Pud’s got a job! Yes indeedy – he’s been waiting over the summer for the chance to work with children with behavioural issues or additional needs and he’s been taken on full time! He seems to have taken to it like the proverbial duck and I’m really pleased that he’s found a job that he finds both challenging and rewarding and for the first time ever, he’s even baked cakes in preparation for one of his sessions with the kids and they weren’t bad at all (the cakes – I can’t comment on the kids).
Enough with all this hearty back-slapping in Pud’s honour though – can we please take a moment to focus back on me and the harsh plight I’ve been left to grapple with now that he’s working…..he needs to use our car for work. How inconsiderate! And although I’m a little ashamed to admit that my first comment upon hearing his happy news of securing employment was not ‘Oh jolly well done dear husband!’ but a rather more uncharitable ‘So that means I won’t have the car then’, the fact remains that I have quickly been forced into looking at alternative ways of travelling to and from work three days a week.
And what a fun few days I’ve had experimenting!
The options I can choose from include catching a bus into town and then walking a short way to my workplace but this is costly, unreliable and boring or I could cycle (whether permitting) or a combination of walking for nearly two miles to catch a free bus to get me to my wonderful place of work. And much as I dislike travelling on buses, I figured I might be able to put up with it if I wasn’t paying nearly five quid to get into town and back. Call me tight if you will.
So last week, armed with a back-breakingly heavy rucksack loaded with work clothes, high heels, toiletries and my packed lunch, I set off to catch the free bus. However, it was such a nice day and as I got near to the bus stop, I found myself unable to stop walking. I just didn’t feel like sitting on a bus and crawling at a snail’s pace in the rush hour traffic, so I carried on the extra couple of miles and arrived at work, looking (and probably smelling) like I’d just run a marathon. And then I decided to do it again on the way home! I wouldn’t recommend this method of travel if you value your body from the waist down. I could barely walk for the next two days and am currently on a waiting list for a double hip replacement. Plus I needed a poo halfway home and I don’t think holding it in for over two miles did my posture (or indeed my bowel) any good at all.
So this week I’ve actually ventured onto the bus and everything I’ve ever disliked about bus travel still stands. I’m not much for being in close proximity to other people at the best of times but being stuck on a jam-packed bus with them just intensifies my dislike. I find that a lot of bus-users tend to be a bit smelly, or talk to themselves, or talk loudly on mobile phones or squash themselves up so tightly to me that by the end of the journey, their left thigh and my right thigh have melded together and become one. Yes, this may well be highly judgemental but anyone who uses public transport can’t argue with these hard facts.
And on top of that, I have the trauma of bus queue etiquette. If someone arrives at the bus stop after me but I’ve chosen not to sit on one of the four seats available and they decide to sit down, who gets on the bus first when it arrives? Is it me for being there first or them as they’re now in front of me because they sat down? And is it acceptable for me to tut loudly when indeed they do get on before me? And if I do sit down to wait, do I sit on the seat next to the lady with the pink coat or do I leave an empty seat between us so as not to invade her personal space? And then there are the individuals who stand at the wrong end of the bus shelter entirely, forcing everyone else to queue outside of the shelter while they stand there on their own, hogging the whole thing until someone else finally comes along and stands in the shelter with them. I won’t even attempt to work out where they come in the pecking order when the bus arrives.
And so last night, just three days into this new mode of work transport, I decided that walking home would be quicker and far less stressful than queuing for the free bus (I was right, even if I do sound ungrateful) and arrived home knackered but a lot more relaxed. And when Pud told me later that he would start looking for a second car soon, I told him not to worry, that I was enjoying getting some extra exercise.
And then I punched the air and gave a silent ‘Whoop Whoop’ as I staggered up the stairs for a shower.