24/11/16

time for me to kickstart this blog back into action.

the reason : the trials and tribulations of life and the pain of the daily commute.

basically, for the last 5+ years i have been using one of bristols park and ride services.

the 902 service which heads down the portway into the center of town.

the service has recently had a change of contract, and is now under the remit of first west, and to be fair they have replaced the old rusty bendy buses with new shiny double deckers, so it’s not all bad news.

some context.

since i went back to work after the death of bh, i decided to step back from full time work to concentrate on being a dad.
subsequently, i now work tuesday, wednesday, and thursdays.
i try to catch the 7:48am bus in the morning, and the 3:46pm bus in the evening.

these things rarely go to plan due to circumstances out of my control.

and to be honest for a lot of the time, i will accept certain variables being thrown into the mix.
but this morning was rather special.

due to the southbound m5 being empty, i managed to get to the portway terminal in very good time.
as i parked i could see the earlier bus (7:36am), and decided to give it a go.
i walked briskly towards the bus.
passengers were still queuing to get on so, it was not ready to set off yet.
i approached the bus door, and was within 2 metres when the last person in the queue got on.
as soon as he had got on, the door was closed.
i stood at the door and looked at the driver as he readjusted himself and position and waited to be allowed onto the bus.
this lasted 5-10 seconds. in other words the driver had not even started to set off.
then the driver looked at me, shook his head and drove off.

i checked : the bus was nowhere near full.

i stood there somewhat aghast.

the driver of the bus parked up for the next service then wandered over to ask what the problem was. it was at this point this became somewhat surreal.

i questioned why i was not allowed on.

driver #2 : it’s the rules.

me : huh, but i was actually stood there, he had not even begun to set off ?

driver #2 : it’s all about the timetable. there are regulations. it’s all regulated.

me : don’t even go there
(i.e. as someone who has regularly had to wait 40+ mins for the 902 in the evening, using the timetable seemed to be an incredibly insensitive reasoning)

driver #2 : we don’t even have to stop and pick you up.

me : (now rather incensed) oh, how good of you to do so.

and it was this exchange of words that totally knocked me sideways.
here we are in 2016, a new service provider, and one of their representatives is telling me that it’s not about customer service, but the timetable and rules.
which is all the more galling as seeing that after 7am, there is no actual timetable, just the general advise ‘then every 12-15 mins’.

so, from hereon, i will be reporting on the 902 service and as to the success of their regulated timetable, as i can assure you of the 3 days a week i use the service, i get a very rare hit rate of success.

@firstbsa

21/07/16 – pt2

camp bestival 2015.

lets see what happens this year.

one more week to go.

21/07/16

let the 6 weeks of chaos and parenting begin ..

26/10/15

 

following a random meeting and a lovely chat with an old friend today, i got a nudge for me to get back into this groove.
so, here is an update. the first in a very very long time.

the reasons for the silence are complicated and full of contradictions.

to summarise, for the last couple of years since bh died (over 3 years now, but to me, it still feels as fresh as last week), i have had a very singular purpose that has kept me focussed : get mk1 to university.
that was my duty as a parent; my duty for bh; and my duty for mk1.
a simple task to many, but for me it proved to be a massive pull on both my physical and emotional world.
the likes of which i never expected.
however, that goal has been achieved, and now a few weeks into the new situation, hq is a very different place.
and being honest, one i am struggling to come terms with.

as wonderful as mk2 is, he still has that kid-groove thing going on, where the latest events in the world of football/f1 are the most fascinating thing ever.
as shocking as you will find this, i struggle to feign interest in the comings and goings of a football team for which i don’t even know the name of the manger for several hours a day.
i may manage a few minutes of interest at the breakfast table, but after 17 minutes of intricate analysis, my patience is well and truly on the long distance bus out of town.

in the last few years mk1 has been my ‘other adult in the house’, and him leaving and going to university has left a massive hole.
not to mention the small matter that i no longer have the same freedom to go out in an evening like i was able to, so, there is the issue of feeling ‘trapped’ with a small kid, again.
(note : i stopped going out for other reasons, but, the option was there).
yes, i realise that going forward this is not a healthy groove, and so with some extra attention, me and mk2 are having a lovely time doing dad-n-lad stuff.
but he goes to bed, and there is no-one to watch ‘homeland’ with, nor talk about the f*ck ups of the current government.

i am 47, and there are times i am beginning to feel the tentacles of loneliness.

hence the silence.

i felt that this current emo chaos was too personal, internal, and of little interest to others ( little happens in my world now other than having to deal with a very demanding stroppy cat – fact ! ).
however, in that mix, i forgot one massive part of the reason for this blog : me.
me writing this blog over the period of the chaos ended up being massively therapeutic, and helped me out immensely.
and maybe, me getting back into the blog writing will help me overcome the new emotional chaos.

in other news : mk1 seems to be having a great time, despite that it’s not just parties and clubs. apparently he even has to do ‘independent work’.
it appears that his new life in brighton seems to have been a good choice, and so far the course he chose is interesting.

maybe all that stress and chaos was worth it after all, and it wont be too long before it all kicks in again for mk2 !

m.e

15/02/15 : post #2

mk1 is in heaven.
a large supply of sugar excess.
and football on the tv at the pub.
a perfect sunday.

15/02/15

 

good stuff this week :

– bumped into an old friend who i have not seen in years. he has retrained and is now a mental health nurse. so, as part of the catch up, i explained my situation, and he confirmed my suspicions. basically the medication will have delayed the grieving process, meaning i am probably going through it properly now, hence the grey clouds/anger as i am facing all the emotional triggers for the first time without medication etc.
as for how long, well, there are no rules. it takes as long as it takes basically.

– mk1 registered to vote. i thought that this happened automatically, but no, the process was changed a few years ago, and now young’uns have to register to vote once they hit the relevant age.

– the front of the house is nearly completed. looks a lot fresher and cleaner.

– mk2 has re-established his local friend network. mk1 and mk2 both go to a school that’s not local, and so, old primary school friendships become more difficult to maintain. hopefully we have got this resolved and mk2 will be able to meet up as and when possible (will be good to get him off the playstation once in a while !).

– the sherwood & pinch album. can never have too much on-u sound in  your collection.

the bad stuff :

– social media and booze do not mix.

– the form for student finance arrived. pages and pages of the bloody thing. it’s going to be a bugger to fill in.

m.e

09/02/15

and so the battle for student finance for mk1 begins.
i get an email from the system asking me to log in so i can provide details re my income so his needs can be addressed.
i hit the link, provide the requested info .. only to be told i have an account, and so should have a ‘crn’ – customer reference number.
but i don’t.
at which point i am given alternative options in order to get logged in.
i try these .. but nope.
i ring the phone number – go through the hoops in order to be get to speak a real person, again providing the same details many many times only to be told they will have to send me a form that i fill in and send back so they can look into why i can’t log in !
this is all going to go so well isn’t it.

m.e