I don’t usually drive to central London, but we looked up the train prices and times and there’s work on the line scheduled so we’d be bused part of the way, adding considerably to the length of the journey, and the cost for three of us is appreciably more than fuel too, so we might as well drive.
I like travelling by train, but they don’t make it easy, nor to go by any public transport if you live out of a large town. I miss being able to turn up at a station, buy a ticket and get on a train – one has to plan ahead nowadays if the cost isn’t to be prohibitive. And I’m not even trying the bus. The Sage is quite enjoying his free bus pass, but he’s got more time to spare than I have and bus fares are expensive too. Ro discovered when he lived here and worked in Norwich that the cost of the petrol and the cost of the daily fare were then about the same. But then, for anyone of pensionable age, it’s completely free – I’ve talked to pensioners who say that they’d be quite happy to have a half-price fare or pay for a bus pass, but if the pass were means tested then they’d be much less likely to use the bus at all.
It’s a funny thing, by the way, that I’ve noticed that nearly all young people (young means under 45 or so, darlings, after that you’re youngish until you’re about my age when you become an old dear) who I know don’t drive are men – usually because they live in London or another large city and don’t have need of a car, which is fair enough of course, but they then have to rely on their wife when they want to go anywhere. I know one bloke who never got around to learning to drive, lives out in the sticks and – well, if I were his wife I’d not be best pleased about that. It’s quite a burden if you’ve got children – there are so many after-school and weekend activities. I’m certainly finding a lot of extra time taken up by ferrying the Sage around, not that I mind because actually it makes us spend more time together, which has to be a Good Thing. In addition, however, it’s that I have to do extra things that he used to if necessary, such as shopping and Meals on Wheels, and if I can’t do MoW I have to swap with someone else. And all that hoo hah at the hospital yesterday – I left here early as I said, Weeza had to get her after-school childminder to take Zerlina to school, it all took almost as long as if I’d gone by bus. And when I do have the op done, I won’t be able to drive back home at all, so either I’ll have to see if Dilly’s available or ask Weeza to bring me home – and then my car will be at her house or else she’ll need a lift back the next day … oh dear. Maybe I could stay with her overnight and hope to drive back the following day.
Should I stop worrying about it? Does this explain why I lie awake for hours every night? Why do I have a compulsion to think round every aspect of a problem and a possible solution in advance, just so I have mental resources spare to react effectively to things that do crop up and can’t have been foreseen?
I used to say to the Sage in the days when I wore glasses for driving and constantly mislaid them, he might find it a bit of a trial to be married to me, but just think what a trial is was to actually be me. Not that he complained. Unfailingly polite, the Sage.