the journey home

It may simply be that I should never leave the house. Jake and I can muddle along here, quite contentedly, with our long sleeps and short walks. A few phone calls, maybe an email or two- safe, uncomplicated volunteering.


A few weeks ago we had the driving miss ditzy and mr david event. Yesterday, there was a bus crisis. It seems that rare disease volunteers cannot travel without incident.

The morning had gone well. A perfectly acceptable bus journey, a positive meeting, a yummy lunch, a warm glow.

The bus for the return journey was crowded and cramped, but we were well fed and happy, We missed the warnings that the day was about to go downhill.

A phone call meant that one of us went into Fix the World mode. She was busy. Another of us planned a pampering night out. The third twisted and turned and counted down the minutes until she could sleep in front of the fire (guess who?)

The morning bus hadn’t stopped along the route-we were none too impressed to discover that the afternoon bus had scheduled stops. The time until home stretched.

Why are we heading back towards Dublin? Would it not have been easier to head to Belfast? Odd, but OK.

My painkillers were having no effect. My head was pounding. I was sore. It got very warm. Clammy, even.

Oh oh.

The bus stopped (is that even a bus stop?) to let people off and I made a charge for the fresh air. It was not enough.


Tea time traffic in Banbridge ground to a halt as the badly parked bus waited on me to finish. Seasons probably changed in the time it took my stomach to empty. And then I had to gather my dignity about me, wipe away any dribbles, and get back on the bus. Thankfully, Auntie Sadie had sweets.

The pampering night out began to recede from possibility, but at least we were on our way. Hurrah.

We sailed past the big shopping centre and on to the motorway, causing some consternation to fellow passengers who’d planned on getting off there. There were terse phone calls to irate spouses. A few minutes later, we came off the motorway again. Are we going into Lisburn instead?

No. No… oh. Why are we going up this road? We don’t want to go to Saintfield.

A big bus. A narrow road. Lots of traffic (who did want to go towards Saintfield). The bus turned round. Slowly, with plenty of stooping and starting. We went back to the shopping centre, dropped off a few people and headed back towards Belfast.

We did wonder where we’d end up, especially when we went past the entrance to the bus depot.

We took the long way round, but got where we needed to be, a long hour after we’d hoped. Phew. Thank goodness it’s all over. Home called to us all.

Chairperson was bringing me home. We were too exhausted to be giddy with relief. All we had to do was pay for the parking and head off.

Chairperson is lucky to have survived. As she pottered away from the pay station, a car roared into the carpark. A blink of an eye lay between her being shaken, and her heading over the bonnet.

Lying down in a darkened room beckoned.

Our bus driver didn’t have a uniform- never get on the bus if the driver doesn’t wear a uniform. Too much adventure.


19 thoughts on “the journey home

      1. My travel philosophy is always useful – once you are on board – you are NOT in control, except maybe trying to give info to those who await your arrival – so accept and enjoy whatever is around (usually other people, strangers, in my case)

  1. For lack of a better comment, feel free to censor, but it is a phrase that I have read and heard often this past week, more so then normal for some reason -oh, shit!

    Good advice! Bus drivers and pilots should have a proper uniform, though it is no guarantee – there are days which seem to offer up no escape.

  2. As I read this I found myself concerned for everyone on that bus! This wasn’t an adventure at all–I think you were all held hostage! I hope you read this comment much, much later, because what I really hope is that you’re sitting in a dark room with a cool cloth on your forehead. What an ordeal, and I would also be asking myself “Why leave home?” Blessings on you and hope for a quiet and calm weekend, dear Fiona.

    1. Girl1 was trawling the local news websites for tales of rouge bus drivers, as she was convinced we’d been kidnapped! All I did the next day was write this and eat ice cream 🙂

      1. That’s funny. (The rest isn’t.)
        Perhaps you could have deployed the “OMG I’m gonna hurl, stop now” gambit at appropriate stopping places.

  3. Why did you not get the train? Although if my memory is correct that too was a bit of an adventure when you tried it last Feb- train or no train. My only near mishap was telling L that “Nah the hotel isn’t that far from the station of course we can walk it”. If it makes you feel any better I got a lift straight to my door after finishing up yesterday. Very luxurious too :). Actually I am sorry you had such a bad journey and were sick to boot.

    1. It was an experiment, not to be repeated. We arranged the meeting for one of the hotels at the airport because that seemed equally convenient/ inconvenient.
      Auntie Sadie is driving the next time.

    1. Such a series of disasters, Tom. When my mum was sick I was on the bus quite a bit, reasonably trouble free. The bothers start when I go somewhere different….

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