Monday, July 21, 2008

21 July: OAP

I've been hanging out with the old folk.

One day last week there were a couple of things to be done in Durham, it was raining, and I couldn't think of anywhere to park the car that was convenient for all destinations, so I went on the bus.

I don't use the buses much, for the same reasons as everyone else - standing around waiting for ages in a cold and draughty bus shelter; unreliable arrival of buses; perching a 5 foot 10 body on a seat designed for a dwarf very short and slightly anorexic person; the driver trying to throw you through the front windscreen; and it takes forever to get to not quite near enough where you're going.

But hey, it's free now (or rather better value for the council tax), and there was nothing else to do that day, so with my bus pass in my hot little hand, I joined the queue shuffling and grumbling in the nearest bus shelter.

4 buses an hour from one company, and 3 buses an hour from another - so a 20 minute wait. Out of the 25 or so passengers, only one needed to pay. Isn't a bus-ful of damp pensioners depressing? At least the driver was encouraging introductions - a violent lurch as I was getting out of my seat threw me into the lap of another passenger.


Then there's M&S's cafe - is there some sort of invisible screening going on? Completely infested with the elderly; made me feel like getting a grey rinse.


And although I knew Monday's a bad day to go to the Post Office, it was a lovely morning for a walk, and I can't tax the car online, as DH's name is on the registration document. There were also some letters to post (how quaint and old-fashioned!), so as the local Post Office has been closed, I strolled to the next nearest, only just over a mile.

There was a short queue when I arrived, but one customer was posting 4 large carrier bags-ful of parcels - another e-business flourishing. One clerk went out the back and came back with coffee cups. By this time the queue was 25 or 30 strong, shuffling audibly, and starting to grumble. Churlish, as the staff were obviously taking their tea break as they worked, and it's more than likely that few of those queueing, in one case for only one stamp, had anything better, or even else, to do.

So I made a point of chatting in a friendly fashion to the clerk, just so that she saw a smile at least once this morning.

Looks like rain again - still, mustn't grumble....


Murph said...

There must be a collective noun for a group of wet pensioners.

A Grumble?

KAZ said...

Oh I Know, I Know - that's the trouble with being free to get about during the week.

All the bloody pensioners.

My local bus is full of students - but everywhere else it's grey perms and incessant chattering.