Old Friends

I went out to meet a friend this morning for coffee.

While I last saw my friend just a month ago, the really good thing about starting to move around after COVID again is seeing people who I *haven’t* seen for the last eighteen months. Last time out, I bumped into one person walking his dogs. Today I saw another. Both of them probably fit into that “vulnerable” category, so it was great to see them still alive and kicking.

Then I went on to meet my friend. Funny enough, he has just been over to France, too – he had the wonderful idea of watching the Tour de France climb the idyllic Mont Ventoux, exactly the kind of vacation I used to take. I’ve whined a bit about the hoops I had to jump through to go over, but he actually missed one of his crossings because of them!

Clean Result

My regular readers will know about my trip to France. The last “t” of that trip has been crossed this morning.

Continue reading “Clean Result”

Rusty

We used to go to France a lot, we live near the coast so we used to visit regularly, often just for a shopping weekend. Before my trip just gone, our last visit was June 2015. The stroke then happened in February 2016.

Continue reading “Rusty”

Who Won the Week (25 July 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

Do you remember my post last week?

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Who Won the Week (18 July 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

This is a story very much in progress, so I’m not sure whether I’m talking about someone who won the week or who lost it.

Let me tell you about my odyssey.

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Glorious

Mrs Bump and I visited a place called Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth yesterday. The word “quay” gives away the former use, for Portsmouth was (and is) a major port on the south coast of England. The word “gun” also tells you something, because Portsmouth had a big naval presence, although their footprint is much smaller now. Charles Dickens was born here in the early 19th century.

As the ports declined, so too the quays fell into disuse. Until some bright spart decided that there was money in it, and turned the place into a swanky shopping outlet village. You might know them as something different – designer stores which kid you that they are selling you the goods you’d find in their regular, High Street outlets, but a lot cheaper.

That’s where we went today. But I really don’t like shopping so I left that to Mrs Bump, and opted to take a bunch of photos instead.

The big tower you see in the photos is the Spinnaker Tower. I’ve featured it before on my “Life Through the Lens” series. It was a millenium project (opened in 2005, go figure!) which, as far as I know, is purely ornamental. There is an elevator to ascend to a viewing platform, which affords panoramic views. We went up there once – the viewing platform’s floor is partially made of glass, so you can take the opportunity to look vertically down. It’s only about 400 feet (120m) – anyone fancy that?

Anyway I really enjoyed my day out in the sunshine, although I was tired at the end. I probably took too many photos, but what glorious weather!

Bus-ted

I was kinda reminded this morning how frail my situation is out here. I live in a rural setting, a small village. We’re not far from the city of Salisbury, but nowhere in the UK is ever very far from a town or city.

The village lost its railway station following the cutbacks of the sixties, but still has a skeletal bus service to get people into Salisbury. The service is every 90 minutes or so, just between 9am and 5:30pm Mondays to Saturdays, even then with a gap in the afternoon.

This morning I planned to go into Salisbury for something quite innocuous, a haircut. I wasn’t going anywhere or meeting anyone, so had no firm timetable. But the bus just didn’t turn up. There might have been a really good reason for this, but that the bus service in unreliable is an unavoidable conclusion. And with 90 minutes between buses, it isn’t really practical just to wait for the next one. When a bus doesn’t turn up, it’s not a case of “I’ll be 5 minutes late”, but people are automatically in the realm of they themselves just not turning up for appointments etc.

This instance was only a haircut, but what if it happened on the way to one of my charity things? How many people would I then let down? It does kind-of make me worry, because I’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg. I’m wondering if I need to can the charity work altogether, just because I can’t be relied upon to turn up?

I don’t know the reason why, as I say it might be perfectly reasonable. It’s happened once before in 3 years of bus use. I suppose I should look at this just as a car breakdown. It’s a real pain when it happens, but if it only happens once every blue moon… I need to start keeping a record of no-shows just so I have an idea of the frequency.

The result, by the way? No haircut, of course. A walk out to the bus stop and back, probably an hour, including the time spent waiting at the bus stop. I’m fortunate I suppose that there are mostly no consequences of this at the moment, but really, I could have been doing something far more productive.