Some photos from today’s outing. A museum full of buses, brilliant colours and an amazing selection of mannequins. Overall; a bit spooky, very shiny and more than a little nerdy.
Got on the bus this morning with a £20 note. And no change. Not a good move.
The driver shook his head. “No change.”
“Arghhhh.. sorry, I haven’t got anything smaller.”
“No change,” he said, poking at his change drawer.
The guy behind me was jingling some coins.
“Can I get the change in town, when you’ve taken some cash?”
“Doubt it. I’ve got no change so far. The best I can do is a change receipt.”
“Ooh, Ok.. What do I do with that?”
“Take it to our depot in Outer Mongolia.” (teeny bit of embellishment there..)
“Isn’t there somewhere a bit closer to do that?”
“Oh, Ok. I’ll do that. But if you’ve got the change when I get off, can I cash it in with you?”
“No. I wouldn’t have any cash left if I did that.”
“Well you ain’t got any now..”
“Ok, I’ll take the receipt. Thanks.”
Fifteen minutes I looked up from Candy Crush. The bus had stopped, not at a bus stop.
Eh? I looked out the window. Where are we? Dunno, but everyone was piling off the bus. Speaking to the driver in turn.
“What’s going on?” I asked when it was my turn.
“Detour. High Street’s shut. The Queen’s coming.”
Not a good day for LB related reasons. But caught the 280 home from work and had the following encounter with a geezer dude. Kind of cheering…
“I went to Smithers ya’know? Smithers?”
“Ah, yeah.. W.H.Smiths…”
“Yeah. I picked up a newspaper, tucked it under my arm. £2.60 it was. £2.60. I thought I’m gonna walk out with this. Without paying like.”
“Yeah. But then I saw the man with sweets and I thought YES! I want some sweets! So I got some and thought well I’ll pay for the sweets but then walk out with the paper under my arm… You know, as if I’d already paid for it…? But then I thought Don’t.be.so.childish. Do you know what I mean??? So I paid for the paper too.”
“Do you want a sweet? There’s jelly beans and all sorts…”
“Nah, I’m fine thanks…”
“Ahhhh. Fuck!! Dropped em! [….] I’m just gonna eat them anyway. Well these ones. Not that one. Look. It’s rolled in some squishy stuff. Yuk. Look at it.. I’ll eat these though. I love jelly beans.”
“Yeah, me too…”
“Funny. Jelly beans still taste good, but other sweets from when I was a kid. They just don’t taste so good now. They put other stuff in them I think. Not nice. When I was a kid, I’d eat some sweets then do twenty laps of the room. Like round and round and round! My mum used to say ‘You ain’t having any more sweets!’ Sent me hyper they did. But I like to get sweets now and again. And like scoff em all.”
“Ha! Me too…!”
“Yeah! Maybe I need that energy rush.. Every now and again. I dunno…”
“Maybe.. Nice to meet you, I’m getting off now…”
“Well a happy Christmas to you missus!! And don’t eat too much chocolate!”
I met up with Doreen this morning on the bus to work this morning. Doreen worked for social services for 20 years as an escort and took LB to school for about 2 years five or six years ago. We loved Doreen. She was sitting with Sam who was on his way to work in the café at Oxford Brookes. It turns out Sam used to go to LB’s school so we did a lot of catching up with different kids from the past.
D: Oh yes, we used to pick up Ben T at Radley Way and then go on to Rose Hill for Sarah H, she was a funny one and then back to Barton for Tom L. Then there was James C…
S: James C? Awww… you’re kidding me! I know James C from Anjali Dance Group.
D: Yeah, James C and then Donna T, do you remember? She was at Saxon House for a while.
S: Donna T? Yes. Oh you’re kidding me! [hehehe]
D: And then there was Terry W…
S: Terry W? You’re kidding me! Oh you’re kidding me right! I know Terry W from Mencap.
D: Terry W yes. I saw him recently in town. He came over and gave me a great big bear hug, as he does. But the person he was with told him off for talking to strangers. He said to her ‘That ain’t no stranger. That’s Doreen’. I don’t know. I see ‘em now and they’re all so grown up, but I still got photos of a lot of a lot of ‘em. Anyway, I’m getting off here. Nice to see you both.
S: Do you know Joan M?
Me: Yep, I know Joan M. Do you know Danny F?
S: Danny F? You’re kidding me! I know Danny from Mencap. Mencap. Terry W. was in town. Why did the carer do that? They were wrong. Terry knew the lady sitting here. He knew her and they were wrong to say ‘don’t talk to strangers’. She wasn’t a stranger. Fucking outrageous. They were wrong. Do you know Daisy?
“OK LB. I’m going to make some puttanesca sauce. You like that, don’t you? Very posh n’ Nigella.”
“Who looks after buses Mum?”
“And London buses Mum?”
“Yep, mechanics look after London buses.”
“Because they have to stay roadworthy. Keep the passengers safe.”
“Now I need to find some olives…”
“Who looks after lorries Mum?”
“Mum? Who looks after coaches Mum?”
“Mechanics… Crap the olives have gone mouldy…”
“Who looks after settattas Mum?”
“Settattas Mum. Who looks after settattas?”
“I can’t understand you LB. Say it clearly.”
“SET. TAT. TAS.”
“I don’t understand. Say it clearly. Mouldy.bloody.olives.”
“Yes Mum. Who looks after settictanks?”
“I wish I was a Londoner Mum.”
So the dreaded visit from LB’s Care Manager passed off painlessly today.
LB sat very patiently while she gave information, apologised for using jargon and went through his support plan. Then she got to the big question:
“What three things are most important to you in your life?” [these can relate to any aspect of your life – aspirations, outcomes you wish to achieve or things you are keen to maintain or be able to do again.]
“LB what things are important to you? …”
“What is important to you? It can be anything at all… Have a think…Is it your mum and dad? Or your family?”
“Can you think of one thing to start off with?”
“Ah. That’s good. Can you think of anything else that’s important to you?”
“Brilliant. One more thing…”
Wow. I am reeling. Seriously in shock.
We’ve seen LB onto his school bus (which is now a car) for years and years and years. I’ve lost any inhibitions about being seen in public (and we live on a very public street) in pyjamas, daggy dressing gowns, frightwig hairhead as I’ve waved him off. And he’s never once waved back.
This morning I was desperate to go to the loo but couldn’t. Because I was waiting for the bus. The bus that isn’t a bus at all anymore. It’s now a car. The car that takes LB to school each morning. I can’t nip off to the loo because there is a risk that LB will open the front door if the bus arrives. The escort at the mo’ is a little person and I’m worried that our dog, who is totally intolerant of difference (I know.. the irony, eh?) may run out and nip her. So I wait. Continue reading