Category Archives: Bus Journeys

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, 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 the transit (bus/metro) fares are all the same. Both Boston and Toronto (Minneapolis was, I think?) 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 Indian 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 (by 3 days apparently) Metro card could no longer be used to make journeys, and the whole 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