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Blog: A Trip Down Memory Bus Lane

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We were awake EARLY to the XTREME (yes, THAT early) on Sunday in order to tune into the Weekend Breakfast Show to hear We Only Ever Meet In Church being played in their GLADIATOR slot, where they do songs of over six minutes long. It was all TERRIBLY exciting, and I must say it sounded rather good. If you'd like to Listen Again you can do so from their website - we're on the Saturday show about 38 minutes in.

As I was up and about I decided to head off on my GRANDPARENT MISSION for the day, and with a stroll and tube and a PACKED train I was in Peterborough, where I got a LOVELY bus (the driver checked I knew the times for my return journey before he sold me the ticket, to be sure I could use it) to BOURNE, there to see my Grandad. It was a gorgeous day and the FENS looked lovely. I like the flatness - it always seems DERANGED to me that people would want to live on the side of hills, it's too much hard work to GET anywhere.

The bus drove the old fashioned route to Bourne, through all the villages that got bypassed by the bypasses AGES ago. It's the route we used to take one or two times a week throughout my childhood going between Peterborough and Deeping, passing through places like Glinton and Northborough, and I was amazed (and PLEASED) to find that they were all pretty much the same. I guess this was helped by the fact that I remember them as sunny and brightly coloured, but it was still REASSURING to find them exactly as I remembered, and also a little strange to find that I still knew every detail of the route, including things like the long corner just before Northborough Castle Farm, even though I'd not been on it for nearly twenty years.

I got to Bourne and saw my Grandad, who wasn't really very well at all - he's been in a home for quite a while now, and is gradually retreating from the world around him. It's really sad to see, as he was such a big sturdy man until a few years ago, and when I left I found he still had the IRON GRIP handshake that he used to insist on giving us when we were little.

It was a much cheerier experience when I got back to Peterborough to see my Nan. I got back a bit early so had a quick wander round Queensgate Shopping Centre ("the capital city of shopping!") and found that that too was pretty much exactly how I remembered it, with only a few shops moved around. I'd had a call earlier in the day from Mr Eddy Bewsher to tell me we'd got a review in The Morning Star which we indeed had. It was really good - our first national newspaper coverage!

After that I went to see my Nan, who's rather AMAZINGLY getting over pretty MAJOR surgery. She's been in hospital for about four weeks now, and a couple of weeks ago we were VERY worried about her, but she's currently STORMING back into full-on NAN STATUS, and it's brilliant. She's GRATE, my Nan, and it was lovely to get to see her on my own for a bit - again, it's half a lifetime ago since I was last really able to do that, as since I left home I've pretty much always gone to see her with other people, but on Saturday we sat and had a good DISCUSSION about many issues of the day. She also advised me to enjoy the tour and the radio session, but not to leave my job. I shall be taking that advice!

After that it was time for the train, some more tubes, a trip to TESCO, and then HOME, where I found myself KNACKERED but happy. On Sunday I caught up with Lost and started writing a song - this was RATHER MORE RELAXING.

posted 17/7/2006 by MJ Hibbett

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Hello Mark.
Did you manage to see any of Bourne while you were there? Not the most exciting place in the world, but it is nice and relaxing, and there are now even two pubs selling decent beer.
posted 17/7/2006 by Jon Pennycook

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