Sunday, 21 November 2010

Bus Shelter Becomes A Mud Hut

Saturdays on the Vallium Run are dead as a doornail. I hardly took a fare for the first six hours of the shift. Though there were a number of free passes, it probably doesn't augur well for its future. Selfishly, I prefer Saturdays. The passengers are more relaxed. There are no school runs to do and generally the more extraordinary events seem to take place.

I arrived at the bus turning circle to find the passengers facing the other way. They were examining the metal and glass bus shelter. It looked dirtier than normal.

"Aye," said one bystander, "it's the young 'uns up at it again." There had been a mud fight the previous evening. After the fight, they had decided to redecorate the shelter. It was caked with mud, inside and out, from top to bottom. The windows were smeared and had ceased to be functional.

"Now, there's no need to be like that," said the old age pensioner, when I suggested it wouldn't make any difference, that no one could see out of the bus shelter windows, as soon there might be no buses.

"It's not the first time the bairns have had a go at the shelter. They painted the other one black, one night," continued the passenger. "It was only because one of the residents saw who it was and threatened to ring the Police, that we now have a mural inside, with orange butterflies on the black background."

This was to set the tone for the rest of the day.

"I've just bought a bag of potash," said the same passenger on the return journey. "£6 it cost me. £6! I told him I could get it for £3 in Carlisle. 'Ah you have to get there and back - it will cost you' he said. No it won't, I said, I'm a pensioner. I pay nowt."

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