The Wheels on the bus

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Call me crazy but i am one of those strange people who never learned to drive. When younger i had neither opportunity nor funding and now i am older i find i lack both time and inclination. Work commute used to be a car share with a local friend but i find i like the walk with my ipod and whilst the bus ride itself is a bit of an event, i find i have grown very accustomed to the ritual.

The Bus.

Passengers vary according to the time of day that you board. Pre 9am you will find those heading to work like myself but mostly of the student variety, row after row of darkly clad teens pulling hair around their acne clad faces, giggling loudly and all logged into some smart phone which they message each other on rather than talk. A pervading odour of musty not quite dried clothes emanates from their direction and they sit in twos or on the outside of the seat in order that you might not sit by them. Sometimes in some act of devilment i will deliberately sit down next to one if they leave an unoccupied space and watch the horror as it dawns that a grown up has invaded the ‘cool’ spot.

Cast your eyes towards the back and row after row of people seated alone. Nobody wants to be seated next to anyone else and bags and briefcases galore occupy the space next to each one of them. A woman near the front hides behind an upheld newspaper as though trying to pretend she does not have to take the bus at all.

”You’ve changed your hair” the bus driver says to me as i board. I like to think i keep up with the times and board with a clever little app on my phone. I try not to roll my eyes when held up as those not so up to date climb on and ask for a ticket. ” it’s nice” the driver adds, ”it suits you”  I smile and thank him whilst swiftly scanning for a seat. Most drivers are nice and will wait for you to be seated before pulling away but some just dont care and will drive off sharply sending you hurtling into the lap of some poor unfortunate who happens to be nearby.

Rattling and bumping down the road we skirt the edges of the lake. It is not really a lake but a water filled minehole which doesnt really sound so glamorous so we call it ‘the lake’. Drivers often dont slow down  around here and hurtle around the winding track, which by the way has little in the way of barrier between water and road.

”Please don’t kill me, please dont kill me” i mutter silently to myself, convinced that one day we will neglect to negotiate the turn and instead sail headlong into the murky depths. I confess i have planned every possible escape route and always sit as near to the ‘break glass’ window as possible. Images of newspapers sporting the headline ”Bus crashes into Lake that isnt really a Lake” batter my brain and i admit even sensible me is terrified of the jolting race around the gloomy bleakness beside us. Not even the appearance of a solitary duck swimming steadily across it can calm my overactive mind.

Board the bus an hour later and it’s passengers change entirely. Students replaced by row after row of blue tinted bubble perms all clutching plastic shopping trolleys and sporting a uniform of stay pressed trousers that have argued with their ankles. Far from silent the bus rings with a crescendo of voices all competing to tell the first unheard bit of gossip. By the time I reach my destination I know all about what Enid did at the weekend and oooh did you hear about Betty? Apparently fish is on offer at the local supermarket too.

Yes the bus is definitely an event in itself and i hold my breath as an over friendly lady with a strong smell of wet dog seats herself beside me and attempts to start up a conversation. But it is here I find I must leave you for the lake looms eerily on the horizon and I find I need both hands to hold on and pray that the wheels on the bus keep going round…….and round.

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I don’t like Mondays

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Sunday evening and the last vestiges of a gloriously sunny weekend disappear below the horizon signalling an end to relaxation and fun.  I try to avoid looking at the clock on Sunday evenings and no matter how tired i get i refuse to go to bed as though doing so will halt the death knell march of an impending Monday.  I am confident that i am far from alone in my loathing of the first day of the week although i find myself amused that it is only this particular day i have such distaste for.  Tuesday, for the most part, is much the same as Monday, yet  strangely i find i do not mind a Tuesday so much.

Casting back to younger years and Sunday night would ring to the shouts of ”Get in the bath, you’ve got school tomorrow”  Back to the present and i still find myself following the same ritual as though i never had a bath at any other time. I must hasten to add that i am very clean and actually bathe every day, yet never on a Monday evening would i say ”I’ve got to have a bath, I’ve got work tomorrow”

No there’s just something about an advancing Mondays that seems to hold such importance, enough to taint the evening before.

Tomorrow morning, as always, a very tired me will grope blearily for an unwelcome alarm, emerging looking for all the world like a disgruntled hedgehog. Snooze button on repeat as my sleep deprived brain tries desperately to cling to the last fog of sleep. ‘In a minute’ is my favorite saying on a Monday morning, invariably leading to my being dreadfully late and rushing for the bus to the sounds of the fastest beat song i can find on my ipod. If it is a good morning i may have actually buttoned my shirt up straight.

I just hate Mondays. I cannot decide if it is merely having to do something not of my choosing that makes me hate it so or whether it is the whole total groundhog week that makes it so unwelcome. Perhaps it is the lazy side of me that resents the ritual of a work day, being held to account through every minute of the day and only returning when it is too late to find time for myself. Monday heralds forced company rather than sought and uniform as a pose to comfy jeans and personality reflecting clothing.

Darkness is falling now and i stifle a yawn, trying desperately to pretend that the evening is not advancing at a furious pace. How odd that a Sunday seems to go by far faster than any other day of the week. Whilst i am well aware that it is merely my perception of time i cannot help but imagine Father Time in some act of devilment, gleefully putting my Sunday on fast forward. Oh for an extra few hours, some little bit of extra time to hold the evening at bay, a chance to rewind and luxuriate in the remnants of a day to myself.

Reality bites as a glance to my right sees uniform hanging ready for tomorrow.  I fear if i yawn much harder my mouth will stay permanently open.

Sunday marches on and no matter my distaste of Mondays it’s clear i have little say in the matter. Uniform and running for the bus to the strains of Linkin Park it is then.

Sweet dreams all.

 

 

Love is not love….

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Love.

There’s no getting away from it.  It really is all around, everywhere you look and a subject more often talked about than most. We all want love yet ask anyone to describe what it is and why they want it and you will get so many replies as to leave you confused.

I have to admit as a young child i was very much of the happily ever after brigade. Brought up on tales of princes and princesses and happily ever after. Truly believing that one day my eyes would meet those of the man i was destined to be with and he would sweep me off my feet, just like in the movies. Beating hearts and breathlessness and a passion leading you to want to be together forever. How rude an awakening when i found that life really isn’t like that at all.

Love, i have decided, is very like any other addiction. There is the initial excitement, loss of inhibition and the buzz that comes with any new drug. A newly discovered euphoria leaves you craving more and slowly the addiction takes hold. Love takes over, blurring the fringes of your reality until it is all you can think about. How much better your life seems with a dose of love to boost you along. You cannot deny that there are those fortunate enough to sail on this happy tide for the whole of their lives never knowing the ill effects that often creep in over time. For others the toxic effects begin to take hold and yet still you continue even knowing that this is bad for you. Addiction is hard to let go of and so often we cling to its safe familiarity. Better to be in bad love than not in love at all right?

Wrong!

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Recently i have been talking to a friend about the breakdown of her relationship and whilst i should never divulge the confidences of another, safe it to say that i puzzled greatly over the reasons for its sad demise.

Change. Or rather refusal to accept any change which comes along. I have to admit i pondered a long time over this. My own relationship, whilst being far from the fairy tales of my childhood, is a very good one simply because i had been willing to compromise my expectations. My partner will be the first to admit he is not the flowery, gushy demonstrative type and perhaps he would not be the man for any woman seeking open and obvious affection such as my friend. But i find our relationship has a solid foundation and affection comes in an endearing way unique to only him. I think if perhaps i were less sure about myself and our relationship i should be unsettled by what may seem  to others an unloving man. Yet to me in all my familiarity of him, i find him affectionate and loving in a way nobody else can see. Hard won but worth it when it appears.

I tried to explain this to my friend. People change but sometimes we have to change with them and relationships cannot always stay the same. Just because love settles into a familar comfortableness does not mean that it is no longer love. Very like a new pair of shoes, all shiny and taking time to break in,  but once done so they settle and mould into a comfortable fit. Well worn and often much loved but different from the new shoes you first bought.

My friend just cannot accept the changes in their relationship and has chosen to end this since it does not meet the idea that she has of how it should be. I feel sad for her that the love she has is no longer the love she wants and perhaps she is right not to compromise her expectations. I asked her if she loved her partner and she said yes but he’s not like he used to be. Perhaps, i pointed out gently, you are in love with who he was and not who he is now.

We are very different she and i and whilst i should find it hard to let go of love for the sake of change i cannot fault her for doing so. I find i am with Shakespeare when i say…

”Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds”

I find i myself have changed a lot over the years, very different from the girl i was in my younger years. I have had my share of that sweeping all encompassing love and found that it did not end well. It is not to say that i should never be open to that kind of feelings again but i find now i have learned to expect differently from before. Perhaps age has made me less idealistic or perhaps i have simply learned to heed the lessons of experience and compromise where once i should demand.

Love.

You cant always live with it but it seems we definitely cannot live without it. I think all any of us can hope for is someone to notice when we are not around. Someone to care and to love us  in whatever way they can and perhaps if for some this is not as bright and shiny as for others then no matter. We all want to feel loved and wanted and id like to hope that for most we find what we are looking for.

Sometimes you just need to look that little bit more closely.