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Travelling Horizontally

A trip on the bus to Pennard was what was planned and it involved catching the bus from Blackpill. Not a trip that I had done that often but I left the house with 15 minutes to spare in the belief that would allow me ample time. It was a warm day but not the sort of day when the weather could be totally trusted so a windproof jacket was a sensible choice, after all photography involves quite a lot of standing around and waiting.

I hadn’t been gone long before it occurred to me that 15 minutes was not going to be enough time so I did a combination of trotting and walking. In this way I arrived at the bus stop with a minute to spare. The bus arrived, I showed my pass and walked down the bus to the first available seat. I stopped, turned around and was just about to sit down when the driver prodded his accelerator and released the clutch, this was a driver of the ‘rough and ready’ brigade. The bus shot forward, my body’s natural instinct was to stay upright but with the weight of the camera bag on my back and the sudden G force there was nothing for it but to succumb and dutifully fall flat on my back. Embarrassment is a terrible affliction and sometimes the brain has this false notion that if it tries to convey to all around that what has happened is part of everyday life then much blushing is spared. The message which sped around my body conveyed the need to rise up quickly and quietly take my seat but this, I found, was prevented by the weight of the camera bag and so it was that only with much heaving and grunting did I manage to struggle up and be seated. I imagine that this performance was not missed by many people.

I was in considerable discomfort and not a little pain yet in reply to the kind lady now sitting next to me I confirmed I was in good health.

“Are you sure you’re alright?” asked the lady in the seat in front. Clearly a genuine disbeliever and a lifelong doubting Thomasina.

“Yes, yes, I’m fine,” I said as if I was in the habit of assuming horizontal positions in the middle of a crowded bus. The lady sitting next to me made no further comment.

As the bus moved on up Mayals hill the heat started getting to me, beads of perspiration were gathering on my brow and running down the side of my face. It would have seemed an over-reaction to have stood up and explain to the commuting crowd that my overheated state was merely the result of a brisk run to the bus stop and I was not in immediate need of the Air Ambulance.

We reach Newton and the driver shouts back a request for information on the whereabouts of the bus stop – this man is clearly a novice!

We reach Pennard and turn right into the housing estate, the driver pulls out a map – oh dear! A lady gets up and stands by him to guide him through.

“Drop me off here,” she says, “now turn right up here then left and when you get back to the main road turn right and go all the way to the roundabout at the end. Then you go back to Swansea but you don’t need to come back through this estate.”

Looked like he was on his first day, in which case he just had to be forgiven!


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