Tuesday, 21 April 2015

HAVE YOU MISSED THE BUS...?



Funny what thoughts go through one's mind during a casual
glance out of the window, isn't it?  When I first moved into these
vaulted halls many years ago, I had a panoramic view of the far hori-
zons from my bedroom window.  Over the years, I grew to enjoy ob-
serving seemingly tiny double- decker buses, interiors lit up against the
darkness of the night sky, as they traversed their routes in the distance.
I'd watch, fascinated, as they suddenly entered stage left, and then
parade across the bejewelled black canvas backdrop of night,
before exiting, stage right, from the scene.

Sometimes, of course, they'd glide into view in reverse order to
the one just described, and at other times, two buses would appear
simultaneously from opposite directions and approach one another like
dueling behemoths, only to pass without incident or acknowledgement in
the middle.  On occasions such as these I was spoilt for choice, my eyes
dancing from one to the other, captivated by these glowing little boxes on
wheels as they narrowed the distance between them.  I can't explain it,
but there's just something magical about watching lit vehicles at night
from afar, especially if one is within the cozy confines of one's
own hearth and home at the time.

Nowadays, I still have pretty much the same vista spread before
me, but there have been encroachments.  Due to building develop-
ments, part of the stretch of road along which these buses run has
been blocked from my view.  I'm lucky if I can spy on the sojourns of
these night-time buses for half the span I enjoyed in years past, before
they disappear from sight behind a new school near the road.  I can't
help but wonder if those narrowing horizons might mirror my life
in some symbolic way.

In youth, with the future stretching seemingly endlessly before
me, my life was in 'widescreen';  as the years have passed the
screen has shrunk until it's now 'regular'.  Imagine if, in some strange
way, the remaining visibility of that stretch of road was an indication of
the measure of time left to me.  (And that's if I'm lucky.)  Of course, I
can only hope that the two aren't connected.  Otherwise, if that view of
the road and its procession of buses becomes completely obscured
anytime soon, then I'll be deep in the softsmelly brown stuff

It's a sobering thought.  And, being a teetotaller,
I'm already as sober as I need to be.

8 comments:

  1. I wish I could look out of a window at a view - of ANYTHING! No matter which window we glance out of, we find ourselves looking into somebody else's windows, sometimes to be greeted by a huffy face hastily pulling a curtain across!

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    1. I've seen it happen even in my town, JP. Tenants who used to enjoy expansive views over fields now suddenly confronted with pensioners putting in their teeth in the mornings because an old folks home has been built 10 feet in front of their house.

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  2. Yeah, we used to have a nice view of fields out the front, but first they built one estate directly opposite us, then several more behind that until every field had gone!

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    Replies
    1. And they call it progress, eh? My town was built to relieve the Glasgow overspill. We'll soon need another new town to relieve ours.

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  3. Right opposite my house is a laundrette and a garage - you can hear all the clanging and banging of the cars being fixed as well as the mechanics shouting at each other and singing along to their radio. But I don't mind any of that - I live only a 5 minute walk from the centre of town which suits me fine. I grew up in a village about 5 miles away which had plenty of fields and open spaces but we lived miles away from any shops - it's a lot more convenient where I live now but I do miss the countryside especially when it comes to stargazing - the night sky in the country is much better as it has a lot less "light pollution".

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    1. It would be interesting to know if the area where you lived in the country still has as many fields and open spaces, CJ. I'd imagine that at least some of it has disappeared.

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  4. Kid, I haven't been back to the village where i grew up since my mother died in 2009 but it was mostly unchanged from my childhood days - the last major building work was a small estate of private houses which was completed in 1975-76 and much more recently a house was built on the site of the pub car-park where we used to go looking for dropped coins. But I'd be a bit of a hypocrite if I complained about new buildings as our house was brand new when we moved into it in 1968 - it was one of a row of new council houses and bungalows built along one side of a cul-de-sac. The people living on the other side of the cul-de-sac might have been a bit miffed to see these new houses appearing in their little enclave but if they hadn't been built then we wouldn't have been able to live in the village. That's the problem - new houses might be intrusive and unsightly but people have to live somewhere. What's interesting is that at the time of my mother's death most of the people in the street were the same people who'd been there when I was a child but decades older obviously. The village is slowly becoming a village of pensioners - my mother used to get Meals On Wheels and I remember saying to her that in another 15 years or so most of the village might be doing the same !!

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    Replies
    1. I see what you're saying, but my new town was built with lots of green areas to give residents a sense of openness and freedom. Now they're cramming houses and flats into these spaces, resulting in a crowded, claustrophobic atmosphere that the town was originally designed to avoid. It's a 'Catch 22' situation, I suppose.

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