My first venture out on the village bus for 3 months……..

I woke up last Friday and went, for what’s turned out to be, my early morning trundle to feed the ducks…I was wondering what to do with my day when suddenly an empty village bus passed me by, the driver waving a lonely looking wave……

It then occurred to me that if I’m going to take the plunge and go on the village bus, it would be best to do it while they were quiet. In a couple of weeks, as more places open, it might start to get busier and be more stressful. At least now, the driver would hopefully have patience to tell me what to do or what not to do….it might be less complicated.

So the feeding of the ducks over

…..and still a couple of hours before the next bus. I meandered up the church walk towards the village church. The Rev had stopped me on his bike the other day and told me how at 9am the sunlight shines through the East window and casts  lovely colourful rays on one of the walls. He was more than happy for me to take photos, not being a churchy person, but I do love beauty and our church is small and beautiful.

He was right.The door lay open and as soon as I walked inside it was immediately cool and silent…The sunlight was streaming in through the stained glass window and the rays of colour were falling on the opposite wall…..beautiful…the magic doesn’t really show up on the photo…

Pleased that I’d remembered the extra call after the ducks I made my way home for a cuppa and to prepare for my village bus trundle. I looked on the web site for the times. They apparently were exactly the same as before but I didn’t have a scooby do what time that was…I took a piccie of the timetable so I’d have it for coming back. I decided to take my camera as taking piccies would help calm me down if things got stressful…

Armed with my Facemask I went out 10 minutes early and waited alone at the bus stop….felt very strange as there used to be several of us, but not today, and for once I was quite thankful. I needed the bus driver to myself.

It turned up on time and as expected, I was alone….the driver had a Facemask on so neither of us could hear what the other said..but his eyes were smiling so I guess I was ok. The front seats were all taped off so I took the first window seat. I couldn’t see any other rules but then a small sign on the window caught my eye and I took a piccie to read later as it was too small to see from my seat…

The last stop out of the village arrived and surprisingly another regular was waiting to venture on. We knew one another but because of the distance between us and the face masks, we couldn’t hear one another so we sat in silence and trundled our way into town. It was a joy to see the Westwood again, still not being allowed to venture out of the village on foot means it’s out of my reach

And the town cows, obligingly stopped the traffic to cross the road

All was good. I got off a stop early knowing it would be quieter and saw images I’d not seen in a long time. The library, still closed, with pots of flowers delighting passers by…A single thrush looking for food in the daises

It wasn’t as bad as I thought..until I turned a corner and saw a busy packed high street, the market place full of cars…no one wearing a mask…

I had nearly 2 hours to wait for my bus back…and suddenly this didn’t seem like one of my best ideas..

Whichever way I looked there was either queues or simply crowds of people milling around. 2 metre distancing didn’t seem to exist and I felt like a freak in my mask. I suddenly started to question myself, whether I’d remembered the rules right, but if I didn’t keep it on I’d forget it when I needed it for the bus again….

I saw one of my favourite clothes shops close by was open, and because it was small, I could also see it was empty. I could escape into there while I had a think. I’m glad I did as someone met me at the door, explained the rules and smiled….I even bought 2 things, just to feel normal again…

Opposite was Marks and Spencer, they’d been good last time I went with Gemma, so I ventured round to their current entrance at the back but was greeted by a very long queue. But at least they were keeping to the rules, so I joined the queue thinking I’d be as safe there as anywhere…but still few people wearing masks…..

That experience was as pleasant as last time. All the staff smiley, only a few shoppers allowed in. So I managed to buy everything that wasn’t on my list 😂….hardly anyone wearing masks inside…😳

Coming out of there I still had an hour until my bus, but no other shops I trusted. My head was starting to bang with the shear concentration of trying to avoid others who were just going about life as though Covid had vanished….

Many shops still hadn’t opened, many ‘To let’ signs up where shope once were, a sad result of Covid. A huge closing down sign attracted my attention. It was ‘Laura Ashley’ home store…just one person was waiting outside, so I joined that queue, simply wanting to be away from the crowds. One woman joined after me and was giving the shop assistant a hard time for not letting more people in…why would you be like that?

After that I carried on walking and found an empty bench and just sat, sat watching the world continue as though the last 3 months had never existed. It made me think, was I wrong, had I remembered the rules wrong? As someone else tried to join me on the bench, I felt uncomfortably close to them so got up and made my way to the safety of our little bus station. I’d just arrive early and wait….

As I thought, it was nice and quiet with lots of empty benches. I sat on one by my stop and was soon joined by the fellow villager who’d also decided to arrive early. We lifted our masks and from separate benches we were finally able to speak to one another and hear the replies. Turns out she was as shocked as I was. It was also her first time on the village bus, just to try it and see what it was like.

We chatted happily for half an hour, about the last 3 months and how nice it was to finally choose our own shopping instead of relying on others but how lovely it would be to get back to the peace and safety of the village. We were joined by one other passenger, a young girl, who I vaguely recognised, but couldn’t see her properly behind her mask…

Further round the town, 2 other women got on. They had lots of shopping and were only going a couple of stops. They broke all the rules and me and my travel companions were very uncomfortable and thankful when they departed…

As the villager got off at her stop, I remembered the name of her house was Woodbine cottage, which always reminded me of my dad as he puffed on Woodbines for many a year…

The young girl got off at the same stop at me, immediately took off her mask, smiled and said, “it’s me Wendy’…..the young girl who delivers my meals from the pub on the odd occasion I have them 🤗…the mask covers so little yet hides so much..…

Grateful to get back home, sat writing this with my cuppa tea and all was right in the world again as once, a while later, more I set off for a trundle round my peaceful village…..

 

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

24 thoughts on “My first venture out on the village bus for 3 months……..

  1. You are braver than me in venturing into the nearest town. I was due to meet a friend in a park yesterday but had to postpone as the weather was bad but that is as far as I have got with rejoining the world. I know what I am comfortable doing but, as you say, there are a lot of people out there who seem to think we are totally back to normal now, which makes me feel at risk. Anyway, I really take my hat off to you with your little expedition.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad that people think it’s all over and it is not. They are putting themselves and others at risk by simply not putting up with the minor inconveniences of wearing a mask. Well done Wendy on your first bus ride. Glad it all went well. Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just love your daily chats Wendy…please don’t stop. You’re so brave.
    I’m sure many of us would love to give you a big hug but will stick to doing it safely this way. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done Wendy for taking the bus rides. My husband took me to RHS Wisley Garden last week and that was such a thrill. Everyone was 2m distant, many like us were masked – and the flower beds were just fab. The David Austin roses smelled gorgeous. I also enjoy seeing the veg patch there so i can compare my plot with theirs. We took a picnic (no cafe) and stayed for a couple of hours. I felt so refreshed afterwards – and so brave too 🙂 !
    Val x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wendy, you have the happy knack of making a trip into town a riveting read. I was agog to know what happened next. I love to hear about your adventures & thank you for sharing with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Same here in the US . Numbers are rising again since bars and such are open again. I turn 65 next month… I only venture out to pick up groceries and always with a mask and my trusty hand sanitizer . Younger folk seem to think they are being imposed on by wearing a mask ! Hence, home is where I’d rather be. Good on you for being careful!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well done Wendy. You were very brave! My local town is Kendal and I drove in last week.(No bus from here!) I was pleased that everyone in town was obeying the rules including social distancing. I felt very comfortable I’m glad to say. But was surprised how scared I felt at first. Which perhaps is good, as it makes you more alert. Stay safe. Enjoy your peaceful village.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah I had my first bus ride last week with my friend. We wore masks , it was hot & it made me feel very stressed. Thankfully it was a 5 min bus ride 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you Wendy. My husband was diagnosed in January and I often feel confused. Not knowing quite what to expect. He seems so normal except for the ‘holes’ in his memory. You have helped me understand from a different perspective and it’s so very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello Wendy ,
    Another well written article commenting on the state of affairs acted out by those who abide by the rules and the shock and awe felt by such people when they recognise how many people just ignore them.
    I urge you to send a copy of this to the editor of the Yorkshire Post. If more people could read your comments, this may encourage people to make a bigger effort to maintain social distancing .
    I was invited to a friends garden on Saturday for a BBQ to celebrate her birthday. The invitation read “ would you like to come to a garden pre-birthday party on Saturday. There will be just 6 of us socially distancing, of course”. When we arrived with another couple they immediately hugged the hosts ( where I stood back about 2 metres) I then had to apologise for social distancing as the man lunged forward saying “ come on Viv give us a hug”. I said, “please don’t hug me I’m taking social distancing very seriously- please don’t take offence”. This set off the party on an awkward footing but my husband was on my side and repeated my comment. A further 7 people arrived all hugging one another and looking very strangely at me!! There were 11 people all together not 6! I am still annoyed. When we were leaving both hosts grabbed hold of me – the man to
    Kiss me but I quickly turned away so was subjected to a neck grab with his head buried into the back of my neck
    Making loud kissing sounds whilst the woman ran over put her hands around my waist from behind and rocked me back and forth. All this to the merriment of others. All through this I was asking them to stop! I’m still seething at the mockery of my social distancing but also at the callous ignorance of spreading of the virus should anyone in the room ( oh yes – we were indoors because of heavy rain) be a carrier. Some people are in denial and think it’s all over. I think differently as has been shown in Leicester this morning.
    So i think you should get your article printed for more people to read and realise how their behaviour affects those who are trying hard to keep safe.
    Regards,
    Vivienne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought only in America were we that thoughtless and irresponsible! Too bad how this turned out. We, too, feel safer at home. Here in South Florida the situation is getting worse so we stay home, get our groceries delivered, only go to pharmacy drive thru. I recently even had 2 Md visits via Telehealth. It’s a terrible situation and our President is so out of touch with the medical community that I’m afraid we have lost total control of it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Wendy,
    As much as I agree with your comments (and I have a mask!), my understanding is that face coverings are only compulsory on public transport. I too have been surprised at the lack of social distancing by some people. I was queuing along with others outside a bank the other day and a person came so close to me as she passed by that I put my umbrella forward so she wouldn’t get any closer! Needless to say, she seemed oblivious to her actions….

    Liked by 1 person

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