1 EAGLETON NOTES: Never Let It Be Said

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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Never Let It Be Said

that I don't use public transport. 

The Isle of Lewis has, for a rural area, a pretty good bus service. Some people may not agree but then they don't they are unlikely to have ever lived in a similarly remote area of, say, rural France or Italy.  

It is strange that so many people equate 'public transport' with bus services. Someone once 'accused' me of never using public transport. I pointed out that, on the contrary, I flew everywhere and often used a train to complete my journeys. On the Island, though, my car is my lifeline. I'm far too busy to wait for buses and, if I'm truthful, I'm not yet willing to change my lifestyle to suit bus timetables. That time may, on the assumption that I am fortunate to get older and that there are still buses, arrive.

However, yesterday, Anna and I (I'm down in Glasgow for three weeks for hospital appointments and some socialising in between) went into the City Centre on a bus. We returned on a bus too. I have to admit that it was quite a painless experience. It was also considerably less expensive (to the extent that it was free using my Scottish Entitlement Card) and I didn't have to pay the usual £8+ parking fee. On the downside we had to put off any 'big' shopping until another time. 

For those who don't know, this is a bus - the bus we came back to Anna's on actually:


I should be in hospital tomorrow for a routine op so it may be a few days before I'm back in Blogland.

27 comments:

  1. Prayers all goes well
    That is an attractive bus!

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  2. I wish you well for your procedure and recovery. And enjoy your big city socialising :)

    by the way, I think anyone who complains about wind farms has forgotten how ugly coal power stations are!

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  3. Much success in the routine op.

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  4. I hope all goes well in hospital and that you resist the urge to pinch the arses of passing nurses. You wait for a nurse then two come along at once.

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  5. I have very rarely travelled by bus, but when I have it's always been fun. Some of my fellow passengers have been less than desirable, but that's another story!

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  6. All the best for your op, Graham!
    As for the topic of this post, well, you know that I have never had a driving license and therefore depend on either the use of my own two feet or public transport. Depending on it is a different matter from an occasional bus ride "for fun". If out of 5 working days, there are delays and mis- or no information on 3, and you still have to pay the full fare, you begin to understand why so many rather get stuck in traffic jams (where they can sit in their own personal space with the radio on, heat or cool air according to their wishes) on their way to work than on overcrowded, dirty local trains.

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    1. It is a matter close to my heart, as you can tell from my little rant, and I have been reading lots about it recently. For the environmental impact alone, we SHOULD all be using public transport more often than our own cars, but a lot needs to change to make that a truly attractive alternative.

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    2. Meike, I think you have hit the nail on the head (so to speak). I commuted by bus and then by train for years. I have a very rosy view of what public transport was like then. When I started work in the early '60s the bus I got at the end of my road every day to go to work came at 0802 - on the dot. Later I commuted by train from The Wirral to Liverpool and it was an excellent opportunity to read - a friend with whom I worked and I read the whole of The Lord of The Rings together on that train: comparing notes on what we had read every day. One thing I would say that is in those days work hours tended to be more set. In later life my working hours could easily go on until late at night or even into the morning so public transport was out of the question.

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  7. What are you doing that makes you far too busy to wait for a bus?

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    1. Hope you are home again now and feeling better.

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    2. Thanks Rachal.Your question deserves an answer. I live 7 miles from Stornoway and my son lives 8 miles on the other side of Stornoway. I am served by a reasonable bus service (ie one every couple of hours most of the time) which turns at my house and is therefore easy to get. There is no bus service to my son's village. I go into Stornoway most mornings. I often start with a walk in the Castle Grounds. I may or may not take my grandson in his buggy. This requires walking shoes and usually waterproofs and appropriate clothing in the winter particularly. I often end up back at my car and The Woodlands Centre soaking wet. I then change into dry outer clothes for whatever else I am doing that morning which could be visiting, shopping or simply having coffee and meeting friends at The Woodlands. I may or may not do other things. I may not go out to my son's house.

      Many of my friends do not live on bus routes so popping into the elderly couple to whom I take my home-made soup on the way home wouldn't be practical. Sometimes I go to the gym. I play bowls several times a week. I am at the stage in my life when every moment is to be savoured and used wisely. I confess that I do enjoy driving and that is part of my enjoyment of life. Most of the walks on the Island cannot be reached by public transport. Driving also enables me to fit a lot more in than I would otherwise be able to do and then spend time in my garden.

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  8. I haven't been on a bus for years, come to that I have not seen a public bus for a long time either. Transport around here is either private cars or taxis. Wishing you good fortune with your hospital appointments etc.

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  9. It's a little over 10 years since I've used public transport.

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  10. Anyone who doesn't know what a bus is will probably not be reading blogs on his or her computer or smart phone.

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  11. Good luck with everything, public transport included! (I hope the rest of the procedures won't be too painful either.)

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  12. Having used your island bus services quite a few times I think they are excellent. And the drivers know everyone on their route so don't bother with nus stops - they just drop off and pick up at people's houses. They do that here on The Wirral once outside the urban areas.

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    1. Is "nus" an obscure Gaelic word? I couldn't find it in my concise Gaelic/English dictionary.

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  13. We don't have public transport in our small town but there is an intercity bus that runs from kerikeri to auckland and to different cities around NZ.

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  14. Nice bus. E have started using the bus service into the city to save parking but we use the car for around the suburbs and weekly shopping. Hope all goes well in hospital.

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  15. Buses! You have buses! We used to have buses once ... ;) Good luck with your hospital appointments.

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  16. Best of everything to you, and may everything go smoothly in hospital! We will be right here whenever you return! Hugs across the pond!

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  17. The last time I went on a bus was in London. Ian and I were both surprised that they didn't take cash - I wonder if that will become the norm elsewhere in the UK.

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  18. No public transport out here to speak of in rural Australia, but when visiting Melbourne we frequent the trams. It is a good setup within the CBD and usually run to schedule,

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  19. Thank you all for your comments. It seems that many of my readers live in rural situations where public transport or the lack of it is viewed quite differently to the way my city-centre living friends view things.

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  20. It is indeed funny that somehow planes don't get classed as "public transport". I had never thought about that before.

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    1. Jenny, I have been ragged for so many years about my perceived lack of use of public transport that I have used that rejoinder for at least three decades.

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