I’ve always had a problem with buses. Mythogeography tells me to get on a random bus, and see where it takes me for a set number of stops. But I’m able to end up here there and everywhere, even when I’m just trying to get home. There are two bus routes near my home – the D, which is more direct and stops just outside, and the H, which wends and stops a little way down the hill. I had a couple of bags of heavy shopping and was waiting in town for the D. Except that I was paying more attention to the BBC Olympics text feed, and thought I might as well get on the H when it arrived first, and forgot that every other H terminates at the hospital.
Two bags of heavy shopping and 1.5 miles to walk, a new Olympic sport. I had had years of training, not to mention my secret marginal gain – learning to relax when hanging from my fingertips from the rowing club spiral stairs 24 years ago, now channelled towards keeping my fingers from cramping and the bags from battering my legs. The rain had moved off, so I had perfect cool and relatively dry conditions as I pushed for home. The cheering crowds had sensibly stayed inside with their Sunday lunch, but I was spurred on by the red, white and blue lining the route – the bunting on the Flying Horse, and one or two flags on poles or draped out of windows. I had a minor wobbly on the lower reaches of Woodwater Lane, and needed a quick pit-stop and meta-carpal flex in the shelter of the bus-stop. Then as I neared the finishing line, and a restorative cup of tea, I developed a blister on my ankle, but I didn’t allow this injury to deflect me from achieving what must have been a searing personal best, had I only timed it. Someone tell the Post Office that the post box on Woodwater Lane needs a good lick of gold paint.