Saturday, 1 April 2017

To the Tatsfield Bus Stop! Yes, it's back!!!

On Wednesday the week before last (the day of the terrorist atrocity in Westminster, London) I was driving towards Westerham in Kent and found myself passing the old Tatsfield Bus Stop. Hold on, the council have finally put seats in! Yes, after some considerable time, Tandridge Council has got its act together and fixed the famous (in our minds) Tatsfield Bus Stop, one of our great cycling destinations. I related this information to Andy via text and it was only a matter of time before checked it out; in fact it was this morning.

The great Tatsfield Bus Stop now has seats again! Hurrah for Tandridge Council
The weather: Well tomorrow is supposed to be good, but today was characterised by rain showers and grey skies, although I didn't get any rain until I was riding down Church Lane having completed the ride. I'd left the house at just gone 0700hrs as usual, headed the usual route (Ellenbridge, Southcote, Elmfield, Morley, Church Way and then the Limpsfield Road all the way to the green. Andy arrived minutes later and we headed for NoVisibleLycra's traditional destination – the Tatsfield Bus Stop!

Avid readers might recall that a car (or something) hit the wooden bus shelter some time ago, easily a year, although I'll have to check for sure. Week after week, month after month, whenever we rode past, normally on our way to the bus shelter in Tatsfield Village (opposite the Olde Ship) or en route to Westerham, although we rarely visit the old Northern Kent market town these days, there was no seating. They'd cleared away the debris from the crash and fixed up the shelter, but they'd clearly forgotten about the seats – or so we thought. Since the crash we had both resigned ourselves to the fact that we'd never be enjoying our tea and biscuits at our old faithful bus shelter again, but hold the bus, there are now seats and what fantastic seats they are too. Made of sturdy, varnished wood with arm rests dividing what would otherwise be a straightforward bench into around five or six individual seats (I'll count next time we're there) the wood is a perfect resting place for all our tea and biscuits shit. There's nothing precarious, our tea cups can be placed on the surface of the seating without fear of toppling over – it's all good news.

And guess what? That great sport of seeing how far we can flick our used teabags off a teaspoon is back too (it should be an Olympic sport) AND we can watch the occasional idiots lose control of their cars when they rev up the engine as they attempt a right turn at speed on Approach Road. Once a guy with a Beamer lost complete control and ended up on the other side of the road facing in the opposite direction to his original plan. How we laughed!

We had decided to ride the slow way along Beddlestead Lane – always a chore – but it gave us a chance to talk about this and that without worrying about traffic, which can be quite dangerous on the 269 even early in the morning.

Last week Andy rode to Godstone Green on the racer...
On the return journey we rode the conventional way: up to Botley Hill and then down the 269 to the green where we parted company. Andy's not riding next week, I don't think. He's certainly not going tomorrow, leaving me to either ride alone OR take the urban ride to Carshalton to visit mum, although I've just been over there in the car listening to one of the best albums in the world, Generation Terrorists by the Manic Street Preachers. My favourite track? Condemned to Rock and Roll. Sheer brilliance.

Yes, it's me, Botley Hill, April 2008...
Weather report...
What is amazing is the way things have brightened up so quickly of late. It seems like only yesterday when I used to walk home in the dark, but yesterday (Friday) it was broad daylight as I trudged the half-hour walk along Hayling Park Road and up Jarvis to reach my house. Furthermore, the blossoms are out on the trees, including the one in my front garden. This a good sign because it means that summer is coming and we won't have to wear scarves and balaclavas and layer upon layer of clothing and have lights that work, not that mine ever do work properly. Normally either the batteries are flat or, well, that's about it, the batteries are flat, but now we don't need them at all. Ok, look, it's 1926hrs right now as I write this and it's still light outside. Wonderful! Soon it'll be tee-shirts and shorts weather, but hey, let's not forget this: it once snowed in April, back in 2008, and we were caught out in it. I still remember my face freezing up. Talk about face ache! But things are good, my California lilac is in full bloom, which is amazing, there are blossom trees lining the road, there's one in my front garden, and all is well with the world. I'll leave it there.

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