My annual eye checkup , each December , involves powerful eyedrops that make daylight painfully bright for a few hours till they wear off . I always have to get there by bus since , even wearing dark glasses , I can't open my eyes without being dazzled .
So this morning , I jump on the 32 for the hospital , congratulating myself on being in plenty of time . Bus driver greets us all with a cheery smile , waits for a puffing latecomer and closes the doors . One door stays open . She opens the doors again . Tries closing them again ... and again . Presses a nice silver button . Nothing . Presses all the buttons at once ... whereupon , logically , nothing happens at all . Presses red button... engine burps .
Lady nearby ( sorry , but she is definitely a lady ... she has a lace-edged hanky , stockings and a tweed suit . Facinating . ) clears her throat nervously and looks at her watch . I wave goodbye to grabbing a coffee before my appointment and we all start peering out at the other buses dotted round , trying to work out which one could be diverted via the hospital without the whole system collapsing .
Driver manages to close the doors . Now have visions of being trapped in stationary bus .
Inspector wanders up . Points to his watch . Driver shrugs and presses buttons again .
Everything happens at once ... indicators all flash , water squirts up over the windscreen and wipers swish , radio goes on , engine vrooms and we ride off to the sound of Queen and Freddie Mercury ...
late summer landscapes
1 day ago