Tag: bus

Magnetic Attraction

There are occasions when life as the Lifestyle Support Guru can be very difficult, but it is my job to give you, Beloved Believers, a glimpse from time to time of how simple and straightforward life for you as an ordinary person can be – you will never know the trials faced by the LSG as I try to lead a ‘normal’ life. As an ‘ordinary’ being, you will not have to face situations such as I endured at the bus stop today. Let me set the scene:

Wishing to experience the same ‘ordinariness’ as others, so that I may better advise you on how to live your life more fully, I made my way to the bus stop (with the intention of going into town to spend some of my hard-earned pension), where someone was already waiting: a gentleman of ‘a certain age’, as the French so delicately put it – in other words, he was old! After politely nodding to him, I studied the bus timetable for the sake of something to do whilst waiting for the bus, even though I had a book in my hand – but I always feel there’s something a little…pretentious about standing at a bus stop reading. One should always stand at a bus stop gazing hopefully, even wistfully, in the direction from which the bus will appear, but with a certain amount of resignation written on one’s face as well, especially at this particular bus stop. ‘Why resignation?’ I hear you ask (I hear you clearly because I have very good hearing, unlike three out of my four siblings, who are descending rapidly into senility towards the likelihood of using an ear trumpet). The resignation is because, although every bus that picks up at this stop goes directly into town, not every bus heading for town picks up at this stop. Are you following this? I have stood at this very bus stop and watched six – yes, SIX! – buses sail past while I wait in the cold and wind that constitute a British summer – two school buses, one Park and Ride, the ‘Express’ from Belper, the ‘Comet’ from Chesterfield and a random National Express coach heading from Bradford to Aberdare – not a route that gets booked up quickly, I should imagine.
But I digress. Whilst lost in a reverie of admiration for the complexities of not one, but TWO bus timetables (because of competing bus companies), I became aware that the gentleman with whom I was sharing the bus shelter was speaking to me. This is not uncommon, of course – the LSG attracts attention from all! Unfortunately, he was speaking in a VERY broad Scottish accent (apologies to my Scottish friends!) and I could only understand every other word. Unfortunately, again, every other word seemed to be the same one – ‘f***’ (or variations thereof). As I attuned myself to his speech (I pride myself on my linguistic ability – I can understand many dialects, from Geordie to Brummie via Scouse and North Waleian, which is VERY difficult), I realised he was talking about the cold weather and his recent visit to Scotland for his mother’s funeral where he hadn’t been able to get a taxi to the funeral because of the snow. I didn’t ask why he hadn’t hired a funeral car – I felt this might lead to a long explanation and even the LSG doesn’t possess infinite patience. You will be pleased to know, however, that he DID get to the funeral – by bus! Scottish buses run in all weathers, apparently, unlike those in England, which stop at the first sign of a snowflake, or so the Scottish gentleman told me. Luckily, our own bus arrived at this point, so I was spared further details (and expletives). I was a little worried that he might sit next to me and continue his tale, but he sat next to someone else and proceeded to tell them exactly the same story!
Since this adventure, however, I have discovered that, occasionally, the LSG can remain incognito – nobody in the pub this evening seems to have noticed that I am wearing a jumper with baked bean stains from this afternoon’s lunch! (I hadn’t noticed until now either!) 😊
Sleep well!

Making Plans For The Weekend



A very good afternoon to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Today I am going to share with you some thoughts on MAKING PLANS and THE WEEKEND, so that you have plenty of time to MAKE your own PLANS before the coming WEEKEND. You will also learn that MAKING PLANS does not always turn out as you expect. As always, the steps are easy to follow:
1. Inform sibling that you have free tickets for Warwick Castle and MAKE PLANS to visit.
2. Sibling decides on the day that he doesn’t really want to visit Warwick Castle after seeing TV ad which included lots of children in it. (We both prefer child-free venues – such as pubs.)
3. Suggest Workhouse at Southwell, Notts, but this doesn’t appeal either. (I think he thought they may well still be keeping children there – see point 2.)
4. Suggest Strutt’s Mill at Belper, which is just a bus ride away. Sibling seems quite taken with this idea, so you MAKE PLANS and invite along a friend as well.
5. Meet friend at bus stop at a reasonable hour (11 am) and he informs you that he has already

bus stop

bus stop

washed his windows, made a bacon sandwich, walked into town and back and put some washing out. (At this point you feel worn out and consider going back to bed – the walk to the bus stop was exhausting enough.)
6. On arriving at t’mill, you wait for the guide while friend starts talking about an ‘articulated python’ for some reason and an image of a large, jack-knifed snake on the M1 comes into your mind. Sweetly, you enquire, ‘Do you mean a ‘reticulated python’? and friend says they’re the same thing. Sigh and hope guide turns up soon.
7. The three of you have a tour round t’mill with Barry the tour guide, who is absolutely delighted to find that your companions have a genuine interest in the engineering aspects of the weaving machines, although he couldn’t answer the question ‘Why do they go backwards and forwards?’. (WARNING: do NOT visit places with machines if your companions work in metallurgy or on the railways and you personally have no interest in engineering, other than the essentials such as knowing how to use a corkscrew.)

reticulated python

reticulated python

8. Before returning home, you make a small detour via a little micropub (well, I suppose a micropub will be small, by definition!) that has been recommended by some other friends who also have an interest in real ales (I choose my friends carefully!). Inside the pub, as a feature, is what looks like an old, small motorbike; friend, after examining it closely, confidently declares to all and sundry: ‘That’s either a Raleigh or a Dennis Hughes.’ (as I thought he said at the time). With an air of triumph (not the motorbike manufacturers, ha ha!) he turns to the barman who promptly tells him that it’s a Mobylette from France. Sad face from friend. (For those who know about motorbikes, friend didn’t say it was a ‘Dennis Hughes’ but an ‘NSU’. Still no wiser, but at least I know my reticulated pythons from my articulated ones! Or maybe he meant Kaa, the ‘articulate’ python in the Jungle Book?)
9. Finish the day off by going to a local Chinese buffet where friend attempts to pour a glass of wine while the top is still on the bottle. As I said earlier, I choose my friends carefully!
So there you have it, dear followers and acolytes – PLANNING a weekend is easy; it’s actually following the PLANS that’s difficult! You have all of Thursday and Friday to MAKE YOUR OWN PLANS!

The Martyr and The Transport Manager

sad sunflower

Sick bed

So, a very good evening from the recently-risen-from-my-deathbed Lifestyle Support Guru, pleased to have made it through a whole day without having to return to bed at least twice during the day since Friday. Having rather overdone the Random Thoughts post last week – I got a bit carried away! – I hope to help you with a couple of shorter lessons in life in this post, passing on my recent experiences as a MARTYR and as a TRANSPORT MANAGER.
Firstly, being a MARTYR can be difficult and some of us can achieve this with greater ease than others (myself, for example), but it CAN be done with practice. To be a MARTYR, you need to practise self-sacrifice and thinking of others and this is exactly what I did, dear followers – I sacrificed a LUNCH on Saturday!

restaurant table

restaurant for lunch

Those of you most familiar with my habits and preferences will know that this counts as almost the MOST COMPLETE SACRIFICE I could make! But how could I inflict my sorry self on the proposed companion and, more importantly, on the lovely little Italian restaurant and its lovely food? (Actually, thinking about it, the proposed companion has never shown such consideration when suffering with his sinuses or ear problems, so I shall remember that for the future… )
As further evidence of my MARTYRDOM, I even sacrificed a dental appointment!

So, you will now be wondering how I have gained my experience as a TRANSPORT MANAGER, especially if I have been suffering. This actually relates to the earlier MARTYRDOM when I decided that, instead of returning to my sickbed for a third time yesterday, I would meet some friends for a planned meal and a cinema visit. Following the film – during which I learned that Van Gogh can be pronounced ‘Van Go, Van Goff, Van Cough or Van Choch (like the Welsh ‘ch’ sound); why not just stick with Vincent? – I went to catch my bus. The bus stop has one of those

bus stop

Bus stop

electronic signs telling you when the next bus is due and where it’s going. A youngish (30? 35?) man came and studied this sign for a minute or two then turned and asked me if I knew when the next bus would be going to Mansfield. He then explained that he was dyslexic and thought the sign had said in 40 minutes. ‘Yes’, I said, ‘that’s right.’ and he walked off, muttering. ‘That’s not dyslexia,’ I thought, ‘that’s not being able to tell the time.’
Immediately following this, an elderly (older then me!) woman asked me if I knew which bus she should get to South Normanton. Do I look like a walking bus timetable? ‘Sorry’, I replied, ‘I don’t, but there’s a printed timetable just two yards away.’ At this point, a young hoodie who had been standing in the bus shelter intervened and, having consulted said timetable, told her that the bus would be along in another 30 minutes. And I had been convinced he was a potential MUGGER, dear followers, and so was hanging on to my handbag for dear life!

So, there you have it, believers and non-believers – life as a MARTYR and a TRANSPORT MANAGER is just grist to the mill for the LSG: all in a day’s work.
Sleep well (and see if you can work out when I should and shouldn’t have used ‘So’ at the beginning of a sentence. Tee hee!).
Lunch tomorrow!!!