Which side of me will win?

Three years today

I slept long and hard this morning, having been out late last night, finally emerging from beneath my little safe haven of duvet and pillows just before 1. I got dressed and headed out pretty much straight away. I walked to Lansdowne, running the last little bit as I’d timed it a little too finely, and got on a number 50 ‘Purbeck Breezer’ bus. I went upstairs and sat in the open-top section, enjoying the breeze along with some Black Sabbath.

During my bus journey I was able to use my elevated position to spy on people I know without them realising it. Yeah, I know exactly what both Jimbo and Katie got up to this afternoon. Jimbo was standing around near a bus stop in Gervis Place and talking to a bloke in a hat and a T-shirt. Then later on, Katie was walking through Westbourne with some friends. Don’t any of you go thinking your secrets are safe from me when I’m on the Purbeck Breezer.

I only mentioned this so that I can now tag those two when I post this on Facebook in the vain hope that they’ll read this blog  just to make sure I’m not slagging them off. Which I’m not, and I wouldn’t. They’re both lovely.

Gervis Place, by the way, has to be the worst bus interchange on the entire planet. While other towns have separate tarmaced areas with designated bays for lots of busses to stop in, Bournemouth has a short, narrow section of road right in the middle of town with a bazillion bus stops along it. It took about an hour to get from one end to the other this afternoon. Even Boscombe has a fucking bus station for fuck’s sake. It’s ridiculous. Just turn the Square into a bus station and be done with it, that’s what I say. It’s a waste of fucking space anyway. Who’d really miss those poxy continental markets, or tacky corporate promotional events? The irony is that one of the most frequently occuring promotional events is the one the bus company does, where they park a bus on the square and invite you to come and have a look at it. Thanks Yellow buses, but if I wanted to see a stationary bus I could walk all of about 50 yards over to Gervis Place and take in the sight of about 17 of the poor buggers, all completely unable to go anywhere.

Sorry, that read like a letter to the Daily Echo. I don’t know what came over me. Myself probably.

Um… yeah, so… the bus carried on through Bournemouth and into Poole. I spent some of my journey enjoying the view, and the rest of it enjoying the antics of a man sat a few seats in front of me. Even before his antics began, I’d been enjoying his bright purple and yellow Hawaiian shirt, but then when he started gesturing impatiently whenever the bus slowed down or stopped, I was transfixed. I’ve never known someone to be in such an aggressive hurry to get to absolutely nowhere, which is the only place the number 50 bus goes. He was getting so cross with people getting on and off, as if doing so was somehow totally unreasonable. To be honest, I think he might have been special.

On a related note, at one point during the journey, another number 50 bus came past in the other direction. There was a man with Down’s syndrome sitting at the front and he gave our bus one of the most enthusiastic waves I’ve ever seen as he rolled on by. It’s cruel to laugh at people with Down’s syndrome, so I don’t. But they don’t half make me smile sometimes.

I got off the bus at my stop – the Sandbanks Ferry Terminal, which is a very fancy name for a concrete slope – and popped into the shop, hoping to find something to eat for lunch. I got a flapjack, some crisps and some yogurt banana, which isn’t quite what I had had in mind. What kind of shop doesn’t sell sandwiches? Well, a shoe shop, for example. But you know what I mean.

I paid my fare and got on the ferry, which chugged its way across the mouth of Poole harbour. All it ever does, all it will ever do. On the way across, I spotted a little catering trailer in the middle of Shell Bay, which is where I was going anyway. Perhaps I could get lunch there. I did get lunch there, in the form of an extortionately priced, but reasonably tasty bacon bap.

I sat on a rock and ate all of my provisions bar the yogurt banana, which would have been a bit much on top of everything else, then I went for a walk up the beach and around the head towards Studland.

I thought about my dad. I thought about other things, but mainly about my dad because the point of going to Shell Bay today was to think about my dad. He’s been gone exactly three years now. Shell Bay was his favourite place, and his ashes were scattered in the water off the beach at high tide so that they would be drawn out to sea as the tide went out. I’ve been there on every anniversary of his death and every one of his birthdays since he died, and I haven’t had bad weather yet. Pretty good going considering his birthday is in January.

I do it because it feels right to do something he would enjoy doing and to see things he would enjoy seeing. I enjoy it too. I especially like it when Poole Harbour is full of sails, as it was today. I miss my dad.

I wandered back to the ferry, then got on the bus on the other side. It was packed, but I managed to get a seat in the open-top section. The weather had clouded over by this point though, and was getting a bit cold. Still quite a nice journey back though.

I stayed on the bus all the way to the travel interchange because last night I saw a sign at the nearby Texaco garage that had made me laugh, and I wanted to get a picture of it. Here it is…

It’s normally spelled with just one ‘f’, but I think it still counts. I’ll be sending it to Viz a bit later on.

I walked home from there, actually suffering from a bit of a stitch for the last few hundred yards. I was so pooped when I got home that I went straight bed and napped for a couple of hours. During which time I had a very detailed, very vivid dream…

I can’t remember exactly how it started, but I seem to remember it was like some kind of reality TV show where these two Z-list celebrities or members of the public (can’t remember which, and it’s essentially the same thing anyway) had to learn to be air stewards. But then that quickly morphed into me being on a plane that I think initially was involved in some sort of training exercise that was something to do with getting used to difficult flying conditions. It got a bit excessive though. At one point the plane was hit by severe winds while banking sharply and ended up pretty much upside down with its nose tipping towards the ground. I don’t remember feeling quite as scared as I probably should have been. Next thing I know though, the plane is coming into land in Amsterdam because the first day of the long-planned holiday in Amsterdam with friends has finally arrived (there is no such plan, but I really had to think about whether or not there was when I woke up). None of my friends were on the same flight as me though, and I was having trouble getting my phone to work, so I decided I’d get out of the airport and try phoning again later. The airport was pretty weird, with a lot of these strange pneumatic platforms and stairways, and seriously bizarre baggage carousels. I was getting really confused by the baggage carousel when I realised I had both my bags on me, so had put no baggage in the hold. So I just went. The wrong way, I think. I ended up in some back streets where I saw some police officers with guns and bullet proof vests. They were waiting for something or someone – the situation felt very tense. The more I tried to get away from the airport while avoiding the police, the more I realised I’d somehow wandered into the middle of a huge sting operation, whereby the Dutch police had cornered a major crime organisation. It started to escalate. I saw people getting shot, and began to fear for my own safety. I asked some Police to direct me to a safe way out, but following their directions just led me to more armed stand-offs. I eventually realised the only way to get out was to wake up, so I did.

I’d rather have dreamt about shagging a woman with six tits, but you can’t pick ‘em, can you?


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