Saturday, 17 July 2010

Trip On The Tyne Tests Most Backsides

"Twenty odd years after being involved in a bus crash and my friend still has shards of glass coming out of his body," said one of the pensioners with great relish. "Yeah, you stand next to him and next thing you know is a bit of glass drops onto the pavement. It's remarkable what the body retains."

The rest of the party were slowly walking up the ramp from the boat. They had been on a trip on the River Tyne. It had been windy and their usually spotless hair-do's were a little wayward. They piled back onto the bus.

"Are you ready for a cup of tea and a cake at the farm shop?"

"Yeessssss, certainly," they cried out in unison. "Oh hold on we are missing three." This was a mystery as I had been standing at the top of the pier and had directed them to the bus which was parked across the road. You couldn't fail to see it or the Rolls Royce parked beside it, outside one of the North east's largest firm of solicitors.

After an extensive search, I found the three walking in the opposite direction at a leisurely amble. quite unconcerned the man said: "We've been sat on our behinds on that boat for three hours and we needed to go for a walk and stretch our bottoms." This was not popular with the rest of the party who felt they were losing valuable tea and cake time.

Naturally the entrance to the farm shop was not designed for the large 13 metre bus. This was the same bus whose mirror I had crunched in Fleetwood. The memory was fresh, particularly as I wound gently round the corner of the narrow farm track towards the narrow cattle grid. Not only was the road narrow, but it was against the traffic flow and cars used this as a one-way system.

I exhaled a huge sigh of relief as I had got round the second last corner without meeting a car coming the other way. Then from nowhere came a people carrier, driven at speed by a bearded man, in search of the pick-your-own strawberries. There was two inches of spare room as I tried to pass him. His hand shot out of his window and hurriedly tried to retract his wing mirror.

"Pheewwww," the ladies behind me said. "That's close." I closed my eyes. When I opened them the car had gone.

All was well.

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