Sitting on the bus on the way into Oxford I was struck by an overwhelming smell of dirty water, so much so that I was finding it difficult to breathe. The smell reminded me of a pair of shoes I’d once worn while getting caught out by a flooded pathway. Those shoes smelled so bad afterwards, even when they were dry, that I risked putting them through the washing machine with plenty of powder. I don’t know if they survived in spite of being leather or because of it, but survive they did and went on for a good few years after. Struggling to drag the dirty water smell in and out of my lungs, I pulled my bag up onto my lap to support my elbow and rested my chin on my hand, filtering my breathing through the sleeve of my jumper. A couple of stops later we passed through town and the passenger’s swapped, in with the new passengers came a waft of citrus and flowers to fill the air. I wondered how many others noticed the change as the young lady breezed in the fresh scent with her, thankful I sat back in my seat, breathed deeply and relaxed for the rest of the bus ride into Oxford.
I stressed a little going through Oxford from my bus to the train station trundling my little suitcase behind me. My breathing was more like puffing and done through my mouth rather than my nose so I felt rather than smelt the warm whoosh of a bus or two as they passed me. On entering the station my senses were bombarded with delicious scents from the bakery and coffee counters, my ticket took me through the barrier to the first platform and before I had chance to glance around me my train was announced and I found myself sitting in a quiet carriage bounding through green and yellow countryside to make my connection.
A quick simple change from one platform to another, from one train to the next, turned out to be not quite so simple…
My pre-booked seat was being sat upon by someone else!
What a dilemma, do I ask them to move or just pretend I hadn’t really booked ahead anyway and sit somewhere else. Too late the decision was made for me, the lady with the seat in question was looking at me quizzically. My chance of just melting away into another seat evaporated as both of us staked a claim on the seat. Tickets were displayed and it appears we were both booked onto the same seat for a couple of stops overlap.
Possession is nine tenths of the law, quite apart from my probably having the less aggressive personality so I quite happily settled down a few seats away from my booking..
A comfortable ride with my hands and mind occupied with my crochet hook, and after making the final twelve black squares needed to complete the border of my throw, and a few communicative texts to Little Sister I emerged at the front of Cardiff station, the gusting winds of the day took my breath away but my mind filled in the gaps with the same old familiar smell of hops from the brewery.