Today, I was given a mission – should I chose to accept it or not, I still had to undertake it. That mission: Help out my Nan (that’s ‘Grandmother‘ to those who are unsure)

My Nan has been in a bit of a pickle recently. Her prescription meds ran out on Saturday, and her chemist is always closed at the weekend. Then, we add to the mix her frozen drive way, and being unable to leave the house due to the snow.

Enter: Jamie – saviour of the… so… hmmm

I'll just leave Uchi here

I decided that, since I wasn’t due at work until 10, I’d travel down to my Nan’s house, pick up her prescription, have a cup of tea, and head back to work. Simple… sort of.

Firstly, she lives 4 miles away from me, ‘Not that far away,’ you might say. Oh, how wrong you are, I would retort.

I got on the bus at 8:30, my iPod in my pocket, playing some amazing tunes (last night, I downloaded ‘Jagged Little Pill‘ from iTunes; it’d been so long since I’d last heard that album). The first thing that went wrong was when the driver took a wrong turn, and ended up going in the completely wrong direction. This made me worry that I’d gotten on the wrong bus (something I’ve done several times before, and something I have a nightmare about doing in Japan, albeit with trains).

Before long, the driver decided he’d take a short cut that would land him back on the correct route. Yeah, that ended well.

His short cut was a tiny street; width wise, that is. Because of the amount of frozen over parked cars on this street, it should have been a one way street. It was barely wide enough to allow the bus to travel down the street without smashing into any of the cars.

At least, it would have been, had it been a one way street… and not covered in ice. In it’s current state, it should have been closed off.

With every stop of the bus (read: ‘Jerk of the brakes’) the bus began to slide to the left, then to the right. These brakes came very quickly. The only way to describe it is: a mixture of staccato brakes and being in a mosh pit.

You know how I said that it was barely wide enough for the bus to travel down without hitting any cars?

Yup, you got it. There were more than a few loud crunches.

As soon as the bus was back on the correct route, after about 30-40 minutes of ‘expert sliding’, the driver pulled over, and ordered everyone off the bus. We could get on the next bus for free, as soon as it appeared, we were told.

I took a look around. I was standing at a bus stop that should have taken 5 minutes to get to, maximum. But due to the wrong turn and the exhibitions of high class bus driving, it had taken us nearly an hour to get this far.

After 20 or so minutes, another bus approached. A total of 3 people were able to board, before it was at it’s legal maximum capacity. Leaving the rest of the ‘survivors’ (including me) to wait around for the next bus.

Another 20 minutes, and another bus arrives. We all got on this one and huddle round, on the back seat, tell others of our daring escape, and our new found lease on life… Kinda

The remainder of the bus journey passed without incident. Slowly, but without incident. I managed to get to the chemist, and even managed to get the meds (Morphine patches? Yummy) to my Nan without further incident.

Getting back to work, on the other had.

I looked at my watch, it was 11 am. A journey that should have taken less than 40 minutes had taken the better part of my morning. Now, I had to make the return trip, too.

Another half an hour passed before the returning bus appeared. It was 12:30 before I got back to work.

Thankfully, my boss is pretty cool, and completely understood what had happened.

This whole journey gave me ample time to listen ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and reminisce. As my friend Nick said on Sunday (while Penny Lane was playing on the radio), “I’m getting chills. This is my childhood. I was there when this happened.” Jagged Little Pill is one of the few ‘Soundtracks to my childhood’ (something I may write an article about, one day)

Jagged Little Pill

Image via Wikipedia

Head Over Feet being the song that went through my head when I met my first girlfriend. I miss Amy everyday, though I doubt she remembers me.

You Oughta Know being one of the many songs in the background of my parent’s divorce.

Hand In Pocket being my theme song for my first primary school (Elementary School, for my American friends). It would go through my head on the short walk to and from school every day.

Right Through You being the song I used to sing in the bath (because I thought it was about a mirror, for some reason. I was very young when this album was released)

Mary Jane – or at least the final few lines (‘What’s the Matter Mary Jane? Tell Me, Please be honest Mary Jane, Tell me) was how I would greet my one of my school friends every morning.

Not The Doctor being the song I would think of when I was playing with my Ghostbusters figures with my younger brother.

Ironic reminds me of going to work with my Mum, for some reason.

She worked at a nursing home when I was younger. I went with her more than a few times, it was great way to spend a evening. Helping the old boys and girls get around the building, and getting to hear lots of stories about the war and such. The line ‘A No Smoking sign, on your cigarette break’ reminds me of the staff room, which actually had 10,000 spoons (well, nearly that many. Although, I never counted them). And a lady that Mum worked with would give me a chocolate a raisin ‘Club’ bar (one of these) every time she went on a lunch break. I’m convinced that I got to dance with her at Mum’s wedding, too.

Wow! So many memories. Considering the shakey childhood that I had, I’m quite amazed that most of them are happy ones – or at least of a happy time.

Until next time, bye


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Jamie is a .NET developer specialising in ASP.NET MVC websites and services, with a background in WinForms and Games Development. When not programming using .NET, he is either learning about .NET Core (and usually building something cross platform with it), speaking Japanese to anyone who'll listen, learning about languages, writing for this blog, or writing for a blog about Retro Gaming (which he runs with his brother)