Tuesday, 30 August 2011


This morning I phoned the garage to see when they would be able to tyake a look t my car.  They said I could bring it in today, they would look at it, and they would be able to work on it later in the week.

I needed to do the allotment chooks today.   Yesterday evening I spent quite a bit of time online trying to work out bus routes from my home to the allotment,  from the garage to the allotment,  from the garage home. All sorts of permutations trying to work out how to do both things.   It involved a lot of anti-directional travel, but there were a number of options. Thank goodness for traveline's website!     In the end I decided that I would go and do the chooks en route to the garage, and then go by bus from the garage home. I looked at the bus timetables, and decided that I would give in and just get a taxi back home. 

So, I set off.   The universal warning light came on almost immediately, followed a few seconds later by another warning symbol. I'd left the handbook on the kitchen table, but the new warning light looked sort of engine shaped which didn't bode well.   I decided to go directly to the garage.

Once there, car dropped off,  I had a bit of a think about what to do next.  Getting a taxi from there to the allotment, and then the allotment home, was going to be stupidly expensive, and was a real cop out.   To get from the garage to the allotment by buses was possible - albeit a bit convoluted involving bussing for 15 mins in the wrong direction first -   but the first bus in the series wasn't due for ages anyway.  So, I decided to walk from the garage to the nearby town (across fields),  and catch a bus in the town for the last couple of miles of the journey onto the village where we have an allotment.

So, I set off.  The first part of the walk was fine.  The footpaths had been converted to a national cycleway and were broad and easy to use.  I wish I'd packed my bike (which I had considered as an option,  but I had decided that I would then be trapped into using my bike as I wouldn't be able to take it on a bus. Or in a taxi).     I walked.  And walked. And walked.

And walked.  Fortunately, I had walked this walk once before, 32 years ago, so I knew that it would, eventually, deliver me into the town I wanted to get to.   At an intersection, I wasn't sure which way to go. Luckily for me there was a chap cutting a hedge, so I asked him and he gave me detailed instructions.   

I got to the town, feeling quite proud of myself, and walked to the bus stop.  No timetable.   I decided to walk in the direction of the village, keeping an ear out for the bus. No bus.  A couple of bus stops later, there was a timetable.  The bus wouldn't be there for ages.  So, nothing for it, I walked all the way.

I was tired and relieved when I finally got to the allotment,  and I sorted out the chooks.  I then considered what to do next.   I could get a taxi (which I was seriously considering),  or I could get a bus back into the town,  walk 1/4 mile to an alternate stop and pick up a bus home.     I decided to take the healthy (and money saving) option and walked to the bus stop.  It had a timetable.   The bus, one an hour, wasn't due for another 45 minutes.  I considered getting a taxi.  I decided to take another national cycle route and walk into the town where I could get a bus.

ow, I have walked this particular route before, a couple of times. I remembered that both times, the footpath disappeared.  I walked along the first part of the route, along the road,  debating whether to just give in and get a taxi. But now, I wasn't really in a sensible place to stop and wait.   No, I would be fine.  I left the road and struck out for the footpath.

About half way between leaving the road and reaching the town, I stopped feeling virtuous.  The ball of one of my feet was starting to get a bit sore, and I was quite thirsty.  It had been over 2 and a half hours since I had left home, and I was slightly regretting my decision not to just give in.    Eventually, I reached the town, and I tried to work out where the bus stop was.   

I considered, for about a nano-second, whether or not to just walk the last few miles home.  I walked past a taxi rank.  No.  I had got this far, I was going to get the damned bus.

I walked through the town, checked the helpful map at a bus stop (not my stop, sadly, but a helpful stop nonetheless),  and walked towards the correct stop.  As I got close, I could hear a bus coming up behind me.  I looked, it was my bus.   Remembering the village bus that was only one an hour, I managed to run. Well, jog.  Luckily for me, there were quite a few people spilling out of the bus,  and two older people waiting to get on.  I got there. I got on.  It took me to within 200m of my house.

I was home just over 3 hours after setting out. 

Feet hurt.


  1. That's quite a journey! I live 65 miles from a bus stop, but I do go down to town and ride the bus with my guide dog in training.

  2. Alexis, you made me chuckle. 65 miles from a bus stop puts my bus problems into perspective. The Allotment is 7 miles away, the garage is about 4.5 miles away.