Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I don't know how one can be nostalgic for a bus service, especially one which runs as infrequently as the 277, which fulfils the cliché of hunting in packs! This was once the start of a journey home which gave my imagination plenty of time to wander as our vehicle deigned to depart Poplar to carry us home. Sometimes I gave up & walked even when it felt too far after a long day, I was frequently not being passed by the bus, but it was a game of cat & mouse. Once I had reached the first 3 bus stops, they ran out, & I could no longer run for the bus. There was a certain point in the journey where I knew the gamble had paid off, where even if the bus arrived at that exact moment, I had still won! This was my daily venture if I hadn't cycled all the way in, or in the other direction to Bethnal Green tube station, because a bike had been stolen or or the weather would have meant me arriving bedraggled.
I waited for the 277 on Lauriston Road to arrive some unpredictable time later at Mile End Station. Deciding to wait took dedication, but was often lightened by the people one bumped in to, & there was real solidarity in the tenacity the 277 demanded of its passengers! All sorts of catching up, pure gossip, or delicious flirting took place at the Grove Road bus stop. The mornings on Lauriston Road were not quite so jolly but a coffeee shop type deli did open just before I left, & quite honestly, armed with The Guardian & a cappuccino, I was quite happy to sit on the wall & wait. Yes the service did disarmingly suddenly improve, & I am not altogether sure that it was the result of our bus stop petition, rather the law of the sod giving me less time to savour said coffee & newspaper...
I have know the area since I can remember, because my grandparents lived on the edge of Victoria Park in a council flat, I used to play on the Victoria Memorial (actually called something else entirely I think) & I always thought Lauriston Road was exotic. I don't really kick myself for anything, but it would have been nice to have bought somewhere there when it was cutting edge artistic, rather than before it became the very chichi location which priced me out of the market. That said, I wouldn't have then moved to Leicestershire, underestimated the culture shock, got depressed, met the SO, left the commercial job & be doing something really worthwhile that I want to do because I would be too busy working to pay the mortgage, & got happier!