How can you hate buses?

I spend a lot of time on buses. I can’t drive, there isn’t always somebody to bring me places, and there’s no trains anywhere near where I live. People often feel very sorry for me when they hear I have to use buses so much. Okay, some of our local ones must be twenty years old and don’t feel too safe. The trips to work in Derry in the morning weren’t exactly the warmest, but the bus always got me there. I don’t have the luxury of driving a car, so I don’t have a choice. But it’s not as bad as you’d think. You meet some great people and get to overhear some brilliant conversations! Bring a dog on the bus with you and the journey definitely gets more interesting.

Nicky and I went to Drogheda on Saturday for Darragh and Emma’s baby Meabh’s Christening the next day. Going off-topic for a second, the staff in the D Hotel were very helpful, and Meabh’s Christening ceremony was probably the nicest I’ve ever been too.
A very helpful staff member at Bus Aras took us to the bus stop nearby to get the bus to Drogheda. I got on and was making my way to a seat when the woman getting on behind me said, “Balbriggan”, as that’s obviously where she wanted to go. The driver said, “what about it?” before giving her the ticket and laughing.
You just had to be there!
On Sunday evening we got the bus to Dublin airport where we were getting buses home. We were standing waiting to get off at our stop at the airport, and a man started asking about the dogs. He said he smelt the smell of wet dog, and I appologised. They’d got wet earlier that morning, and although they were dry, the smell was obviously still there. He completely surprised me by telling me that it was okay because he loved the smell of wet dog!!

When I got on the bus yesterday morning it was very full, and I had to sit half way down, beside a girl who had earphones in and music blaring. I just assumed she’d seen O.J, so I put in my own earphones and put on some Pearl Jam (their new albums brilliant by the way!) We were coming into Letterkenny and O.J sat up, so I took out my earphones and got him to lie down again. The girl said he scared the life out of her because she’d actually been asleep when we got on and had no idea that there was a dog beside her. She watched in amusement as many students gave him a quick pet on the head as they got off the bus at the college. Many of them looked surprised to see him there too. He’s usually on the inside of a seat, so many of the new students who sit at the back of the bus haven’t seen him yet.

So cars might be comfortable and faster and more convenient, but they aren’t as unpredictable and random as bus journeys.

Welcome to winter

The last few weeks have started to get cold around here. Buying a good amount of oil, bleeding radiators and cooking dinners that make enough for three people that I can freeze are definitely signs of winter!
As long as it stays dry and the ice stays away, I don’t mind winter much because I can still get out walking with the dogs at weekends and when I’m not working. Dougal got a haircut at the end of September, so he’s feeling the cold a bit these days. So much so that he walks with his coat on no problem. In previous years he would just refuse to walk and I’d practically have to carry him. O.J seems to prefer the colder weather to the heat we had in the summer, and is playful and full of energy these days.

I’ve been busy in the last few weeks visiting babies, entertaining visitors and organising our new school project in work. I have lots on between now and Christmas, and O.J will be part of most of it, so he’ll be happy to be kept busy again. My favourite thing about this dog is how relaxed he is when he has to be if he can’t come somewhere with me, and how he’s just ready to go when I need him. That’s the kind of dog I always wanted.

On a completely unrelated note, I wanted to post a link that’s definitely worth checking out.
Simon Fitzmaurice is incredible! That’s the only way I can describe his life and his story. If there was an award for the most determined person in Ireland he’d probably win. Himself and his wife Ruth were interviewed on the radio yesterday.
I’d advise anyone to take 20 minutes out of your day, listen to
their interview
on today FM, and have a look at the articles Simon has written and the amazing film he wants to direct. I don’t want to explain it all here. Just have a look for yourself, because it’s definitely worth the time, and really puts everything into perspective.