I had no idea! I was in a rather suburban area now….. But obviously what I had to do was cross the road and catch another bus going in the opposite direction until it reached the depot or somewhere that I recognised, whichever came first. As I approached the stop a bus appeared from behind me, perfect timing! I leapt on it, showing my Travelcard to the driver, who nodded me through to the seats and moved off.
None of our posters on this one, but not to worry, I had achieved the day’s objective, and I was now heading back towards the City.
I’d planned to nip to theGeologicalMuseumin order to find some surprise for R’s birthday, but there was no time now; still at least I’d been able to buy some inCambridgethat he didn’t know about.
We stopped in a left-hand lane to drop off and pick up passengers, then moved towards the third lane which was pointing to the City Centre. Only we didn’t go into that lane but straight on. Well, maybe it was just a bit of a detour. This was not following the same route now as the No. 72; it must have had another number on the front but because it arrived at the stop from behind me I didn’t see its number.
Lesson for the day – don’t assume! Several bus routes obviously shared the same stop.
No signs for the Underground anywhere; out into more houses with a few shops alongside the road. We were now definitely heading away from the City. More people piled on, presumably on their way home. It was now 4.30pm, and I was now standing in the aisle to allow two Mums with pushchairs, babies and children to use the space that I’d been firstly sitting and then standing in. Then more people got on and we were all crushed.
Time to get off.
So I excuse-me’d and made it to the door by the next stop and got off. Totally lost! But glad to be outside in the fresh air and walking again. Then I noticed a railway bridge and walked towards it, assuming that where there’s a railway line there must be a station somewhere; I just had to follow it if I could. And so it turned out to be; I was in Shepherd’s Bush!
I finally made it back toVictoriaat 5.40pm, with my train out leaving at 6. R picked me up at 7pm. I’d had a great day, a special one to remember for always, but as the song says it was certainly nice to come home.
Today was R’s birthday and he’d bought himself a bookcase which had arrived yesterday so, in lieu of a big present from me, I bought that for him (he let me off wrapping it up!)
We went to Charles Darwin’s house, Down House; R would have been one of his acolytes if he had been alive today. We had such a lovely day; stopped at Westerham for lunch where R was hard put to choose from a menu containing all his favourites; finally settling for bacon and onion roll and banana split, and I had the macaroni cheese followed by red berry meringue. Then on to Down House, and explored the rooms and the outside gardens in the beautiful Spring sunshine.
The Sand Walk was lovely and I wished that I could have bought it for R! In the shop afterwards a group of visitors from the South of France were signing the book in front of us; they had put that it was a “Dream come true”.
It made me think – we take it for granted that, living so close, we can just decide to go on a whim, but to these people (and probably others) visiting the home of Charles Darwin was a once-in-a-lifetime’s dream. We are all lucky in some ways, even if we are unlucky in others.
Afterwards we did manage to visit my M&D and D&J were there too, which was a nice way to end the day.