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