Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Part 2

Thanks to the flower carrying cyclist I was on to a good start to the day, and I was about to do something quite out of the ordinary: as I reached my usual bus-stop I crossed the road. Today I was riding to the airport, the beginning (and end) of the 43 bus route. As any commuter will know, travelling outside of the usual stretch is like stepping outside of yourself, of your boundaries. So often I had watched the bus disappear thorough the rain into this alien place, the bus a constant linking my world with that other world. Boarding the bus to the airport was like breaking the rules of time: going back beyond my birth to explore origins, but also going forwards beyond my death, because when time is a bus route there are two extremes, but both are a beginning, and both are an end.

Anyway, shortly the bus arrived at the local bus depot, where it waited for five minutes before leaving for the airport. The engine chugged away and sounded very much like my boiler. The depot is painted red and yellow, like a nursery, and I was grateful for it. It doesn’t look stylish or trendy, and it’s not ‘artistic’, but it speaks of simple hopes, and a small budget spent as well as it might be. It adds colour to the middle of a grey estate. After pulling away we passed a large brick church, the type with small windows and almost no architectural features. Outside the church was an oversized wooden notice board bearing only one well weathered advertisement that simply read ‘Line Dancing – every Monday and Wednesday’.

We zigzagged slowly through the estates, and it might have been a tour of council housing styles from the last 70 years: ‘If you’d like to look to our left, you’ll see some classic examples of the 1972-78 period, their design famously inspired by the ordinary office hole punch…’


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