In our village we’re fortunate in that we do actually have a bus service, although it’s frequency varies from hourly to two-hourly and at certain times it doesn’t run at all. However, as a route it’s quite good, linking two towns that have shopping centres, calling at a couple of other villages in addition to ours, along the way.
From time to time I take the bus to one of the shopping centres about an hour’s ride away, enjoying the passing countryside en route, although I’m ultimately using the service to reach my chosen destination. It would seem, however, that although many of my fellow passengers are using the bus for the same purpose, there is a steady flow of people who use this bus route purely to enjoy the view!
I quite often overhear conversations along the lines of, “I don’t normally get this bus, but fancied a look at somewhere different,” or, “I like to come on this bus just to see all these little villages and a bit of the countryside”. I suppose that’s quite nice to know, even if we’re sometimes crammed on the bus with our shopping just trying to get home, with many seats taken up purely by ‘sightseers’. But it does feel strange to now be living somewhere that people want to come and gawp at!
On one recent journey home, as we reached the edge of my village, I heard a woman proclaim, “Oh, look, we’re at that funny little place with the really narrow street!” “Yes,” I thought, “That’s my home! It’s quite nice really.” Although I actually live down the bottom of an even narrower lane off said little, narrow street, which obviously represents a novelty factor for some! It’s always odd when you hear the place that you live being described by an ‘outsider’ – it makes you view it from a different perspective yourself!
For my part, I’ve become increasingly aware of the homes that I see in the neighbouring villages, as in some cases the bus passes ridiculously close to their front doors. During recent trips, when all the Christmas lights have been blazing, I couldn’t help looking in at some of the rooms, which looked very welcoming indeed. I felt quite envious of their cosy warmth and orderly designs, knowing that I was on my way back to the ‘glorified shed’, where there is a bit of a draught and much work to be done before we can enjoy the same level of interior décor. Still, these homes act as a reminder of what we’re aiming for – rustic charm, but with a splash of our own personalities included.
I do quite enjoy my bus ride, and despite some of the more odd comments that I hear on the course of my journey, quite like the fact that others seem to make the trip just for fun!