Category Archives: Bus Journeys

When a Broadway Baby says goodnight?

Its early in the morning, right? Well, I hope most of my readers spotted that line coming at least? And yes, I can claim to be a Broadway Baby last night, even if it refers to the shopping centre in Bradford of that name, not the more famous street in New York! And no, I wasnt that early in the morning, though someone thought maybe I was, more on that shortly?

Last night was the works Christmas dinner, as mentioned in the previous blog, and 10 ladies headed into a local casino, to have a meal, and some fun. No, not that sort of fun, lol! šŸ˜›

The meal, and company was very good, I have to say, was a great evening. Lastly, we all headed for the casino, to play our free chip, and see if we could win our fortunes, on the spin of a roulette wheel. No, I didnt, and indeed, at time of leaving, no one had. Some were making a profit, but I lost on my first, and probably last spin on a roulette wheel in my life. It was amazing how many chips some seemed to be gambling on the spin of a wheel, but given I had no idea of the values of the chips, it might not have been as much as it seemed?

Anyway, shortly after that, this little ‘Broadway Baby’ slipped back to her hotel, and slept all night. Well, with the painkillers I take, thats not hard, but anyway… No, I didnt find a wealthy ‘sugar daddy, or mummy’, no great shock there! So, given I didnt bother to take my laptop with me, I got up, took my pills, had breakfast, then headed for home.

OK, we’ll get to the funny moment now. I hopped on the bus to come home, dressed in my (very fake) fur coat, with an overnight bag, and a glint in my eye. Oh, and hair only roughly tousled, as some silly blonde forgot to take a comb with her, so I had that tousled, fresh out of bed look to my hair.

To be fair, the driver never said a word as he gave me my weekly pass that I’d purchased from him, but the look said it all, and I was more than happy to play him along. šŸ˜‰ Yes, wicked minx, had a saucy night, and got up too quickly to do her hair, lol. I didnt think the coat looked that real, but well, maybe it does?

I played it up beautifully, giving him the cutest, “Thank you.” as I got off the bus in Huddersfield. Yes, why not play along if he thought I’d been to see ‘Daddy’ overnight for some fun? Of course he might have been thinking I’d been earning money in another way overnight that would give me the ‘fresh out of bed’ look, who knows, lol?

So, video time. This song has actually been in a few movies in its time, but this is the longest section I can find, featuring both song, and dance. 42nd Street, its actually about a 13 and a half minute number, and yes, Clara Johnson was dancing on that movie. Gold Diggers of 1935 too, she was there.Ā  But longest snippet I can find of those is just some of the dance, just under 3 minutes long. So I’ll roll with the 1951 Doris Day version, from the film of the same name.

Advertisements

Money for nothing, no service provided

Its always handy when somebody gives me the chance to be a grumpy old lady, and for once its not that idiot across the pond, with the orange face. Though yes, I could say something extremely rude about him at present, and his latest imbecilic ideas about Trans people, but lets not give his ego a boost by mentioning him. Hopefully, 2 weeks today, he gets a nasty surprise, as long as Russia dont fix another election for him.

No, lets have a snipe at another thing that is the bane of my life, First Buses. Fine, yesterday they weren’t aided by my back being in a really bad way, because of the weather and stuff, but they proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot, so lets try and bury them too.

Yesterday, a far too regular event happened, they put their fares up. Fair enough, there are things called inflation, but currently thats a lot less than the 5% that fares went up yesterday. The thing is, I wouldnt object to them raising fares, if the quality of service got raised too, but as was shown yesterday, its a one sided deal.

As I say, yesterday wasnt a lovely day weather wise, it was pretty cold, and my already sore back reacted to the cold weather like bees having their hive smashed to pieces by a hungry bear. Yes, not good.

So finally, about 2.20, after a couple of ‘not great’ calls, due to the pain being too intense to focus on work, I gave up on a bad deal, and decided to call it a day, and head home to rest up. The journey would normally take about 75-90 minutes or so, which is long enough, but had to be done. In truth, I probably would have paid out, and got a train instead (far smoother ride), but there werent any, engineering works! So it was bus, or rail replacement bus, so…

I finally got to the bus station at 3.07, as I had to stop to get a drink, to take some painkillers, to try and ease the pain in my back a bit. There is meant to be a bus to Huddersfield every 10 minutes. There should have been one at 3.10, but I never saw it. There should have been another at 3.20, again it never showed! The 3.30 finally showed at 3.32, and by the time everyone was on board a now overcrowded bus, we left about 3.36.

That bus is due into Huddersfield at 4.08. Actual arrival time, 4.23. No, not because of traffic, simply because there were dozens of people en route wanting to get on, given the lack of 2 buses before it. As quickly as I could (limited), I walked down for the bus home, due to leave town at 4.25, which again, never showed. The 4.35 finally turned up about 4.40 and I got indoors just after 5.00!

By which time the pain in my back was considerably off the scale, lol! Even now, 26 hours, and numerous painkillers later (I’ve taken more than normal today for a non working day), I’m still pretty sore. Now I’m not going to blame First Buses entirely for that, there’s been a bitter wind blowing most of the day, which doesnt help, but even so, they are definitely the main culprit.

As I said, if they provided a service that justified a fare increase, then fine, but they dont. Seemingly like most nowadays, all they care about are extra profits, and no service to customers. Its not hard to see why everyone knows them as ‘Worst Buses’ lets face it.

Oh for a flying saucer, or even more aptly at this time of year, maybe, a flying broomstick! At least I’d have reliable transport, and wouldnt mind paying for it. Fine, rant over. Now all I need is a spell to turn a certain US/Russian(?) wigged man into a frog, or a newt, and…? šŸ˜‰

Right, video time. I cant imagine too many of my readers will remember this TV series, as its one from my childhood. But some will hopefully, and its Al Yankovic, so its crazy, so…

Sign of the times?

When I was a young girl (artistic licence, so sue me!), buses and trains used to work to pretty much 3 entirely different timetables during the week. Monday to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday timetables, which reflected the need for public transport, which mainly revolved around getting people to, and from work, or school, and the like.

Yes, back in the 60’s, nearly everyone worked from 9 to 5 during the week, and the weekend was a time of rest. There was some need for a decent service during the day on a Saturday, as people would need to go shopping, but then on Sunday, barely anyone was travelling, so there was barely a service!

Of course, nowadays, not only do people work outside of those 8 hours on a regular basis, they also work at weekends, including Sunday, shock horror! To some degree, the train companies have finally caught up with this fact, and though ‘peak hour’ trains might be shorter on a Saturday than midweek, its pretty much the same level of service. They are even catching up with the strange concept of people needing to work on Sunday’s, as the service on that day seems to have grown over the years.

The thing I’ve noted though, especially as they are now my means of commute, is that the bus companies still seem to be operating as in the 1960’s. The Saturday service, before about 9 am, and after 5.30 pm (got to get those football fans home) is still pretty much a token issue, despite the fact that large numbers of people now have to be in work by that time, and finish later. Sunday service, and indeed the midweek evening service, after about 7 pm, is well, just token!

For example, the normal service (when First actually run as they should) between Huddersfield, and Bradford, is every 10 minutes. Up to about 9, Saturday morning, its every 30! The evening service is every hour! Unsurprisingly, these buses tend to be as overcrowded as a peak hour commuter train, crazy!

I guess that at some point, bus companies will catch up on the reality of modern life, though I’m not sure when. Especially as some buses I’ve had to travel on have looked like they served Flapper passengers at the start of their working life! OK, maybe slight exaggeration, but not much!

Fine, rant over.

Video time. An apt piece from the 1980’s, from a group I suspect that most today will barely know?

You’ve got to beat the crowds

The only problem I have with working Saturday’s in Bradford, during the football season, is getting out of town before the football (soccer, for US readers) crowds pile out of the stadium in Huddersfield. As in, if I make it, the bus from town takes 10-15 minutes to get up here from town. If I got caught up in the crowds, it would be more like 40-45 minutes! Yes, that bad, especially with road works between here, and town at present. And thats on a normal week, with a league game going on, which is once a fortnight, or so. Bad enough if you like football, but if like me, you cant stand the sport, even more annoying.

Oh, and yesterday wasnt a normal week, it was an FA Cup match crowd, playing against one of the top premier league teams, so the crowd would be huge, and if I got caught up in that, an hour to get home from town might be good! Now normally, the 4.10 bus is fine, gets me into town for 4.50, so I can get the bus up before they come out in too large a number. We sometimes meet a few sneaking out over the hill (back route) when almost home, but thats it.

So of course, yesterday, things didnt go to plan. It was time for the bus to leave, and he starts reversing out of the bay, fine. Until someone rushes through the door, he drives back into the bay to pick them up, and they take 5 minutes deciding where they want to go, and where the money for their fare is! Anyway, in theory I should have about 4 minutes (to allow for time to get to other bus stop) between buses, so all should be OK. Well, it was until someone in a wheelchair got off the bus in Brighouse, and couldnt direct his motorised chariot off the bus. In the end the bus driver assisted him, and we got back under way, but by now, it was cutting it close! Good news, got there, just in time, got the bus, and nearly got home fine. Yes, nearly, I ended up getting off one stop earlier than planned, as the queue down the road was so bad, it would have taken forever to cover the next 100 yards or so.

Oh, the result, Huddersfield got a draw, but thankfully the replay will be in Manchester sometime (I really dont care!), so the crowds wont be a challenge for me. But yes, roll on the end of the football season, please. Or move the football ground, or…anything?

The video, some vintage Sparks. They’re doing a world tour later this year. Oh they play LA in May when I’m there! That would be one crowd I’d happily get caught up in!

These seats aren’t big enough for the both of us!

OK, bonus blog, silly rant.

Now that I’m travelling by bus a lot more, I’ve noticed one trend I absolutely hate. For those of you people who use buses, and quite likely, trains, will probably know what I’m talking about, but those ‘posh folk’ who drive everywhere wont have a clue. For want of a better term, its people who think that paying for one seat on the bus entitles them to two, however busy the bus might be!

On the lower floor of the bus tonight, there are, for want of a better term, 9 pairs of seats facing forward on the 2 sides of the bus, plus a back row of 5, and a pair of double seats facing the wrong way at the back. There is also at the front, room for baby buggies, but thats not what this is about.

Tonight, of those 9 pairs of seats, despite the bus being fairly busy, 5 of those pairs of seats had 1 person sat on the outside seat, and their bag (or nothing at all) on the window seat, making it clear to anyone else that you dont sit next to them. No, I wasnt one of them! Eventually someone got on, and asked one of them to move across, so they could sit down, and the look on his face would make you think someone had insulted him, not asked something reasonable of him. Yes, shortly after that, another had the same treatment, and she wasnt happy about it either.

Please, you pay for 1 seat, you’re entitled to one seat, and thats that!

Oh fine, it got better, or worse, depending on your view of it later. I turned around to see what was going on behind me, as someone either thought that the whole bus wanted to listen to her awful modern music, or was deafening herself through her headphones, and frighteningly, it was the latter. Heaven knows what her hearing will be like when she gets older?

But yes, she was on that back row, but on the 2 back facing seats opposite her, her bags on one seat, her feet on the other! Seriously? OK, I know, I’m getting old, but…rolls eyes!

I’d love to think it was just an issue in this area, but I doubt it!

Fine, rant over.

Video? Bit of a clue in the title, I guess? Yes, a group I’d love to see live, but whether it will ever happen now, who knows?

In my room

As some of my readers at least will know, most of my holidays nowadays tend to be in North America, principally the USA, of course. Over there, I tend to try and select a room at the smaller end of the scale, but to be honest, most of them are as large as, or bigger than some flats/apartments I’ve lived in, in my time! All they’ve lacked is a kitchen, and…

Quite seriously, my room at the Walker Center in Boston even had some sort of kitchen too. Fine, most hotel rooms over there have a microwave in them anyway, so you could survive, but…

Of course, this time I’ve come to a guest house in Jersey, and though my single room isnt that small, it just feels so, by comparison to the accommodation I’ve got used to over there! Believe me, I’ve had plenty smaller than this in my time, but back then, I hadnt stayed in US hotels at all! Seriously, this is quite comfy, and sweet, and not a bad size at all. And being frank, some of those US hotel rooms are just too big! I know I shouldnt complain, but the one I stayed in, in Richmond last year was like having 3 separate rooms to myself! A work area, a living area, and then the bedroom. I know, they cater to the business crowd (indirectly why I was there) and they need space, but…

Lets just say you get spoilt by these things! Oh, and another thing I’m being spoilt by, the weather. Seriously, as I type this, its 72 here (23 for those who live by C?)! I’m looking for somewhere to eat tonight where I can sit outside! This is mid May, in the UK for heavens sake!

Oh, and a moment of amusement today. I know, I shouldnt laugh, but…

After visiting Corbiere, and enjoying the view of the lighthouse today, I decided to apply that well worn tactic of not coming back by the same bus route as I went out. Therefore, I got back on the next 12 (an hour later) and caught it to the end of the line, at Greve De Lecq, where it turns into a 9, and takes a different, and quicker way back to St Helier.

Fun started when the bus finally turned up, he didnt have the correct destination showing, he was showing St Brelades Bay, a point he had already passed through, instead of his destination. Apart from one couple, everyone listened to him, and all that wanted that route back to St Helier got off again. They didnt even realise until he was calling everyone off at Greve De Lecq! To be honest, they were ignoring him even then!

Finally he got the message through, or so it seemed, a bus to St Brelades Bay (a 9, turning into a 12) would be along in under 15 minutes, and after much discussion they got off to wait for it. Or so it seemed, because just as we were about to pull off, they jumped back on again. Despite again being told we were not going to their destination, they stayed put, and finally, about 10 minutes late, we pulled out.

I think they only finally got the message when we hit the main road to St Helier, on the front, and we turned left, when St Brelades was signposted right! I’m guessing that meant they would eventually get back home nearly 30 minutes later than if they had listened to the driver in the first place! Before you say anything, they spoke English, so should have understood what they were being told, but…all part of life, I guess?

The video, it hurts me to say that this is 50 years old

Back in the old routine

I doubt many will know the pop group concerned here in the video, if it wasnt for the category giveaway at least lol! Its only frightening what ancient songs I can vaguely remember at times!

Yes, tomorrow, I finally get back in the old routine, a fortnight after I stopped work for my holiday. Wisely, I asked for my days off this week to be Monday and Tuesday, just in case I needed it, to get over the jet lag. And yes, doing so yesterday was a pretty wise move in all honesty. Today might have been fine, but given its my normal day off…I stuck with it.

The journey back was actually fine, both flights were a few minutes late, but I do only mean a few, this time around. Given I wouldnt be flying with American Airlines again before next April (Aer Lingus have a far better Boston connection), I have time to mellow my thoughts about them, but I suspect I will at least look at other airlines when booking that trip. Connection times, and prices will play a bigger part in my choice though, thats for sure. And yes, I know pretty much where I’m going then, in fact I do for both holidays next year, and I suspect the first for 2014 as well. Frightening, or what?

For better or worse, tomorrow is just a short day at work, just 5 hours. Unfortunately that means that the rest of the week isnt so good lol! I’m sure I will quickly get back in the old routine, I usually do to be honest. Mind, its just a matter of how long before I start counting down to the next holiday (flight now booked) all the same.

Going to be a busy weekend, thats for sure. The first 2 horse racing classics of the year, which I knew about,Ā and as I found out today, the FA cup final too. Shows how much I care about soccer lol! World Snooker final might attract my interest more though. Oh, and being a bank holiday weekend, public transport will be a delight too, with Sunday bus services on Monday as well, oh joy!

So yes, excuses being made, I make no promises as to the time of the next blog, probably as reliable as Trans Pennine Express again now lol!

So alright, as promised, we are

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zo7kj1SHtQ

Ticket To Ride

One thing I’ve noticed on my trips to North America, is that generally theĀ transit (bus/metro)Ā fares are all the same. Both Boston and Toronto (Minneapolis was, I think?)Ā were this year, and I know Seattle and San Francisco do, though some routes into and out of the city do have 2 zones at least. Inner Seattle has free fares during the day though, a real surprise nowadays, I assume they still do. Personally I like the idea, you know what the fare is going to be, no arguments.

Over here however, nearly all bus routes have fares related to the length of journey made, though I’m not sure if London doesnt use the fixed fare method now? I would love to say this leads to all sorts of hilarity, except for the fact that much of the time I find what I have to report more as frustrating.

There are fares related to distances, based on what they call fare stops, as opposed to the inbetween bus stops. At these points, fares change, should be simple? But no! There are some who think that just because they are getting on the bus one stop before the fare break, that they can ‘barter’ the fare down accordingly. Hey, some think that at any point, they seemingly should get the next fare down anyway. Most of these, to put it diplomatically, are the ones with IndianĀ sub continent (and neighbouring countries) ancestry, though there are one or two others. As far as I know, mainly because in the end they seem to slam down extra coins, they dont win, but that doesnt stop them trying again next time seemingly! Fares are fixed, just pay them!

I guess I get frustrated with them because 99% of my bus journeys either relate to getting into town to go to work, or getting home after a day at work, and I really dont want unnecessary delays!

Saturday, I also got ‘entertainment’ on the train, thankfully they dont stop the train while the conductor checks tickets lol. This woman (yes, you’ve guessed her origin) got most angry when the conductor wouldnt accept her expired (byĀ 3 days apparently) Metro card could no longer be used to make journeys, andĀ the wholeĀ carriage got to know it! He politely explained that she would have to buy a new one now, but she wasnt keen on that idea! She eventually paid out for a return ticket for that day, but she wouldnt have won any prizes for charm in doing so.

So, to anyone reading this, you know what your bus/train fare is, just pay it, dont try and get a lower fare, its not going to happen, and all you do is annoy fellow passengers. And as ‘The Hulk’ used to say, “You wont like me if I get angry!” lol!

The song, suitably apt for this rant I guess? One of my favourite groups, one of their early records, a cover version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsgj4xcxXyA