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Friday, 22 August 2014

Evidence that I learned many valuable life lessons on a bus journey in the Cotswolds countryside

We've just got back from our holiday in the Cotswolds.  I learned some things on an afternoon out and the advice may be helpful to you should you also attempt such a bus journey.

1. What you think is an ice cream van pulling up at a country bus stop may in fact be your bus.  Keep your reactions to yourself.  

2. Before buying your £6 return ticket to a Cotswolds town you'd like to have lunch in and then explore, check that the timings of the bus will enable you to spend more than fifty minutes there.

3. When you find out that in fact you are on a tiny bus to a Cotswolds town in which you will be spending only fifty minutes, make the most of the hour-long journey.  You have paid £6 to view all that green and brown.  And appreciate each sheep you see in a field.  Wheat can get tedious.

4. When you are eating your £1.20 cold cheese scone in the street for lunch while trying to make the most of your fifty minutes in the town, remember that sitting in a cosy pub restaurant enjoying a giant steaming piece of beer-battered fresh cod and a mountain of hand-cut thick salty chips accompanied by a pint of cold, refreshing local cider would have set you back £16.95 and be glad.

5. When you only have 50 minutes in a Cotswolds town, accept the inevitable: you will see fourteen shops which are selling something you have needed for years.

6. Make the most of necessary visits to public conveniences even though they seem to chip away at your time.  Adopt the same attitude that people do before they die.  Appreciate the tiling in a way you never have.  If there is toilet roll available, rejoice and be grateful.  Analyse the flush - is it different from other flushes you have heard?

7.   On your return journey, bear in mind that the vehicle which brought you might be different from the vehicle they send to take you back.  Therefore, what you think is a family seven-seater pulling up at a country stop may in fact be your bus.

8. As your bus winds its way through the villages and a woman says, 'Can you drop me off at the Tall Tree, please, driver?' do not assume that the tall tree is the name of a pub.

9. When your bus breaks down in the middle of the countryside so that the driver has to pull up alongside a field and ring the garage for advice about how to get started again, remember everything I said in point 3.

10. Remember that it is still considered polite in British society to say, 'Thank you, driver' as you disembark, despite lingering bitterness about a dry, cold cheese scone and two hours looking out for a sheep to make the day seem more exciting.

A large enough scone, with added wheels, could even be used to transport holidaymakers from village to village


25 comments:

  1. I feel this post is just crying out to a Pythonesque: "You call that a bus ride! In my day we had to make do with 4 up on a tandem....Wheat, we would have been grateful for gravel."

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  2. I've been to the Cotswolds and it is beautiful countryside, but I'll consider your points the next time I'm there.

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    1. Don't go with my husband. He swore blind there was a bus coming back four hours later.

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  3. Fran, you nailed it. I come from the Cotswolds. Maybe that explains my penchant for sheep and pub meals. Were you thinking the whole time, "This is dire, but at least I'll get a decent blogpost out of it?" Read it aloud to the hubby while he was washing up. We laughed. Utterly hilarious :) :)

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    1. You know me well, but in fact it was Paul who said, 'You'll get a blog post out of this' before I thought of it. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  4. The only reason country bus services exist is to provide village youths with bus shelters .

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    1. That's why they have those sloping seats now, isn't it, to prevent the riff-raff from hanging around. I hate them. (The seats, not the riff-raff, but them too.)

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  5. I live in the Cotswolds.. but haven't yet been on a bus here! (only been here 2 years). I wonder which town you went to and whether it's in my neck of the woods...! Great post, sorry you didn't have more fun while you were here!

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    1. It was Witney! And I actually did have a lot of fun, planning the blog post! I really think you should go on a bus sometime.... put it on your list of things to do.

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  6. I'm laughing so hard I don't know what to say other than "I don't have any money so I'll never get there anyway." Why worry?

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm glad you got a laugh out of my suffering, Janie. I aim to please.

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  7. Only 50 minutes? Hardly long enough to make the trip worthwhile. That's a shame. Perhaps next time you could arrange to stay overnight. Or at least take a packed lunch.

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    1. We nearly did stay overnight, as in, if we hadn't caught that bus back, we'd have had to. I think 'next time' we need to arrange to look more carefully at the timetable ...

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  8. Now you know why so many people become Ramblers.

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    1. I really don't. I can't enter their world one little bit.

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  9. This reminded me of son's gap year in Pakistan. The buses were packed with more people clinging to the roofs. If the bus fell into the waiting ravine, hundreds of feet below, it was "the will of Allah." At least you had a proper driver, and didn't have to eat the sheep.

    Lovely post.

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    1. You have helped to make me extremely grateful for my blessings! Thanks, Frances!

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    1. I know. I know. I said it with ellipsis dots too. Thanks, Iota, for all your comments on so many blog posts. You had a good read!

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  11. Life is all about making Blog posts... mine reads " Three days on a boat cancelled as husband damaged his foot getting said boat ready"
    He's tried to cushion the blow by saying the rain has set in & said boat leaks. That's what expensive sailing gear is for, and umbrellas .... and cafes lots of cafes

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    1. That reminds me of when we were packing for a two week holiday and my husband fell down the stairs carrying a suitcase and snapped a ligament in his ankle. That was a different kind of holiday from the one we'd planned, too ... Hope you'll get your boat trip in the end.

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  12. Have you now had three similar comments from me or is Blogger doing something very odd? It eats the comment but doesn't give any indication that it's aware of my existence except that now it has grudgingly produced my name in the little box.

    Anyway: in short: why not holiday in Edinburgh next year? We are not so pretty and rural as the Cotswolds but we have lots of buses AND TRAMS. You could stay in our house and look after our cat and we could go away. Just reminding you that the offer is still available! Sleeps 8 plus child in cot, with a bit of a squash. Or more with a big bit of a squash. Just saying!

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    1. No, this was the first comment I had, Isabelle. Thanks so much for your offer - I will talk to the man. Trams could well be a draw ...

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