Friday, 9 September 2011


The other day I took a bus into the Bay. It was the first bus I'd been on since we bought the car so, maybe it has been at least ten years since we were without transport.  Even then we would eschew public transport, preferring to walk to the end of the road and then down the Downs along the seafront and into town that way. Of course we were both ten years younger then and the short mile was nothing to us [although laden with shopping we would always taxi back up the hill]

Now the car is gone; not too lamented when we count the money saved and bask in eco. glory of a little less pollution,but  there are times when we have to go to town and this was one of them. I couldn't ask NOAOson, who takes us to our weekly big shop out of town as his plate was overflowing at the time and I needed to browse the Charity shops-not a necessary journey but I needed my fix.

So there I was, waiting for the  10-10 bus. It was late and I was reassured to see there was another elderly woman waiting with me.
A small single decker arrived and I followed the woman inside, flashing my bus pass at the driver. He tutted, took the card and shoved it upside down over the thingummy plate and I moved inside and wedged myself in the only free seat on the sideways bench next to a very fat, beautifully made up lady of an age between 18 and 80.

The air was redolent of talcum powder, Ralgex, Lavender water, Christmas gifts of Givenchy Gentleman, my own [thankfully liberally applied ] Mitsouko, and a faint but definite whiff of Eau de Urine.

From my sideways bench I could see down the bus and every seat was occupied by a Senior Citizen with heads bearing every shade of hair from snow white to iron grey, with some bluish and pinky horrors to season the pot. But the most surprising thing-used as I was to the silence of a London bus, where the journey is a trial to be undertaken with as much speed and anonymity as possible lest one is made visible to the drunk, noisy and potentially violent-here there was a raucous cacophony of sound composed of conversations carried across the aisle, much laughter, and in one instance, singing by two couples along the back seat.

Snatches of speech:

'She didn't!'
'She bloody did.'

'I said to 'im, if you want it you can lug it upstairs.'
'My, Jim had one of them.'
'Was it worth it?'
'Nah! Could have done it meself.'  The mind boggles.

'My boy's coming down this weekend.'
'That's nice.'
'He's got a Bentley.'
'If I 'ad a Bentley I'd sell it.'
'Well he's got two.'

'Donald wanted a chop but at those prices I said it's mince or nothing.'

I  alighted  at the top of the High Street, thanking the surly driver who grunted and swished the door shut before I'd hit the pavement.

Now I'm trying to decide on a collective noun for a clutch of OAP's-and as it includes myself it has to be a good one, flatteringly descriptive of our Joi de vivre.

How about: A Survival of Seniors:


  1. 'a very fat, beautifully made up lady of an age between 18 and 80' is possibly my all time favorite line!

    I love a mooche around charity shops too. I may be inspire to do a post on the 'treasures' I've gathered.

  2. Reminds me of the song "The Wheels of the Bus" - the people on the bus go chat chat chat .... beautiful tale, Moannie!

    Needing to browse the charity shops ..... whatever power is responsible for urges of this kind? I needed to bake an apple tart this morning. Apparently, I needed a bit more stress than I'd have gotten otherwise.

  3. Yours is good, for sure. I might also think of a "Silver Of Seniors".

  4. A great place to people watch.

  5. I would love to have been on that ride along with you. People are fun to watch. My daughter and her hubby went to San Antonio for their aniversary this weekend, and they sat and watched people and made stories up about them for entertainment.

  6. This made me chortle..(don't you just love that word!)?

    This brings to mind the names you would make up about people on the beach in Cannes, one that springs to mind was 'homme erectus' or similar!!

    I challenge to recall and write post....

    luv ya 'alice' xx

  7. secong go. typical oap comment attempt! Brilliant post! I know a deaf old chap who discussed with his friend the non effect of his viagra so loud the whole pub listened in!

  8. a grin of greyhairs (if they were of the pink or blue ilk they'd be a shock of seniors)

  9. I don't know what I'd do without my bus pass as I have to go into town & back every day. We have at least 5 busses I can choose from and they are very frequent. I used to walk the 2 miles with no problems. Not now though.
    There is much blogging material to be picked up on a bus. Keep your ears pinned back & always have a pencil & pad at the ready.
    Thats my motto.
    I'm sure you'll get to enjoy it!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  10. Thank you for your words of encouragement on my blog....and that is why I adore you!!!

  11. oo i like silver of seniors...i love ridingthe bus...and talking to is def eye opening..smiles.

  12. I love overhearing conversations like those. I find them very comforting.

  13. A great name/description Moannie...and I bet you were the most glamourous one on the bus.

  14. Another fine post and some great ideas here. How about an eloquence of elders?

  15. Your "soundbites" are absolute poetry. TS Eliot did the same in his "Four Quartets", and honest, yours are better! keep doing this!

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