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81% full (don’t know how much space a giraffe takes…)

The blog is nearly full. I’ve been at it for years now so it’s no surprise. I suppose I can buy more space to continue to host my internet meanderings; the project I am working on now needs a platform (apparently) so it would seem silly to start from scratch all over again someplace else.

I’ve had over 120,000 views on here now – plenty of which are spam sadly – but a fair few really aren’t. Some posts have provoked genuine interest, others less so. That’s ok, if you communicate constantly and compulsively, not all of it can be elevated above the workaday and mundane. I used to do a lot of ranting on here. This current government have knocked it out of me… nearly. I seem to work with people who suffer so at their hands day in and day out, ranting about it after hours wouldn’t really help them.

All of this is a bit of a preamble. The blog isn’t closing. It can’t! It’s out there on the interweb for posterity, or worse. But I am aware that my big writing project is taking more and more of my time and that the blog is not only nearly full, but it feels a little neglected too.

So, I am going to try some different stuff on here over the summer. It’s going to be like having a busman’s holiday. If it doesn’t make sense at times (well less than it already does) please forgive. I’ve got some fiction extracts and some old travelogue bits I’d like to get out of notebooks and digitised, and maybe some poetry too, so if you tune in and find yourself in Delhi in the last millennium, that’ll be why. There’ll be different voices because of the form and the timespan, but it’s all my own work and its something I’d like to do before I reach the dreaded full up point: 100%.

Come along for the ride? Suddenly, with the overworked bus metaphor, my recent Cliff Richard nightmare is making perfect sense. Let’s have a different song altogether to wipe that horrid thought from our minds.

Here’s my real summer anthem.

No. 26 Bus Part 1

Last week I (for complicated logistical reasons) had to drive unto the big smoke and then journey onwards to Devon from Waterloo. I left the car in Hackney and decided to catch the bus directly to Waterloo, despite the TfL Journey Planner’s insistence that the bus & tube was the modern 21st Century way to go.

Time was when you wanted to get on a bus, you got on it and paid with money. Now you run the risk of being chucked off if you try that trick. They have new-fangled Oyster cards and ticket machines at some stops but those machines aren’t evident in Hackney – I didn’t wonder why. So rather than face humiliation by the bus driver for having the temerity to wave a pound at him (I was informed by control HQ it was “at least £3 to go on the bus these days”) I ripped myself off at a shop buying a highly expensive travel card. To salve that annoyance I left it in the ladies at Waterloo (I hope someone found it and used it to travel round Zones 1&2 until midnight, otherwise I have paid over a fiver for one bus trip). On the upside, the 30p wee at Waterloo was a free wee, due to a broken turnstile. Little things etc.

I used to take the No. 26 Bus when I worked in the City so it was a bit of a memory lane trip. It was also a practical solution to needing a semi to urgent wee – far better to sit still and clench (if necessary) than get involved in bus/tube/tube interchanges whilst lugging luggage. Plus you get a window, so I made the most of it and sat on the top deck. Then at the risk of behaving much like Japanese tourist I snapped away. I also wondered if having had two children in Homerton hospital I could still be considered an honorary Londoner (I was thinking forever if anyone reading has this kind of thing in their gift)? How terrible if I have to take on visitor status when I am not a visitor at all.

Anyway, they’ve been busy since I last took a seat on the No. 26 – building enormous buildings that I don’t recognise, knocking things down and excavating great muddy holes out of which I’ll warrant more enormous buildings will rise. What I want to know is: who the hell is paying for all this and what the hell is this one called?

This meets with my approval (even if they built it behind my back)