Category Archives: bus incident

Meeting The Neighbours

In 2014, I lived on my own, in a large ground floor flat overlooking a beautiful park. My flat had a south facing yard which I turned into a vegetable and fuchsia garden. It became too much work. I had to carry heavy pots up steps, also bags of compost and other paraphernalia to keep all the tomatoes, beans and courgettes healthy. I did have a long hose so ‘watering’ was easy.

I now live in a smaller ground floor flat in the house next door. I have the use of the small grass patch, north facing. The plants are all in pots standing around the edge.

The fuchsias have settled in their new home but now flower later in the season.. They have been joined by hydrangeas and a blanket of self seeding nasturtiums.

I have read through all my old blogs and found most of them exceedingly boring. All about my amateur gardening exploits. I am not going to do that anymore, well, perhaps just a little ‘mention’ now and again.

During that wonderful hot fortnight this summer, all the gardens in my road started to dry up. I was the only person with a hosepipe, so every evening I would sit outside my kitchen window with my hose attached to the tap inside, filling up the watering cans and buckets of my neighbours. It was a chance to get to know some of them. I even offered a ‘shower’ to any one brave enough to appear in a bathing costume. Unfortunately, there were no customers. However, it had been a pleasant way to  chat to the people who ‘ nod’ to me as I wait for the bus each morning. It was great fun!!!!! Thank goodness I do not have a water meter, if I had it would have cost an awful lot of money.

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A baby, a buggy, and a business man

I  live  in a flat in what was a grand Victorian  house in a quiet tree lined road.  Before I became an  Old  Bat I lived at the top of the house in the old servants’ quarters but found that the four flights of stairs were getting a bit too difficult, so now I rent one on the ground floor.  Along the road there are two of the same type of houses that are used as a care home/refuge centre for very young girls who have become mothers.  Here under the auspices of Social Services these young women and their babies are looked after, taught how to be good mothers, to look after themselves and their babies properly,  to understand hygiene, cooking and how to manage the money that they receive for both themselves and the baby.

Just opposite my flat is the nearest bus stop, where I often meet one of these young girls called  Jane with her baby Lewis . She goes to visit her parents in a different part of town.  The bus is usually a bit late so we have time to chat about how baby Lewis is doing , how she is getting on and how soon will  she be allocated accommodation on her own .   She finds communal  living and  the signing in and out of the home irksome but necessary.  She is very anxious that when the time is right  she will be able to resume her training as a care assistant.  I assure her that if she has enough determination she can still achieve what ever she wants to do in life, her present position is a setback that she will overcome if she accepts all the help being offered and making a good life for Lewis is a good goal.  While  we talk Lewis sits in his rather ancient buggy smiling knowingly.

On this one evening we were joined by a very well dressed business man carrying a large important looking brief case.  The bus was quite late and when it arrived it was unusually crowded.  Normally the bus driver would lower the step and Jane would just wheel the buggy in to the special place reserved for buggies, but not this night.  The driver said that all the places were  taken and she would have to fold the buggy up.  Easier said than done.  Panic!  I said previously, the buggy was ancient and did not fold  up with a flick of a lever, so it took two people to wrestle it into the bus, which they eventually did.  I took charge of the baby and the important looking brief case.  I was lucky to find the only empty seat  in the whole bus, the other two had to stand.  I sat there with a screaming Lewis battering his little feet against the briefcase trying to make  as much noise as he possibly could.   By the time I got to my destination I was more than a little flustered and with great relief stepped off the bus having  handed  the brief case to Jane and the screaming baby to the astonished  business man.