Today, for reasons which are too boring to relate, I had to go into the seaside town where I live. I also had to take Offspring to school. What’s so special about that? you ask. Sounds pretty simple.
Or is it?
First part of journey accomplished by taxi, due to Offspring’s quantity of bags. Having started the long, usually hazardous, walk from Offspring’s school back to where the buses go from, my neck proceeded to go into a dystonic spasm and shifted my head round by a further 10 degrees. Geez, how did I get back to the bus stop, in one piece?
Having survived this ordeal, I was gazing vacantly at the stops trying to decide where I should be, when I was accosted by a man, who could only politely be described as a ‘eccentric’. Any man with wild hair and eyes, whose opening conversational gambit is ‘Hello, don’t worry, I don’t want any money …’ and is not my husband (who has/does all of these things), is definitely ‘eccentric’. Clearly, he did not get the response he expected and contented himself by shouting abuse at me. At this point, frankly, I admit to running, or rather shuffling away.
Two over-priced bus trips later, I’m back at the bus stop again and now it’s time to go home for lunch, before re-repeating most of the journeys again to collect Offspring from school.
Even on the bus, you aren’t safe. In the last week, the child and I have been subject to annoying, unwanted remarks from other bus users, buses not running to time and nearly had our necks broken by a bus driver with a stop-go ‘driving style’. But you know what? We’re travelling. We’re keeping our independence. We’re grateful.