Poor little car is in her death throes. I am very sad and guilty but it is so.
Therefore I have been using buses. I can get them at the two villages to which she can still take me. Due to jury service, two days running I went to Ayr on the local bus. In theory it takes just ten more minutes to go that way than I do to drive – however, one needs to park one’s car and get to the stop and allow time for a slightly early arrival of the bus, so in fact it takes more like twenty minutes extra, thereby adding more than a third to the journey time. But there are consolations. The girl behind me was explaining to her companion how she was paying for her wedding in stages. ‘The boy’s outfits’ were being paid in advance this month. The registrar next. She had budgeted for fresh flowers and decorations at the community hall, and was doing them herself. Her friend, after some persuasion, agreed to come and help her. It all sounded so lovely and friendly – it was a joy to hear.
And I had a high clear view over the countryside and could take my time to look. It was rather less good when I lost my ticket, and had to pay for a single, and waiting for a bus in a freezing bus station was charm-free too. I had not had an adequate lunch and on the return journey the first day felt very very sick. The next set of journeys were fine – I had had a good lunch at a friend’s house, I was very tired and I was glad just to sit.
The journey to Edinburgh and back by bus was not nearly so good. It suffered, of course, by comparison with the train . I had decided to catch the direct bus from the village believing it would be cheaper than getting a bus and then a train and then a bus. I was wrong. The bus from Mauchline to Glasgow was dearer than the bus from Galston followed by the train. The bus came significantly early, and I had to sprint hard, despite having arrived with five mins. to spare. However, the journey there went well, except for being forbidden to take my coffee on the bus. The journey back was less good. I hadn’t seen anywhere to buy street food near the bus station in Edinburgh except McDonalds which was not what I wanted. There was nothing to buy in the bus station except over priced chocolate bars, which blew a hole through my Lenten resolutions, but I could not risk actually throwing up on the bus. This shuttle bus IS cheaper than the train, and slower. There was no express bus back to Mauchline, so I had to get the regular bus which is very slow. And wait for the bus to Mauchline. There was nowhere in or near the bus station selling food of any kind. It was now 8pm. I had had one chocolate bar since twelve noon. It took four hours from Edinburgh to home.
Oh dear, I am less sorry than I had expected to be to be test driving nearly new cars. God send the next car a long and happy life.