Sunday, 18 September 2011

A few small things, really, but they really irritate us bus drivers...

You may not think of these as irritating, but try being on the receiving end, day in, day out, all year long, and you might just realise how damnably aggravating the following can be...

When you're standing at a bus stop and you hail a bus to stop, please, stand by the bus stop 'flag' (the pole with the bus stop sign on it). When stopping at bus stops, we're trained to stop the bus, when possible, with the front doors by the flag; this way, we've a fairly safe bet that the rest of the bus is within the road-painted 'cage'. It also means that the chances are good that the first in the queue will be able to get on first, not last.

Next up: Do not, please, advance towards the bus as it slows to stop; The driver's unlikely to slam on the anchors to stop by little old self-important you. More likely, is that you'll have to walk back to the flag, where the front doors are now open and waiting.

Also, do not bloody wave, or flap your hand like some mad thing trying to get airborne when hailing a bus to stop at a bus stop. Not only does it insultingly imply that we couldn't see you hiding behind a four-inch thick pole (what, are you the size of a garden rake, or something?!), it also encourages us to sail past, smiling widely and waving back. A nice, bold, clear, arm stuck out, horizontal to the ground, will suffice nicely, ta very much.

Thanks for cooperating ;-)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Everyone and their dog...

...was out there in their cars today. This, on a Saturday, you will quickly understand, was Not Good™ (spot the capitalisation and Trademark signs), at all; it clogged the roads worse than I've seen since the run-up to last Christmas, let alone the last snopocalypse we suffered.

This, when coupled with the roadworks on the route, made the traffic the worst we'd seen in quite some time. As a result, buses running late by three-quarters of an hour and worse were not unusual for a few hours today, despite the best efforts of the roadside controllers. It's unfortunate for the passengers, but one of those occasional things.

In amongst this however, was a small note of comic relief...

I had one prospective passenger ask me, with a very strong foreign accent, at the mid-point bus station, "How much to Eastbourne, please?".

Not sure I'd heard correctly, I asked "Sorry, guv, where?"

"Eastbourne". He then showed me the address that was being displayed on his phone (for once, a Nokia, not an i-whatever). Sure enough, Eastbourne, East Sussex.

"Guv, Eastbourne's something like forty miles that way!" I pointed roughly south, and continued, "This is a local bus service for London, not a coach; your best bet would be to get a train from over the way there!" and pointed to the train station.

"No, I go to Eastbourne, not London" came the fractured English in reply. Oh, hell, this was going to descend to farce, I could just feel it. Luckily, the second time I told him where Eastborne was, it seemed to sink in. "It's on the south coast, mate, sixty kilometres that way!" (there I was, pointing again, probably vaguely southwards)...

He stopped, and a faint light of comprehension came over his face. "Ah, Eastbourne, that way, yes?"

"Yes! Catch a train, it'll take you there!"

"OK, thank you, I go now!"

And go he did. Southwards. Walking.

There are moments in this game where you either want to start banging your nut on the steering wheel, or giggling like a lunatic.

Most of the passengers on the lower deck were already chortling away nicely, so I decided that giggling like a little schoolboy was suitably in order, and did just that. I'm bloody sure the horrified stares from passing pedestrians weren't warranted, naturally

Anyhow, short story, for a few minutes, I think I had the happiest bus in south London.

Then we hit more bloody queuing traffic.

I swear, you just can't bleeding win, sometimes. Cue headbutting the steering wheel...

..If you're not already giggling like a loonie, of course

Friday, 16 September 2011

It's 9am, it's Friday, that means....

...that it must be F***wit day!

OK, here we go...

Both of these miserable excuses for motorists, within ten second of each other at the same set of traffic lights, carved my bus up, missing the offside front corner by scant centimetres, as they cut from the outside lane to the inside lane, to get past the queue turning right, forcing me to brake hard and likewise causing my passengers a great deal of discomfort. Folks, it's not just the bus driver you piss off: it's the many passengers on the bus as well.

Here are today's F***wits:

The driver of a silver BMW, Y5DGP, and
The driver of a white LDV van, AE07BXW.

Congratulations folks: I hope you both get quadruple punctures as penalty for your incomprehensibly selfish and outstandingly crap driving. hells bells, Neither of you even bothered to signal - so much for Mirror, Signal, Manouevre!

A parting thought for you two cosmically crap examples of clown drivers. Buses weigh a heck of a lot (a fully laden double decker can mass close to 19 tonnes), and because of this, the engines tend to take a little time to wind up to a decent torque to move the bus at anything like a decent speed.

If you force your way past, yeah, you might get through the lights. But you'll have cause great inconvenience - or worse - to the passengers of the bus. And no, I'm not joking: Bus passengers have been injured as a result of bus drivers being forced to take avoiding action due to idiots on the road before now: It's happened to me and passengers on my bus before now, it's happened to others, and likely as not, will happen a lot more before the goldarn message finally gets through.

Now, there's idle talk in the corridors of power that the driving examination needs to be tightened up.

Nonsense. It's fine as-is.

What needs to be tightened up is the enforcement of standards of driving. at present, Traffic Police are tasked with everything from road traffic enforcement, anti-terrorist patrolling, and so on. They need to have their numbers increased, and their remit narrowed back down to road traffic policing again, so that they can make damned sure that standards are maintained properly. Let us not forget; Those that kill through stupidity and recklessness in their driving are no less criminals than those who go equipped with knifes, guns, or simple big sticks.

How long, do you think it will be, before these potentially moronic road rage-driving f***wits in their cars actually see the point, and tone their cavalier and reckless driving down to acceptable levels?

Or will it require the sticks of the judicial process to do it for them?

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Amusing variations...

I saw this the other day, just took a little while longer than normal for me to get it here, as it was taken on my Fuji camera, as the phone camera is still playing silly wotsits.

Read the small print below the number plate (click the photo for a larger version) :-)

Nice to see that even bug stompers have a sense of humour ;-)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

I'm looking to update the masthead a bit...

So, it's been over three years since I started this blog, and I reckon that it's now time for a minor facelift.

I'll be doing this in small increments, since I'm generally very happy with the layout and look of the Blant. One of the things I want to do, is add an image of the London skyline, or something similar, like a panoramic photo of London, to use in the masthead.

The problem is in either finding royalty-free imagery, or free stock photos, for this purpose. Failing that, the problem is in finding a suitable vantage point from which to take my own panoramic photo of London.

So, here's the question. Do you know of a decent vantage point, or free-to-use-and-abuse imagery that I can use?

Any ideas?