I went down to board the 'Worst Bus' this morning and found it living up to it's name. Who, I wish to know, considers using a single decker bus on a busy route that includes hordes of degenerates heading for Sixth Form College? The bus filled with them, and at each stop, so many stops, more got on each one absorbed in his 'iPad' (who pays?), 'Walkman' or discussing (loudly) their lives with their neighbours! The ability to absorb knowledge concerning the important subjects that cause the poor dears such trauma come exam time appears not to include an ability to move from the front door of the bus until the driver chides them, blocking access or escape, and general consideration for others! Bah! In my day we had jobs and kept the wheels of industry turning, none of this needless education until we sign on for three years for my generation. On top of this the brats had the best seats, my late arrival meant I had one of those low slung seats where the sun is enabled to burn your face as you travel. Oh joy!
Naturally all these creatures left the bus at my stop thus blocking the pavements for miles around and folks with important shopping had to force their way through as they discarded their breakfasts across the streets. However was it worth the effort? No it was not! The desperately required jacket was not available in any shop that I entered, well once or twice something similar was on offer, at prices ranging from £65 - £180!!!!! Yer having a laff pal! In BHS (I think, they all look the same to me) not only did they almost have what I wanted, almost at the price I might pay but having a stand of some sort of cards next to the jackets, so close that I knocked the some off the rack, picked them up, as others fell, picked them up, carried on with my research while knocking more cards, hooks they were hanging on and then more cards off the rack, which I then just dumped on the floor under the stand. Enough looking at their prices with restocking their display stands I thought. No member of staff moved, or appeared to care. I lost interest in the jackets and there were no lingerie nearby to ensure I remained in that store either!
The 'Castle' is undergoing a major renovation that must be costing millions of pounds. Our little museum will be doing similar shortly. The miserly government that happily encourages massive losses on privatised industries, MOD spending, and Tax dodging by their friends, has cut funding for 'Heritage' projects UK wide. No moneyed friends in this business obviously, so all such organisations have to go into debt to prepare for self funding. Many will close I foresee. This little exhibition in the gardens can be given a well deserved Gold Star in my view. They may have stolen Edinburgh's Chinese Pandas but they have done this very well.
St Botolph's admirable doorway. Standing next to the old priory ruins mentioned earlier this year this impressive building is hidden behind the main road. Once upon a time it must have been in an open space I reckon. I called this 'impressive,' but really is dark gray, darkened by years of smoke soot, really the best brick to use for such a building? At least this building is still in general use.
It's tower is quite tall, too tall for my wee camera.
Good news and bad news! The good news is the discovery of a proper bookshop! Hooray!! The bad news is the fact that it is closing down! Boo!! The only real bookshop, and this is a very real bookshop, in Colchester is about to end its days. The owner is retiring, not going bust, so the shop surely can continue, however no-one is keen to take over and keep the shop open, this is very sad news indeed. The shop contains lots of shelves, lined up in such a way as to make browsing enjoyable. Books of all types are found there, even in boxes on the floor, with much more upstairs. A proper bookshop with knowledgeable friendly staff and with no intention of buying books today, indeed I rushed about the Oxfam Bookshop with a less than friendly member of staff, as books were not in my mind today, yet I found myself missing my bus having browsed with no intention of buying for forty minutes. As however the shop is closing and all books a re Half Price I managed to buy three for a mere £5, less than I thought as I did not really calculate the cost as I browsed, very unlike me I hear you say. A wonderful place to go, especially when you have not found a proper bookshop for many year. Want an investment? Buy this shop!
St John's Gate is all that remains of a Benedictine Abbey built C.1400. After the 'Peasant's Revolt' in 1381 it was decided to strengthen their defences, how these folks helped the poor eh? After the English Civil War and Henry VIII all that remains is this gate. Does it go anywhere? I know not as I had no time, or energy, to clamber over all the roads to find out. Shooting into the sun is not easy, especially as I had to cut out the road signs that made fitting the gate into a picture.
At the bus station I decided to stay alive by spending big on a coffee. Normally I would not waste my cash on such, grossly overpriced coffee from the abundant cafe's never appeal to me, yet as I was close to death after running around I considered it worth a gamble. "Cheapest Coffee Please," I requested, and was given the cheapest (£1:50) by the helpful friendly chap at the stall. Poor man, his sales are increasing while the weather deteriorates but he also is suffering from the weather, which will make him deteriorate as time passes. However the coffee was good and kept me alive, much to many others displeasure, and I may well head for this place next time I am in town.
Happily the bus home appeared as a double decker! I smiled smugly to myself and soon lost the leering grin as other degenerates appeared from cracks in the pavement and boarded in their turn. At least upstairs I got a decent view from the front, everything looks better from high up. However the bus decided to pick up all the old folks with free bus passes ("cough!"). They take their time boarding, each stop provided more of them, and indeed at each stop we stopped! I was beginning to wonder if we would ever leave the town and arrive at the countryside again. After a short lifetime, and I have had a few of those, we eventually found the open road. This, naturally, was blocked by a rubbish lorry and the following parade of vehicles each one determined to get through in spite of the bus blocking their progress! Bah!
When we eventually arrived at the village with its narrow streets we found a white van man buying his lunch. His van allowing cars past but not our bus. The driver had to get out and chase him from 'Spar' before we could continue. Arriving in town again and dreaming of lunch he stopped the bus on the outskirts and switched off the engine. Sighs, deep and heartfelt, were heard throughout the bus. We have all been there, the bus stops and an announcement, "We have broken down, a replacement will be along soon." The bus companies use of the word 'soon,' might breach the trades description act! However after a radio conversation including the words, 'red button comes on,' and 'bus station,' we began to believe we might make it home.
We did, and I decided that I will adjust the hours in which I travel, but I must travel back there, the bookshop closes in October and it is a great shop. Now I must find some money for my next trip, and I forgot all about the jacket....