Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The Joys of Buses

As a non-driver for much of my life I have always been a fan of public transport.  Growing up in London I often wondered why people bothered driving.  At various times - when I have lived outside of London - I considered learning to drive.  With children that desire increased until finally, pregnant with child number five and having moved to rural Wales, I got myself some lessons and passed my test after the baby was born!  Hurrah!  Unfortunately the expensive nature of car insurance for new drivers has left me without the opportunity to use my new skills for two months.  So, with the summer holidays here it's still public transport for me and I must say I have few regrets.
Riding a rural bus is a special thing.  Assuming you can cope with the infrequency issue (2 hours minimum between buses on my route), it's really quite pleasant to sit back and watch the beautiful Welsh country side flash by (and it does go by pretty fast as the bus speeds around the windy roads I learnt to drive on).
The children enjoy it too - the adventure of sitting on the double chairs without mummy or all on the back row of seats so we can be together seems to be appreciated.  There are no complaints about seat-belts (a definite plus when you're travelling at 60mph), in fact my two year old will look at me askance and say 'Mummy, twee bel' - 'Two Boats?' I asked.  She frowns, 'Mummy, twee bel!!' emphatically.  Oh, 'Mummy Seat Belt', and so I must put on my seat belt too, despite the baby in the sling making this awkward.  They chatter, but their voices aren't as annoying as they can be in the car because of the space and the noise of the bus thundering along the roads.  We wave at their school as we go past - my son tells me this is the way to swimming, as if we didn't drive this way most weeks in the car with Daddy.
All is tranquil and I feel a surprising glow of happiness.  I'm not sure why this is really.  Surely the inconvenience of having to balance baby, two year old, buggy and bag while climbing onto a bus would make it stressful, especially today when I had the three older children with me.  Surely having to time our trip around the bus timetable should make it more effort than it's worth.  But no.  I can't help it.  I love travelling by bus.

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