Monthly Archives: November 2012

new hobby studying timetables

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but I still manage to get it wrong. Ok, appointment for my flu jab in the local town 10.45am Tuesday morning. Gathered myself together for arrival at the bus stop with a few minutes to go. Perfect. On the bus fine. Quite full as its the Tesco run apparently. But when we turn onto the main road the bus goes right instead of left. I sit wide eyed in horror then thought well maybe it turns left further down and goes on the back roads. But no we are definitely on the road I do not want to be on. Quite alot of expletives take over my thinking at this point. Then I surreptitiously fish out the timetable (by this time I believed everyone must somehow sense I am a fool, and are chortling behind their hands – yes I am also neurotic!). I realize what I have done is catch the first bus which was the 9.50am and was a bit late instead of the second which was at 10.00am. And of course being proud and cool I didn’t check with the bus driver (who is cheery man called Alan). More expletives explode in my head. Only thing to do is find the positive.

So I end up cancelling the doctors, (had to go to the library and ask a kind librarian to find the number because of course I hadn’t my address book or my mobile phone). Then onto the bank and making an appointment to sort out some stuff that I keep putting off. Wandered round to the Highland Print Studio and luckily the friend I hoped would be there was and I was able to discuss the possibility to blow up some photos and he showed me some amazing stuff they are doing on beautiful Japanese paper using a modern version of etching. The black and white images were stunning. And they made me a cup of coffee. So I came out of there my head buzzing with new possibilities. Then a nice stroll up to Lidls – their parmesan is a good price plus some other bits and pieces including a fresh jam doughnut which I ate at the bus stop (could have had more jam). Then home again. Still feeling pretty stupid but felt I had at least nearly redeemed the situation and achieved something. I had to go back in the afternoon
and then home again on the 9.00pm bus. I have to admit I was very tired not physically but mentally my head was all over the place which meant sleep would be poor and I was back to listening to my faithful friend the radio. Wonderful programs called Up All Night, Through the Night. You are never alone with a radio. But I’d much rather sleep.

(S)well, its gone……

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and I have cash in the hand (to be put in the bank and not spent on eBay!). I feel I have just cleared something out of my life that has been getting more and more pointless as I try to move on. It had become an unnecessary burden. I have plenty of ‘things’ which need sorting out given away, sold or dumped. But a car just sits there deteriorating by the minute and demanding payment for the privilege of sitting there deteriorating by the minute and taking up a useful space and, and, oh I have got it in for the pain in the neck owning a car can be. I think its called justifying ones actions. Because I know there will be certain days and certain times when I will recall the pleasure of owning a car. The joy of just taking off and going. Many happy memories. I suppose for me its the independence, the spontaneity having your own vehicle allows. But that was then and this is now. AND with the help of certain website my feet are now well shod.

I have big(gish) feet. Throughout my life I have NEVER had a good choice of shoes and like many I love footwear. There is something about glimpsing your feet encased in something which delights your eye, is comfortable (the most important point)and hasn’t cost a
fortune. When I have found a wonderful shoe/boot I always felt I walked taller and felt more confident. But buying shoes has never been a pleasure just a series “not in your size, sorry but we do have them in a 7” but I’m an 8/9 or 42 not a 7, 7.5 or a 41. And the days of me crushing my feet into shoes that are too small flew out of the window years ago. But now through the wonders of the web I have found a treasure trove of shoes/boots in my size. I am at the moment the very proud owner of some chunky heeled beautiful jadegreen short boots, flat raspberry pink hand made short leather boots, fur lined boots are on their way plus a very large leather bag and maybe a couple of other items, all for under the price of my walking boots. I just cannot tell you how thrilling browsing through all this wearable footwear is. I get great pleasure at just the looking and the realisation that I can join in the pleasure of shopping for shoes that fit.

So its bye bye car, but hullo shoes….. must go and check my watch list!

It’s still here….

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I had hoped my dear car would have been driven away yesterday but now the parting must wait for another week. And the trouble is when you make these (for me) life changing decisions you want it to happen as quick as possible. The actual decision can take a long time to make but once made – let’s do it is my attitude. But if I was really desperate I could drive to the scrap yard and have the poor thing crushed but my friend at the garage is selling it for me and so I must just hang on another week. And it is strangely pleasant to think it still has some worthy life left under the bonnet even if the bodywork is a bit iffy. But the new owner I know can sort all that out – he has the skill. So it is a win win situation. And I look forward to receiving my winnings!

I travelled on the bus last Friday. And it was just as I remember travelling on a bus – except most of my bus travel was to and from school so a nightmare for the other passengers. But there were the same draughts and bumping around and smells of other humans(but no tobacco staining the air). Mostly single travellers so not much chatter until a man got on and sat behind the driver and they chatted gently but with great interest in each others delivery and gave the whole bus an atmosphere of pleasant company. This is going to work for me all I need are some good warm boots. Back to eBay.

Which is another new world for me. The key to blogging and eBaying was opened by my lovely friend. How is it that some people have the gift to be there when you really need help. This is how I met this young woman. She came into my life when the demons of hell were about to break in. Initially she helped with getting certain allowances I had no idea about which made a huge difference to our life. And then life got really tough financially (and emotionally) and she just listened and suggested and rang people and stayed calm and thoughtful while I was able to rage and weep and nearly fall apart. She really did give me a strength I had no idea I had. And she never let me down. An Angel who came into my life at a time when it was falling apart. At a time when all directions were full of pain and despair. Very very hard 24 hour days that just went on and on. But she was always never far away even when really her involvement in our affairs was over. Now life is easier and she still flies in and opens up new possibilities and I cannot imagine my life now without her. She is the treasure we all hope to find so out of some very hard times I find a an Angel studded with diamonds. Lucky me.

But I do have a complaint about this blogging and eBaying as it is now 12.30pm and I have done nothing but blogged and eBayed. So I think I must try and set aside certain times for doing it. ( And if thats not cloud cuckoo land thinking I don’t know what is).

MOT has run out

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and I often wonder if mine has. Still the human species has not quite drifted down to being treated like a car. But maybe we are all guilty of attaching a failed MOT onto other folk and usually our diagnosis is based on a narrow-minded comparison with ourselves!!! But there maybe that is saying more about me than anyone else I regret to say.

Come, come come the day is young and I am already giving in to my ever skulking downside.

Today I cannot drive and it is the first day of a new way of thinking and planning and observing. If my beloved dog and cat became ill how would I get them to the vet(the chickens do not come into this category), if I became ill how would I get to the doctor, if I need stuff (including friends and family from the airport) how can I get it/them home? If, if, if what a silly word. Yesterday as I drove the car packed full of disgusting stuff for the skip I realised how automatic it is for me to listen for any new squeaks or rattles to worry about. Now I can concentrate on my own squeaks and rattles and know there is no dreaded enforced MOT looming up. Driving home I did get a bit tearful. I am very fond of this car. After my husband became ill and stopped driving we would often take little trips out and he would lay his hand on my thigh as we toddled along. I remember so clearly the weigh and warmth of that beautiful hand. So this new buspass life is new in so many ways mainly because I shall be on my own.

4.26am

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awake but warm and cosy.  My new ‘no car’ life is fast approaching.  Am planning all the things I must do whilst still a car owner.  All very mundane really.  Suddenly dull jobs like filling the car up with old carpet pieces, a rusty bike frame, numerous broken and useless items which sort of hang about well, for years must be sorted NOW.  My mental planning resolves itself  so I turn to my trusty friend the radio for some early morning company.

My sleeping for some time has become erratic.  In the past I could  just manage to read a page or two of my current title before the gentle sound of snoring plus the crash of a falling book woke me for a minute, so light off and then back to the snoring. Thank goodness this ability to drop off easily amused my poor husband  as he never found sleep easy to come by.  But now if  I manage four or five hours its fine.  It doesn’t worry me.  I don’t make cups of tea or nibble biscuits.  I sometimes try to read but mostly I have a good think with just the gentle night sounds for company and then I turn on the radio.  What an extraordinary night world there is out there.  Talk about travel I am always being transported to the many, many countries I will never visit, to cultures I had no knowledge off, and simply to gasp at the enormous breadth of human existence that inhabits our beautiful jewel like world.  Then there is the shipping forecast which takes me all round this little green island, whipping up pictures of cold rough seas tossing small fishing boats full of hardy folk trying to make a living.  And I’m cosy and warm and awake! Last night there was a lovely interview with a youngish Australian photographer who has an exhibition of his work at the moment in London.  He is part aboriginal and has been exploring  his ancestry . He started out being a wedding photographer but now enjoys the luxury of being “answerable to no-one about my work’.  He was interested in peoples take of his work but had a really lovely attitude towards it being ‘art’ . He just did it because he could and luckily he found an audience.  Good luck to him. And its takes me nicely to 6.00am so I think I’ll have an good hour of Radio 3 to set me up for the day. Good morning day.

worry less, save more

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On Tuesday October 30 2012 at approximately  11.30am I was given the news my car had failed its MOT.  I gave a slight gasp as I had already parted with lots of money in May to fix things.  So bodywork falling apart I had not anticipated (maybe in comparison with my own bodywork the cars looked fine).  The news deepened into a tragedy.  For the price so far mentioned was just for the part and did not include the labour.  And to dissemble and re-assembly could take two days. I could feel myself slipping into shock/horror and the dreaded tears.  But I stammered on trying to listen and leave with some dignity as I wrote out a cheque to pay for well, nothing except that this knowledge was to force me to face a few facts of life.

As I drove home quietly sobbing feeling defeated, scared and helpless I realized owning a car now was just not on.  Through the next few hours I started to look clearly at when I used the car, what for and how much it was costing.  Slowly the truth emerged clearly through the haze of habit, laziness, pride that my car was now simply a luxury.  I did not have to go anywhere regularly, in fact I would actually worry because I hadn’t taken the car out!  I have for last few years used the internet more and more for purchases including a weekly grocery order.  All I could honestly find I really needed it for was carrying dog food, chicken food and bird seed, a bale of straw now and then and taking my dog to a walk just up the road we enjoy for a change.  Its useful for picking up family and friends if/when they come to stay. Its useful when you want to go to the theatre or some social gathering in the evening.  So I looked at how my life was now panning out.

I hardly ever go out in the evening and that is not going to change. And if something wonderful came up I would get there somehow. I’m sure my family and friends could cope with taxis or buses ( I would still meet them and thats the lovely bit). I need never worry about tax discs, insurance and MOT’s.  I need never worry about the price of petrol.  I can stop worrying about cars and enjoy the journeys.  I wave my lovely little card  and sit down and concentrate on where I’m about to go, enjoying the mini adventures.  I don’t have to park.  I get on and get off. FREE.  Where is the problem, where is the dilemma. I’m car free.  And already it feels good and the car is still here but not for long!

So for the next few days I will be frantically stocking up with dog food etc. etc. and checking up on bus times.  I know I shall miss the luxury of having a car apart from anything else I love driving but this is a new challenge and I know I shall relish the delights and the drawbacks.  Must make sure I have some really warm boots.  As I am a knitter the woollen gloves, scarves, hats are no problem.

I really had no idea how stressful it was having a car when you use it very little.  I really love walking my dog everyday but having to take a car out for its health really is stretching affection a bit to far.

So on Thursday or Friday I will start using my buspass with new respect and gratitude. And I can splash out on a coffee! Whoopee!