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When I first started to write again, the first poem I wrote was about my car.

I have all sorts of reasons why I loved my car; it wasn’t just a means of getting from A to B. I may tell you about that at a later time. I don’t want to dwell too much on that just now. Just to say that my car has been the means of our last three children being able to learn to drive because the insurance for it was considerably less for new drivers than my husband’s more powerful car. This was fine until we got to our last child, our daughter Rachel.

Rachel used my car more and more until she has become its main driver. She needs it to get to her work, some twenty minutes’ drive away but a bus ride of two buses and about an hour and a half each way. Now that I’ve finished work and my mum has died, I no longer really need a car – so Rachel says.

I have reached that enviable status of O.A.P. As such I am the holder of a coveted card – a free bus pass. Rachel reckons that, as it’s now free for me to travel by bus, she has the greater need of the car – my car, which until now I have paid for the upkeep and insurance of. As of the 23rd of this month, the car will become hers, the insurance for her to pay and the upkeep her responsibility. And I have to once again share my husband’s car, or travel on the bus.

On Thursday, I did just that – I went to Derby on the bus. Actually, I went to the hospital to meet a friend there who needed someone to speak for her and give her some moral support. However, that is another story.

So, I got on the bus and I have to say I do rather like being able to see over the fences and hedges into gardens that you can’t see when driving a car. Unfortunately, I choose a seat behind a woman whose perfume, with an underlying hint of B.O. soon hit my nose. That, with the addition of a gale blowing upon me from the open windows, in spite of the fact that it was a much colder day than of late, made it not such an enjoyable journey than it might have been. About twenty minutes into the journey I began to feel that I would be glad to get off the bus because the pungent smells coming from in front of me were inducing the threat of a headache.

Not having to be concerned about watching the road meant I could drift off into my own train of thought and enjoy the scenery before me and indulge in my habit of people-watching without seeming to. As we got into Derby, a young girl sitting next to me took me to the stop that I needed to get to the hospital, which I thought was very sweet of her.

Thankfully, my return journey had much sweeter air and I was able to enjoy it much better. I sat next to another young girl who was also quite friendly but we didn’t talk that much.

When I got off at my home end, I reflected upon my journeys and I thought how pleasant it was to once again have the time to be able to enjoy a trip to Derby on the bus without having to be concerned about being back at a certain time because of children coming home from school or having to see to mum. Apart from having to endure a few minutes of a maniacal ride along a country road, it was pleasant and worry-free. I remarked to the young girl by my side that I thought our driver (who was female!) was having a moment of power-craziness because she had a big vehicle and we had a giggle as we hung on for dear life.

All in all it was an enjoyable experience really and no doubt it’s something I shall be doing more often – courtesy of Rachel. And I know that the time will come when I’m too old to drive; I hope I will have the sense to know when to stop. Having said that, I know that if I ever have the choice to go by bus or in my car I shall still choose to do what I love – drive my car.

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