt! Cue very embarrassing moment on train, as I only had just enough money on me to pay for the day ticket needed.

But, cue happy and excited Japes – I can reclaim it. What’s more, in the middle of sorting out the claim form, my bus arrived, (it’s only half hourly, as is the train ) the lovely man waved me off to the bus, and promised he’d have it ready and waiting for me in the morning, as he knew he’d see me!! Both of them who work there have been really kind and patient with me in this learning curve of commuting, and especially have not been making me feel bad about reclaiming £6.00.

I change roles again tomorrow, though, they are blurring more and more as time goes by!

I may have more interesting technical vocabulary for you tomorrow, Ian! Friday last week  introduced me to a boutonniere.

Only five more sleeps…

and today has been reasonably eventful! But, it feels as if my equilibrium is somewhat restored, or rather, as if I’m not going to fight anyone and everyone, and that I might make it to 5.00 pm on Saturday more or less in one piece.

Today? It involved adventures with a circular saw, and architraves.  Oh, and a threat to bring some reins in after the holidays…

It involved remembering that most direct bus route home is probably better now the university term has ended, and the roadworks on the main road are improved – it was the most pleasant bus journey home I’ve had for ages.

It involved getting up early, but doing things in a much, much better order, so the day got off to a calmer start. Long gone are the days when I could hurtle out of bed, and be ready to go in five minutes. (Yes, that involved a thorough wash!)

It involved me finding a book I could read on the bus, as the print size was good.

It’s also going to involve an early (for me) night.

Only six more sleeps

then a whole fortnight to myself… getting up when I like, not going on a bus unless I want to go somewhere I want to go to, interacting only with those I chose to, and a chance to chill out properly.

Maybe also a good chance to get my head around a goodly number of things! This last few weeks have been abysmal for that, and that was pretty apparent during a discussion I had with someone the other day, when if I’d been the other person, I’d’ve got very exasperated with me being uncommunicative and sulky, and would have said a lot, lot more, much less politely than was actually said. In retrospect, I got off pretty lightly, really, though that’s not what I thought at the time.

Oh, and for those trying to guess what my typo the other day was, none of you are right, though sheep was always a good possibility!

Adventures on Buses

I’m spending lots of time on buses at the moment! This is probably the main cause of my laxness in the blogging department of late. I am very hopeful that I will be cutting my hours spent travelling to and from work soon, and spending less time out of the house, but far more of those hours working (and being paid for those working hours!)

I have several options for travel to work, which is about 25 miles away, beyond the opposite edge of the city, and at the moment I am favouring a bus/train combination, with a different bus route in the morning. I don’t mind tackling the city centre in the early morning, in fact, it’s quite pleasant! But, I am losing the will to deal with the human race by the evening, and have found it’s best to get off the bus about halfway back to the city centre, and get on the “outer circle” bus. Which happens to stop a minutes walk away from my house!  It looks ludicrous when I look at the map, but time-wise between 4.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m, there’s nothing in it. Though, I prefer not to get on it at school out time.

I’ve lived in this city three times now, and always close to this outer circle route – it has featured a lot in my public transport adventuring! Those of us who know it well know the “Every ten minutes” on the timetable is a myth… in fact, timetable and this bus route are not concepts that have been introduced to each other.  It’s a regular complaint that you wait ages and three or four come at once… five is the most I remember, after a forty minute wait, followed by a twenty minute walk when I gave up… and they all arrived at the bus-stop I would have got off at, as I was walking past it. It’s not a bus route I like to rely on when time is of the essence!

Today, however, I got really, really lucky. Not only did it arrive within five minutes of me getting to the bus-stop, I happened to get on one that was instructed part way round to “Unload Only” – so for about half of my hour long journey we were whizzing along, until I was the only passenger! It started picking up passengers again about ten minutes from home, but it still shaved a good 20 minutes off my journey.

It makes up, in part, for all the hours and hours of my life than I have spent being thoroughly frustrated by this bus route!!

I don’t think I’m going anywhere tomorrow

For since returning home early from work this afternoon, about five hours ago, there has been a steady falling of that white stuff from the sky, a sky that looks set to continue to produce the white stuff, my footprints in the snow on the path outside my front door have vanished, and it has gone ominously quiet outside, apart from the occasional car having trouble on what is normally a busy little road – it being one that runs parallel to a major route out of this city, and used by those who think it’s a good alternative route.

Ominously, I also am beginning to ache all over, and have the beginnings of a sore throat.

So, I am decreeing an early night, after a hot bath and medicinal hot drink, and will be breaking my rule of having the computer in the bedroom, so I can check various websites before getting up. But, I somehow don’t think I will need to set out

It’s been a long, long week

One of those weeks where nothing happened on the usual day.

This last six or seven weeks have been incredibly educational. It’s confirmed the fact that I am not an early morning person, and forcing myself to be so is not being at all good for me. I’ve reached this point feeling exhausted, run down, and wanting to do little but sleep. This is as tired as I was by Christmas this time last year! Mind you, I didn’t shove in a couple of house moves, and a complete change of life this time last year….It’s also confirmed I am not a person who works well in a large institution, and that it’s also not good for my equilibrium. Still, the coming week is a lot more relaxed, and I even harbour hopes of getting a couple of late mornings and maybe some early nights.

I’m also aware that I’m extra tired because I’m doing a mixture of work that is very new and demanding, and work that I’ve done before, but am relearning things I’d forgotten and there are also new routines with it, that I’m working in three different jobs, that I’m living somewhere temporarily and am having to think constantly about so many different things that I used to do automatically. It’s also that I’m getting desperate to get my own space, and my boxes unpacked and sorted – which I’m delaying doing until I’ve moved again, as Plan A, to do them here, got thwarted by the speed at which I got busy.

Yesterday was an exceptionally long day, but well worth it. I was delighted the coach arrived slightly early, thus enabling me to catch a bus home with only a two minute wait, rather than the half hour wait I was expecting. Even if I got a fright, as I’d forgotten the route changed slightly on Fridays and Saturdays after 9.00 p.m. and I thought we were going the wrong way, or I was on the wrong bus, going to my previous address in this city. (I am amazed I’ve not done that yet!) A group of us had gathered for a memorial service of a incredibly memorable woman, who had impacted on all our lives in so many ways! I’d been detailed to provide the music. So, before the service, I did a clarinet medley of hymns and songs specific to the group I belonged to along (with a good third of the congregation,) which had been founded by the woman we were gathering to remember, and then played the organ for the rest of the service.

Still, tonight I might even get an extra hour’s sleep!!

Last few hours

of freedom before the return to work tomorrow.

It’s been a good few days away, and I’ve been able to forget about everything, except what to read next in the light fiction line, (A combination of PD James and Harry Potter mostly! With an interesting novel about conjoined twins as a sidetrack.) or where to go on the couple of days I had a car at my disposal.

I happily called a halt to the deep thinking that’s been going on, and refused to answer any phone calls, emails or texts. I’ve had one little bit of interrogation on my return, but I’ve neatly avoided the direct questioning.

But, my goodness, the blog posts pile up when I’m not watching!

So, I’m away to spend some time catching up before sleeping!

I think I made full use of that bus ticket!

Buses are interesting around here. There are several companies, two main ones for the city, with several littler ones, and one of the main ones also doing further afield, along with several others.

Now, on my Work an Hours Bus Ride away day, I have three choices. I can go on the one that serves city and county, and get an area day ticket, and that’s every half an hour. I can go with a different company, every twenty minutes, but only get a return. I can, if I time it right, and the trains are running well, go by train, once an hour!!

The advantage of the first choice is whilst I work at one part of the campus, occasionally, I have to go to the other one (like I did today) and the internal free transport system does not work in my favour!

Anyway, today, I went out to feed friend’s cat at very stupid o’clock, (four miles in opposite direction to main place of work) went to finish off this weeks hours at work, went to main campus, came home, and went to check on friend’s cat again.

I spent the journeys sorting out my mobile phones texts (I must ask my non-church going sister why she wanted to know the name of the local vicar’s wife a few months back) writing mental packing lists, and pondering why I’m having a ten day break at a time of year I never normally contemplate inflicting myself on anyone.

Well, I know why really. I’m just not used to being anywhere other than one particular place and with one particular group of people at this time of year, and it’s very odd not to be there this time. But, it’s right and appropriate.

Time to pull the rucksack out of it’s hiding place, and the laundry out of the airing cupboard. No point in putting it all away before packing, that’s a waste of energy.

End of the working week…. bliss

More or less. I thought I was going to have to work all day tomorrow, my day off, but I got on far better today than I thought I was going to, so despite the fact I’ll be spending the evening working on a major PowerPoint presentation with He Who Knows about these things, and tracking down some Iona song books, I’ve got a clearer day than I thought I had.

Then, excitements of excitements, I’ve got access to a car all weekend!! It has reached the silly point with rail fares that if the whole household is going somewhere it is cheaper to hire a car. Saturday will be a good, but incredibly difficult day. I shall be putting on professional musician mode to cover up the fact it’s going to be a very emotional occasion for me. Except, only a few of us know that… If I wasn’t playing a part in the service, I wouldn’t be going, but it’s something I agreed to do before Major Decision was made. And the timing of letting other people know about this is such that I don’t want it known until after Saturday.

On those surveyed thus far, Bach is winning…. which is a good choice, because I can play Bach on my keyboard in my room, (as well as on the piano downstairs,) and not disturb anyone!

That was a touch careless

I misplaced three men today….


If I may be so bold as to suggest they might not have got lost if they’d rung me to check the directions provided by the nice internet people who do these things. You see, we’ve lost lots of people at exactly that point… no one ever believes it’s really that quick a turn once you’re off the roundabout. Once missed, you’re back on the inner ring road, quicksticks, and doomed to a certain amount of anguish.

Still, they found their way eventually, and we fed them lots of nice food once they got here. Equilibrium was restored. Meeting took place, and finished on time, despite the late start.

I also have dishes left drying on the draining board. I didn’t wash up immediately after a meal last night, and more shockingly, I had my cup of coffee before I did wash up. Just because, for the next few days, I can!!!!!