It’s Been A Long Time

It has been a long time since I’d just scribbled some notes down of random observations. It used to be a regular thing when on my way to my Saturday morning writing group. It isn’t a Saturday, but a Wednesday, but I was on my way to a writing group.

On the way I was walking over the metal footbridge near Crawley railway station. I’m nearing the town side of the bridge, and I can see there is an older man starting to come up the stairs. On the metal frame of the bridge is a squirrel, which seeing the man coming up the steps has turned and scampered up the frame in my direction. Only to see me walking towards it and turn around and head back down. But the other man is still coming up so there is a split second of panic from the squirrel as there are humans approaching it from both directions. It decides to take the ‘fuck it’ option and jumps off the side of the bridge down onto the pile of rubbish and debris in the car park below. It would rather jump to a possible injury or death rather than pass a human. I saw it land without an issue and then rush across the open ground and up the nearest tree.

Despite having headphones in, I hadn’t got the music playing and so as I sat on the stools looking out the window of Maccy D’s I heard someone make a comment. “I’ve never seen so many bus stops all together, it’s mad innit?” The window looks out onto the bus station. I think it must be a child saying this, but I turn my head slightly and no, it’s a woman in her twenties talking to a similarly aged friend. How did they manage to get to that age and have never seen a working bus station before? Is it their first ever visit to a reasonably sized town? It beggars’ belief how sheltered some people must be in life.

Going into HMV is a regular occurrence for me, and it is up on the first floor. Getting up there on the escalator is fine, but the last two visits have seen issues with the down escalator, which isn’t currently working. It is a strange sensation having to walk down a non-moving escalator. It just feels awkward. The steps are deeper than the ones on a staircase usually are. There is also that little nagging voice in the back of my head saying that the escalator may start up again whilst I’m walking down it. and the exaggerated steps aren’t good for my knees. It seems a longer trek down than if the escalators had been working. (When I go past two days later neither escalator is working and it is causing some people problems, I saw two twenty something year old blokes trip and stumble up the first few steps as they tried to walk up the non-moving escalator.)

On Thursday it was another writing group, this one being the Horsham one. I do tend to hate the drive from the Hove office to Horsham for this. Mainly because the most direct route involves getting off the A27 at the long looping exit to the Shoreham roundabout and then up the A283 to cut the corner to the A24 at Washington. It’s a wide enough road, but it is twisty and busy. Most of it is national speed limit, but I don’t feel comfortable trying to do sixty around some of the twists and usually tootle along doing just over fifty. A bit slower also helps with the pothole avoidance. But others never seem satisfied with doing fifty, and a queue can build up behind me and there always seems to be a work van (of any colour, not just white) inches from my rear bumper. But I won’t be pressured into going faster, but something so close behind me does stress me out even more than driving usually does. And the last few journeys have been done at night, which have meant that there is the additional hazard of approaching cars with new LED headlights searing the inside of my corneas out. I hadn’t made the trip for a couple of months. I missed the March meeting, and in February I was on automatic pilot, and I was passing Hickstead on the A23 on my usual route to home when I remembered I was supposed to be at writing and then cut across at the A272 through Cowfold (how does one fold a cow again?) But last night’s trip was better than usual. It was daylight (so no bright headlights, but I still hate the route in the light), and there was someone at least half a dozen vehicles in front of me who was keeping to fifty and under all the way along, so it was a comfortable journey, and as I wasn’t at the front of the queue, none of the three different vans that were behind me on that stretch felt the need to drive along in my boot.