Saturday, 29 January 2011

There's No Wealth But Life In The Land That God Forgot

Is the Vallium Run going to survive? The debate continued amongst the passengers.

"I went to the meeting and the council man said we ought to be car sharing," said an animated woman who lived somewhere in the 'Land That God Forgot'. "I let him have it and gave him a piece of my mind."

"Well good for you," added another local resident.

"Yeah, I feel sorry for the drivers," said another. "this is like a community on a bus. We know all the drivers well. We like them." It gave me a warm feeling inside to hear this. It is true. This is a rural route and unlike any other. In some ways it is like a small club. Everybody knows everybody.

The passengers are fighting for their bus service. They are good campaigners. They go to meetings, they make their fears known and they are forceful in their actions. It takes a good council man to stand up to them and not be reduced to a quivering wreck. They live in an isolated spot and there is no doubt that, if the bus is pulled then people will lose their jobs as a result of not being able to travel to work. So I feel there will be a great British compromise.

"Yes those poor bus drivers, they've got to come out in the cold. All this way too."

"Yes, I know," one lady went on nodding her head in agreement. "I get mad with my neighbour who often stands with me at the bus stop. Her friend sometimes passes in a car and she jumps in. What hope is there?"

"The problem is that we're on a loser as we've lost four passengers recently, who could have written letters of support," said the voice of reason from the back. "W is in hospital and unlikely to come out. X is in a home - also unlikely to be released. Y is in a hospice and is unlikely........and Z has just gone missing."

There was a thoughtful silence. It didn't last long. It was broken by a woman who had far greater worries than the future of a bus service.

"My heating's been off for the last three days," she said with a sad look in her eyes. "It suddenly came on and there was a scream and I thought, blimey the radiators need bleeding. But I laughed and laughed because I came into the room and saw it was only my husband who had put his hand on the boiling metal."

'There's no wealth but life.' John Ruskin got it in one.

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