BEING an eco-warrior, which is really nothing more than a guise for having no driving licence, public transport has become a necessity to me. Especially considering the fact my better half resides in the metropolis of Glasgow.
It means I’m a frequent passenger on buses and trains. The infamous X95 route between Edinburgh and Carlisle is my domain. My friends often ask me: “Why don’t you learn to drive?” or say things like “isn’t it about time you were driving?” Which does sometimes make me feel a little inadequate, although I do understand not driving at my particular age, probably places me in the minority category.
I do consider their concerns, but ultimately I’ve realised they are just looking out for me, as friends should. The thing is, we are all grown-ups now, many of my friends are married or have children, but more importantly they have all gone through the “I’ve just purchased my first car and I’m Nigel Mansell phase.” You know that phase, right? Cheap car with an audacious spoiler, furry dice hanging from the rear-view mirror and an exhaust so loud the Australians are complaining about noise pollution.
I suppose my friends are just worried that I’ve not gone through this phase yet. Perhaps they think it’s going to hit me in my mid-thirties. In my imagination it’s quite a picture, me speeding along the High Street, my pimped-up car’s sound system blasting out techno music.
Fortunately I don’t see me ever being like this. It’s just not in my nature, and I’d never be found sitting in the Haugh car park with my tinted windows rolled down, speaking to some kid on a moped about the twin-cam-turbo-diesel-shopping trolley, which I’d read about in some piston head-type magazine. And I’m just not a fan of techno!
Driving just isn’t high on my agenda at the moment, and I think I will be steering well clear of insurance quotes, MoTs and no-claims bonuses, at least for a little while yet.
Quite possibly once I have my own children, I’ll have to bite the bullet. Which, in itself, is dependent on the price of taxis to and from school and whether or not I’ve written a best-seller which would mean I could fford to pay for them! For the time being, I’ll stick to being chauffeur driven in my own, er, limousine (that’ll be the bus) or kicking back with a beer on the train.
The things you see are often worth the £6.90 fare to Carlisle on the X95. Only last week, I was thrust into the front row of what could be loosely described as a royal rumble between three female pensioners. Okay, the old dears didn’t actually come to blows, but there were definite similarities to the weigh-in of a big boxing match, where volatility and insults are the norm. I never knew anyone could get so worked up about whether a window should be open or closed!
The delights of public transport could certainly drive you to distraction, but, for now, buses and trains are just the ticket for me.