Not being allowed to drive combined with the odd collapsing moment has meant I’ve been working from home for the last few weeks. I really wanted to see my friends at work and get away from Pog Towers for a bit though, so yesterday I attempted the Bumpkinsville Bus. It was a …different experience.
For some reason, I thought as I was leaving later than usual, it would be light. It wasn’t:
I soon discovered that the timetable is a thing of great flexibility and that the bus route takes in just about every street between my house and the nearest mainline station. What would normally take 10-15 minutes from my front door took 50 minutes.
It was all worth it to see people, catch up on gossip and get work done at a real desk. But then I had to get home. I walked out of the train station to watch the one bus an hour to Bumpkinsville pull away from the bus stop. Grrrr. I checked the time table to discover there was another bus that left Bumpkinstown in 20 minutes. Bumpkinstown was a good 20 minutes walk up a very long hill. I did it in 10. (And I have the blisters to prove it).
And that was when I made my discovery. I’ve commuted on trains and tubes for about 15 years, and can count on one hand the number of conversations struck up on my travels. Most of them were drunken, and most instigated by me. On the bus home though I heard:
- From the old navy boy who, in the 1950’s used to get the bus from Plymouth to Paddington to London Bridge to Bumpkinsville for the princely sum of £3, 2 shillings.
- From the young girl wanting to be a vetinary nurse who lived at home with her Mum and their 14 cats. And showed me photographs of quite a lot of them…
- And the elderly lady who was getting the bus back to the post office to get her pension because that morning the system had stopped working, and didn’t it always do that since they’d moved the counter from the front to the back of the shop, and….
So it’s different. And it’s kind of a nice different. But I’m rather glad that I have some fantabulous managers who have said it’s ok to go into the office just once a week for a while, rather than having to do that rather epic journey too often! :o)