Monthly Archives: February 2010

A sorry tale

I’m reproducing here the most recent posting from Leon Daniels blog. I could have commented on it and made a link to it but I hope that by republishing it in full on another website may spread its content wider and louder by getting more search engine listings. I’m doing this without permission from Leon because I’ve tried to contact him without success – I’ve not got any of the accounts required to make a comment on his blog and there is no direct e-mail address published. If anyone who knows him could tell him what I’ve done I’d appreciate it. If he’s not happy having his content published here it will immediately be removed.

I’ve just done a search on using the term “Amy Wootten”+bus which reported 1,650 results! Well here’s another mention for AMY WOOTTEN and her BUS trip.

I too was once saved by technology, in my case a tachograph chart, which showed that the claimant was lying through their teeth! I wrote about it here in February 2007.


A customer issue this week


Now then, you’ll know that there is quite a lot of stuff I can’t always write about because it is politically or commercially sensitive but if you’ve been following a story in Bristol this week you’ll have seen the public side of something which has been going on and which I am going to make some comment about even though the case is not closed.

Earlier this week a young lady complained she had been ejected from a bus in Bristol for breastfeeding. According to her there was a complaint from another passenger, the driver threatened to call the police, and she was left humiliated by the roadside, in the rain, and forced to take a taxi, at some cost.

We swung into action with an apology, vouchers, flowers and of course there was the inevitable stuff with the press. The story went national and was all over the internet, in mothers’ rights columns as well as the daily newspapers.

Of course – we entirely respect the rights of mothers to breastfeed, apologised profusely but the whole thing was reputationally damaging.

In due course, having sat through hours of CCTV we conclude this report is complete fiction. A young lady resembling the complainant does board the bus at the time and place she says but actually breastfeeds completely without hindrance, and far from being thrown off the bus, alights of her own free will at the terminus. The CCTV entirely corroborates the driver’s version of events.

Of course we remain open to the possibilitity that she has the time and date wrong, although it is something of a co-incidence that a young lady of similar age and appearance was breastfeeding on the very bus her original complaint referred to. Although invited to view the CCTV footage, she prefers not to.

And why am I telling you this? Well firstly because it is fair to say that there was a natural assumption by many that the lady was being truthful and the driver was in the wrong. I sincerely regret that he was put in such a position. And secondly because whilst the media was quick to highlight the story, so far only the Bristol Evening Post has had the courage to run a new page 1 and page 2 story setting out the facts as they are now appear to be.

For everyone else in the UK we will be remembered as the miserable, narrow-minded bus company which ejected an innocent mother in winter.

But fortunately the internet spreads very quickly around the world. Even this blog can be read by ordinary people, encouraged and asssted by the power of search engines. So for this reason, and to set the record straight, I have no hesitation in referring to Amy Wootten of Stockwood, Bristol, England who, it appears, was never forced off a bus in the way described in her complaint to the media and to apologise to Rob Stone, our driver, for the brief period this week when in the Court of Public Opinion it was taken for granted that he had acted improperly.

This is a matter which is not yet concluded. Further representations and evidence may yet come to light. However this information is correct to the best of my knowledge at this time (Saturday night) and I publish it now to place it in the public domain whilst the issue remains topical in the minds of the public at large.

Can you solve this?

I’ve received the following from a couple of sources.

A quick brain tickler to start your day.

Please look at the maths below:

They say only people with an IQ of 120 & over are able to figure this out.

        2 + 3  = 10
        7 + 2  = 63
        6 + 5  = 66
        8 + 4  = 96

   9 + 7 = ???

The number you find is the password to open this page where you can see who’s solved it so far. Drop me an e-mail with your details and I’ll add you to the list.

What would you do do ….

….. if someone came to your bus and spat in your face?

News stories aren’t always what they at first appear. For the moment, let’s just accept this one at face value and think about how we’d react. When provoked I’m someone who uses words to ‘fight back’ rather than physical violence. But something as base as being spat at in the face could possibly have the potential to spark something else in me. Thinking about my reactions to things I think I’m calmer when I know that there will be other ways of dealing with the situation at a later date e.g. if I knew who the spitter was and could therefore go to the police with a name I’d be calmer. But if someone came at me out of the blue and did this I may just have flipped as well. And you?

Mugabe’s next mad idea


Having run out of farms to seize and redistribute Mugabe has come up with a new idea – redistribute white owned businesses! “Thousands of firms, including the Zimbabwean operations of giants such as Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and the mining company Rio Tinto, will be affected, and they must submit their plans to comply by March 1.” says the Telegraph.

At least 51% of every white owned company must be handed over to black Zimbabweans. Daniel Ndlela, Zimbabwe’s most eminent regional economist said: “There will be no foreign investment into Zimbabwe. Why would anyone come into Zimbabwe with $100 and be left with $49? It sends a very wrong message and those who might have invested in Zimbabwe will now never come.”

Neanderthal man is alive and well and living in Winchester

I can vouch for the survival of this Neanderthal man, I had an encounter with him this morning!


He was driving his small car, accompanied by Mrs Flintstone, in a very narrow road which is obstructed by lots of cars (Thurmond Cres. Winchester for those who know it). As I went round the curve of the Crescent passing parked cars he appeared directly in front of me having driven straight past a gap into which he could have pulled over and we’d then be able to pass one another. I stopped. He stopped. I looked at him. He looked at me. Then he signed that he expected me to reverse the bus round the curve of the Crescent, probably 10 or 12 car lengths with only a couple of inches clearance, so that he could avoid reversing the length of one car into the gap which he’d decided not to pull in to! I think not! He waved his arms, his mouth was moving a lot but I couldn’t hear the words. Mrs Flintstone was also demonstrably agitated but more with him than me I think by her body language. Anyway, no problem for me I’m paid by the hour, not the mile or journey, so I was being paid to sit and wait. After some minutes Neanderthal man decided that he had enough, he got out of the car and walked off. Mrs Flintstone said some choice words to him and he shouted something back at her. By now my passengers were actually enjoying it, this was real street theatre. I just sat calmly wondering what would happen next. Almost to everyone’s disappointment Neanderthal man returned to his car and backed it so that we could pass.

Three today

Today is the 3rd birthday of this blog and this is posting number 390. It’s about bus jumping.

I’m surprised at how rigid the roof of a bus appears to be. Unlike cars, bus bodies contribute nothing to the rigidity of the vehicle and are simply aluminium sheets and fibreglass panels appended to a rigid chasis. I’d expected to see the roof dented where the kid jumped onto it.