In June 2022 I became an OAP, and thus eligible for a Bus Pass. With all the other excitement that milestone brings (being paid for doing nothing, Winter Fuel Allowance etc.) I completely forgot about it. Until December, when the hernia operation that had been scheduled since the summer became imminent and I weighed up the various options for getting to the hospital. Train and taxi seemed best, but there was a rail strike scheduled for that day. I know – bus! It’s an hour’s walk to the bus stop and two changes, but what the hell? Then when I’m pushed out of the door a few hours later I can stand groggily waiting at the bus stop to do the whole thing in reverse. And I’ve just got time to apply for my pass so I can do the whole thing for free! So I did.
The hospital put paid to all that by scheduling my admission at 7am and insisting that I didn’t journey home alone. So I ended up paying £60 for a taxi in, but that’s another story.
Yesterday I journeyed into Leamington Spa to pick up a record that had been waiting for me at Seismic, one of the excellence stores in town. I thought I’d take the opportunity to knock off a few miles of the virtual walk along the banks of the Grand Union and the River Leam. And it was finally time to baptise my bus pass! I planned it carefully. I would catch a crowded bus heading for Warwick University, stand in the aisle wobbling uncertainly and be offered a seat as befits an Old Person. With any luck I’d find myself sitting next to a fellow OAP and we could exchange details of our recent operations and/or illnesses. Unfortunately my plans were thwarted – it was still the Christmas vacation and the university busses were empty. So I contented myself with catching one from the top of the hill on the main street to the bottom. Then walked back up again to collect my record. Job done – I wasn’t at all sure how the pass worked, but the driver was obviously used to helping confused old folk and got me through the procedure with minimal embarrassment.
(Oh yes – that’s what the non-Lego version of me looks like. Sorry, I should have given you advance warning. Hope it wasn’t too much of an unpleasant surprise.)