Monthly Archives: September 2007

Bloodbus

Does anyone know why the bloodbus blog has disappeared?

Not a very good day

Today was 193 duty again and as usual everyone conspired to make it
miserable for me. Why do passengers with the least mobility always want to
sit on the back seat of the bus? They board and then slowly shuffle their way
back, holding onto seat backs and poles so as not to fall, passing nice comfy
empty seats at the front of the bus. When they want to get off they ring the
bell, I stop, and then they start the long slow journey from the back of the bus
in order to get off.

Then there was the cyclist who screamed and shouted at me because I
nearly knocked him off his bike as he overtook me when I was turning right.
The right turn I was making is a tight turn so the bus has to be as far as
possible over to the left hand side of the road in order to turn right. I was in
this position with my right hand indicator flashing to indicate I was doing a right
turn. The bike came from behind and then tried to pass me as the bus turned
right. I opened my window and listened to the abuse before asking “Didn’t you
see my right hand indicator working?” “I thought you were stopping” was his reply. “In that case I’d have had my left hand indicator on!”

The Winchester Park and Ride service (which I was driving) allows up to 7
people to travel free on the bus if a parking ticket has been purchased. Today
19 people from a minibus thought they’d all get a free ride into town having
paid £2.70 to park! I told them that I should really charge 12 people
£1.75 each return, total cost £21.00 But if they were to buy 2
more £2.70 parking tickets I could take them all free :-)

Horrendous traffic delay

Yesterday I had my worst ever journey from london to Winchester. Departure time from London was 17:00 with arrival in Winchester scheduled as 18:45 The time allowed is not generous but I usually make it before 19:00 At 18:30 I rang the depot in Winchester to speak to the driver who would be bringing the shuttle bus (to take the Southampton and Portsmouth passengers while the original bus continues on to Bournemouth) to the car park which is both the Winchester stop and our meeting point. “No need to go round to the car prk yet” I told him. “Where are you?” he asked. Let me put it like this I said “I can see the Hammersmith flyover but haven’t yet got there” I’m not sure how far Hammersmith is from Victoria but I’d guess at 4 miles and I’d been on the road for an hour and a half. I later found out that the problem was due to a broken down lorry near Junction 1 on the M4 which eventually built up a solid queue of traffic back as far as Hyde Park Corner. I got into Winchester one and a half hours late.

News from Zimbabwe

Below I reproduce an extract from an article in the Mail on Sunday of 23 September, the full article is here. I think it is important that as many people as possible know of the tragedy which is Zimbabwe. As soon as we were back from Italy we phoned Zimbabwe to let my wife’s family know we were safely home. They too had good news, they’d been able to buy 2lbs of meat! They had to queue a long time for it but it was the first meat they’d been able to get in weeks.

“The British High Commission in Harare is currently updating its register of British citizens in Zimbabwe. My guess is it’s because they know they might have to orchestrate a mass evacuation of UK nationals.”

“I won’t be going with them. I am a fourth generation white African. I belong to Zimbabwe, it’s my home and I’m still in love with what it once was. It was always a special place, a backwater, a mixture of England in the Fifties and tropical Africa.”

“But let me tell you about it now, about the country it has become, little pockets of paradise and hell in between.”

“These days I hate getting into lifts or standing too close to someone in a food queue. You can smell their foul breath and see their mouth ulcers and you know they are the one in four who has Aids. It’s like walking among the living dead.”

“The cemeteries stretch for miles. There are no official statistics but Aids takes a lot and malnutrition takes the rest. Government-run hospitals don’t have so much as an aspirin. If you have an accident they ask you to bring your own bandages and whatever drugs you have at home.”

“My house gets water once a week and my routine is interrupted by around three power cuts a day. I went to my supermarket on Friday morning and all it had was grapefruit segments, American hot dogs and boiled sweets. There was no bread or milk, no meat, no cooking oil, salt or sugar. Nothing you actually need to live. “

US megabus film

This YouTube clip is about as uninteresting as the inside of a door knob …… until you get about 75% of the way through it. It then shows some of the features of a US megabus including video screens and, very surprisingly, the seats appear to be able to be turned around! Maybe it’s a feature of the seats the guy appeared to be sitting in (front pair) and is not for the use shown? Something to do with wheelchair access? Anyway, with the flick of a lever the guy can swing the seat around.