Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Odd things in the world!

Well, the politicians seem to continue in disarray. Leaks suggest that Theresa May's government still does not have a plan for what to do to get us out of Europe with any kind of dignity. There's a surprise! Then Boris Johnson is causing some hilarity by suggesting that Italy should give us a really good trade deal so that they can continue to sell Prosecco in the UK. And Donald Trump's attempts to make appointments for his White House staff and general organisation appear to be leading to arguments all round and people being hounded out of office.

Somehow none of this reassures me that the world is in good hands.

In the meantime, I am getting back into my UK routine. Today is Wednesday. Therefore I got up and ran to the market in Uppermill, bought fish and fruit and bread, and caught the bus back as usual. It was just damp and dull when I set off. By the time the bus back reached the crossroads the promised rain was pouring down. When I asked the bus-driver what he had done to the weather he grumpily denied all responsibility. However, I raised a smile when I said I had to blame someone and he proposed blaming the bloke walking down the road in a wet raincoat! OK!

Later I went over to our daughter's house. By then the weather was improving. My bus there took a good deal longer than usual because we had a trainee driver who needed to be told where to go at every stage and occasionally needed help with certain odd tickets they have at our end of thenGreater Manchester area. So I passed the time with some people-watching.

At one stop a bunch of local schoolchildren got on and managed to travel for a good twenty minutes before realising they were going in the wrong direction. The bus-driver-trainer helpfully told them that they could get off, cross the road and hop onto the next bus going the other way. Unfortunately, hardly had he done that than the next bus in the opposite direction came along and proved to be one that only covered the first part of the route. So he managed to signal to the other driver to stop and chat through their driver windows, explained the situation and persuaded the other driver to reassure the kids that the next bus after his would take them to their destination. Customer service above and beyond the call of duty! Well done, that man!

Then there were the twins. Several sets of them. Yesterday I had seen a young woman with small twins on a bus. They looked very tiny but must have been about eighteen months old as they could stand and responded with some sense to what she said to them. It was very disconcerting to see her take one out of the double buggy and stand her in the corner while she got the other out, complaining that the child was being an idiot. In fact she used much stronger language. Then she bundled one under each arm and marched the length of the moving bus with them until she found seats. There they sat, poking each other and pulling each other's hair and being remonstrated with by the woman, who I think was their aunt. Most disconcerting were the names, one perfectly normal and the other truly odd: Rose and Ocean. Who calls a child Ocean? It was very strange to hear the young woman say, in ringing tones, "Rose, kiss Ocean better!"

Today I came across another set of identical twin girls, this time aged at least eleven, as they wore the local secondary school uniform. But they looked about eight! Diminutive young ladies, with long, neat plaits and serious faces behind serious glasses, and carrying identical rucksacks almost as big as they were.

After they got off the bus their seats were occupied by an ageing pair of identical twins, male this time. They were dressed alike in dark wind-cheater jackets and black caps, looking for all the world like a very respectable Tweedledum and Tweedledee!

How very strange! Too much double vision!

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