The phrase: 'I'd rather earn an honest crust than a dishonest crumpet,' reverberated in my ears as I rather too eagerly sunk my teeth into an egg and bacon butty on the top of Carter Bar, on the Scottish Border. It was still absolutely delicious and quite unlike any other sandwich I had ever had in my life. Whether this was so because of the stunning views, the feeling of solitaryness in between carloads of stopping tourists, or most probably because the always friendly lady in the catering trailer doesn't skimp on the quality of the ingredients.
'It's all in the bread,' she said, which is impossible to disagree with as the bap melted in the mouth and descended downwards.
The phrase about honest crusts I seem to remember was said by Stuart Usher, a great character who took up a one man fight against an Edinburgh law firm and sometimes would work at this van. There was a fun Cutting Edge documentary about him on Channel 4, explaining his actions, called The Fall Of The House Of Usher.
Bus driving in some ways comes into the same category as working in a butty van. At the end of the day, you really feel that you have provided a worthwhile service. To do it well is even more fulfilling, whether it is getting someone, somewhere on time or satisfying the rumbliest of stomachs.
It was good to head up the hill to survey the wild country of the borderlands. It helped to put life into perspective. The last week had been dreary. It had at times felt like sitting at the end table at the Last Chance Saloon. This was not because of any change in any mental wellbeing or general happiness. That had never been better.
It was because recently I seemed to have been bombarded with junk flyers into my inbox, all of which begin with:
A cat has nine lives. An Accidental Bus Driver, as you have seen has already had 9 x 9. The table at the saloon will be empty for a long time yet.