scribbles tagged ‘number 17 bus’

bus stop converation

Thursday, May 16th, 2013 | tags: ,  |

Bus StopAs she talks I watch the blackness through the gap where her front tooth used to be, the scarcity of eyelashes that host her electric-blue mascara, and the folds of skin that reveal she was once a larger woman than now:

It feels later than it is. I didn’t sleep too well last night, it makes the days seem longer. I called the Samaritans. When you’re awake, alone, at night it helps, they are there to listen and they can’t give advice. They help you think. My husband’s got depression, he can’t cope. It’s affecting everyone, all my family.  He can’t cope so he just goes off and we don’t know if he’s going to turn up or not. We’ve been married for 29 years and I do all the caring for our 15 year old disabled daughter. It’s difficult, I’m the main carer. She doesn’t understand, at 15 you don’t. She wants me to get rid of his stuff. Maybe she should go into residential care. I don’t know. The weekends are the worst because you can’t call anyone. The Doctors won’t tell me anything, I don’t know if he’s going to see his Doctor or not. He’s got an inheritance, I’ve seen his statements, he’s staying in hotels. £40 a night in a hotel. When he calls I can hear a woman talking in the background, but you would hear that in a hotel wouldn’t you? I can’t assume stuff, but being a woman hearing another woman’s voice. Well, it’s difficult. He’s 51, he said he wants to have a life before he dies. When dad died, mum got over it, but it wasn’t the same because she knew he wasn’t coming back. With my husband I just don’t know. When he calls I don’t what mood he’ll be in. He says there’s someone listening in, but it’s difficult to believe anything he says. It’s difficult.

I didn’t want to walk in the rain, so I’m taking the bus, even though it’s not far.


bus stop converation
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inspirational places

Saturday, September 17th, 2011 | tags: , , , ,  |

The sound of christian church bells calling people to prayer cheerfully echos around the Wendy House garden on a Sunday morning. In April London Road, Wokingham Road, Cumberland Road, adjoining streets and park come alive with orange clad Sikh’s singing and sharing goodwill in the streets for Nagar Kirtan

MosqueUntil recently there were only a couple of Mosques in Reading town. Converted buildings rather than purpose built. Can you imagine approximately 10,000 local Muslims using a couple of tiny converted buildings?

Reading town’s first purpose built Abu Bakr Masjid Islamic centre is part of the solution, and nearly complete. It adds wonderful colour, spirituality and architectural interest to the already diverse and vibrant Oxford Road

It’s on the outstanding Number 17 bus route. Alas, it’s not big enough for 10,000 muslims

Another beautifully architected Mosque is now planned for East Reading, also on the awesome Number 17 bus route

Reading town feels multi-cultrual and as-if people care about more than just the acquisitiveness of capitalism


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car neige

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 | tags: , , , , , , , , , ,  |

3pm. Somewhere near Didcot. 21st December

How sensible am I,   starting my journey back to Reading?
Unbeknownst to me, Reading had already come to a standstill
The Reading Chronical had already published the standstill*

6pm. Pangbourne. 21st December

Gridlock in PangbourneThis is where I encountered the full car neige,   the tail end of the traffic trying to get into Reading.   The traffic standing still,   sliding sideways, not yet abandoned.   Local radio traffic news talked  50 yards taking 2 hours to cover.   Urrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhhhh……

Across the next hour I called and consulted with multiple friends. The phone network was often too busy to connect my calls.   Despite the presense  of many car drivers I felt very alone.    My calm sensible friends and I agreed that I needed to get off the road quickly and get shelter for the night.

Elephant Hotel Bar, Pangbournewendy: do you have any spare rooms for the night?

receptionist: stranded?

wendy: yes, well, um, yes

receptionist: we have one room left,   would you like a toothbrush with that?

wendy: OH! (signifying relief at getting a room and supportive receptionist) Yes please, thank you, I was turned away from the hotel down the road, a toothbrush!   how thoughtful

Handsome Other Guest (HOG): we’re stranded too,   I’ve only got a hammer and some ski poles in the boot of my car,   maybe we can do a deal over the toothbrush?

wendy: I’ve got a blanket in my car, we could build something like a tent with the poles and hammer.   Not sure where the toothbrush comes in

HOG: (Huge smile then turns to receptionist) table for 6 please

receptionist: we’re waiting for the chef to get in before we finalise the menu,   we’ll try and feed everyone

HOG: Table for 6?   Can you put me on the waiting list

Butcombe beerClearly the snow car chaos called for some serious parking-up and a pint of Butcombe.   My party for one joined a few other party’s for one and we all shared stories of family, cars, hills, walking, the IT industry  and other topical faerie tales.

*  the exceptional Number 17 bus was still on the move, albeit erratically.

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feet and sugar beet

Friday, June 20th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Recently,   while much of the UK  was panic stocking on petrol,   in  Reading pedestrians were riding Bio-ethanol fuelled buses on route 17.    In Sept 2006 Stagecoach single-decker buses were  trialled in Merseyside, Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, and Greater Manchester.    Stagecoach introduced 8 singledecker buses in Kilmarnock running on cooking oil.   Apparanly nearby residents got discounted travel rights in return for donating cooking oil.

According to the BBC,   who are terribly credible,   Reading is the first area in Britain to supply  a BIG fleet of 14  bio-fuelled buses.   The first doubledecker bus trialled in Reading in October 2007,   was called ‘Ethel’,   as were 2 of my mumzies aunties.   Get Reading reports:

Reading Transport Ltd chief executive James Freeman watched the company’s newest and greenest bus roll in.   He said: “People in Reading are very environmentally-conscious, so now they can be sure when they choose to travel by bus they are making a green choice.

 Hurrah for conscientious, progressive,   Reading public transport services.   Route 17 is one of my absolutely favourite bus routes,   it carries over 6 million passengers per year.   That is LOTS.

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Saturday, June 14th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

Watch people on CCTV cameras,   LIVE,   on the number 17 bus!

Distributed social responsibility by having lots of witnesses to any naughtiness on the buses.   Everyone knows they are being watched.

Distributed snooping,   snooping in public, taking people watching to the next level.   The bus company will have witnesses to incidents,  

Reading bus services are cutting edge,   except perhaps for the requirement to pay to ride.   Using cash and having the exact change.   How archaic is that?   Why can’t I just have my retina scanned by one of these many inplace cameras and have the money directly deducted from the bank account of my choice?

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