Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Probably nothing that couldn't be cured by a kind word from a beautiful woman

The train into work got stuck at signals awhile. I'd been staring at something on the embankment for a good five minutes before I realised what it was. It was an elm sapling. I can't remember when I last saw an English elm. When I was a kid the main road was an avenue of old elms, green and sticky with sap in the July sunlight.

I do miss elms.

On the way back home I got the bus to Manchester. I was followed onto the bus by an epicene figure in a white safari jacket. I wondered if he was Death. I chose not to ask.

A few stops down, a pink Mazda cut up the bus. It was the shade of pink I've only ever seen in NHS children's spectacles.

The chip shop further down the street turns out not to have a window blind as I'd imagined. It's a sheet of brushed vinyl pop art wallpaper in faded bullseye pattern.

A gaggle of young girls get on, gaudy in thickly-applied make-up, each with a mobile 'phone clamped to one ear. In my day young ladies were quieter and more demure weren't they? No, of course not. I remember a Sicilian hillside raucous in bawdy song. One of the girls bawled down the 'phone that they were "going lindyhopping." I expect it means something different these days, like dance music.

Next come four mockney diamond geezers. "Just three stops to the Chinese, mate. How much? Is that for all of us?" Welcome to the unsubsidised provinces, mate.

No one was sick and nobody died and the driver got out of his cab to help a lady carry her pushchair off the bus.


Anonymous said...

I think the words I'm looking for are "charming vignette."

Good lord! wv is howlswit

Lulu LaBonne said...

I loved reading this post - I was there with you Kev

Madame DeFarge said...

A most fine post, Mr M. I want that pink Mazda. Can you arrange it?

willow said...

This was one fine read.

savannah said...

i miss so much being stuck out on the plantation, sugar! i do so envy y'all! xoxoox

Gaw said...

V nice - you captured how the ordinary can sometimes take on a hallucinogenic quality perfectly. A near-surreal day-dream.

Pat said...

Funny that's the third time Elms have been mentioned in the last week but the others were more 'Dutch Elm disease you know.' This had a ring of hope.

Scarlet Blue said...

I've seen elms in Sussex... and I've even burnt some elm logs...
Anyhow, it's amazing what you see when you look hard enough.

Charlie said...

Public transportation allows you the freedom to observe and cogitate about things seen.

Driving, on the other hand, forces you to keep your sight glued on the idiots around you. Very depressing.


worm said...

you've made a normal bus journey sound very interesting!

I don't even know what an elm looks like. Perhaps they are all around me and I just haven't seen one.

And what is a slippery elm?

Nota Bene said...

Oh public transport is a window on the world...top deck, front seat please. Nicely phrased post...

lisleman said...

enjoyed looking at the scene through your eyes - thanks

Kevin Musgrove said...

A gentleman couldn't possibly comment on much of this. (-:

Madame DeF: would it go with your colouring?

Gaw: they slip something into the bus tickets.

Pat: I am, as you know, a natural-born optimist.

Scarlet: so it's you is it? I've been blaming Dutch Elm Disease.

Charlie: I do that as well. I'm told I'm an awful passenger.

worm: elms remind me of nothing so much as the clouds in a Constable painting.

Slippery elm's the bark of an American species.

Nota Bene: I can't do the front seat any more, my nerve's can't stand it.

lisleman: thank you sir.

Joanna Cake said...

Late to the party but joining the throng of beautiful women :)

There seem to be a lot of 'pink' cars around these days. Ruf visibly shudders when one goes past.

I love the whole commentary. Sometimes travelling on public transport can expose you to a whole world of previously unknown oddities. It doesn't necessarily make you want to repeat the process but it's nice to be able to compare the calm protected lifestyle of our own normalcy with the outside world.

Sorry, for the typos, I've been on my laptapping all week and this keyboard is now extremely sticky :(

Kevin Musgrove said...

Joanna: "laptapping?" That's my keyboard skills shot to bits for the rest of the day. (-:

syncopated eyeball said...

Most pleasantly evocative, Kevin.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ta eyeball