Tag Archives: personal space

Trams, Transport and a Trembling Mountain of Flesh

Today we had Welsh cakes. If you like your cake with fat, spice and dried fruit these are just the cake for you. I like them, but I think we’ve already established that I’m no great judge of what’s healthy. Having said that, I went to the second part of my course this afternoon and we compared cholesterol levels. Mine was the lowest in the room (apart from the two lecturers, who didn’t share). I was also the only one not taking statins. This has nothing to do with anything that I do, as my diet and lamentable lack of exercise should be delivering a much worse result. I’m just genetically prone to having low cholesterol. This is why doctors hate me.

I went to the course by tram. The tram stop is only 100 yards away from the centre where they were running the course. It started with me not being able to find a decent parking space and missing the tram I had planned to catch. This meant I was five minutes late. The lesson there was to set off earlier, but as it only takes 20 minutes to drive and 40 by tram it already felt like I had allowed plenty of time.

First thoughts on public transport were that I prefer my car – less walking, less time and more convenience. The time I spent not having to search for parking at the end was taken up by the time taken to find parking at the beginning. Plus I don’t have to share my car with a howling mob. Why can’t people talk quietly so that I don’t need to hear them?

Elderflower Drizzle Cake with floral decoration

That, of course, turned out to be the good bit. The journey back was more interesting, but much more crowded as it was 5pm by that time. One woman spoke on her phone for several stops, then tried to get off just as the doors closed. She should have looked where she was going instead of boring us all to death with her banal phone calls. Another, caught without a ticket by the ticket inspectors, claimed to be a nurse, the changed that to “a professional”, and claimed she was using the tram for the first time, as if that was going to make a difference. There are plenty of signs up about tickets, so she should have known there was a £70 fine for not having one.

Then “the family” got on – the loud mother of ample proportions (this will be mentioned again in due course), the daughter, the son, the son-in-law and the baby in the pushchair. First they rammed the pushchair across the carriage to stop people moving along. then they formed a loud, lardy blockage that stopped people being able to get on and off via the doors. When people did need to get on and off the mother became very sniffy about being asked to move, even though everyone was very polite.

Chocolate and Cherry cake

Eventually, having driven people away. they spread out.  There were two poles near me, and she hung onto both of them, filling the space, with her outspread arms like a lardy Christ the Redeemer. For three stages of the journey I was thus treated to a view of armpit and bingo wings that is still in my head as I write.

And with that picture, I will leave you to imagine how I feel about public transport.

I will persist with it, as it’s the responsible thing to do, but I’m going to experiment with talking to myself, which should make people give me more room.

Photos are from our trip to Gibraltar Point. It was a while ago, and I never got round to doing a full write up of the tea and cake. I see from the link that we had difficulty with people on that day too. I really don’t do well around people.