Why oh why oh why am I sitting in stinking Hanley bus station waiting
for a bizarre timetable to bring itself to pass?
There is good news! Not only am I now the proud owner of Lambretta shoes, I now have the scooter to go with it. Not a Lambretta, I hasten to dampen your excitement, but a fine silver Aprilia which will be delivered to me on Wednesday.
That means - no more buses! Those of you who quail at the idea of my daily journey have no idea of the irritation at the sheer stupidity of flying nearly 200 miles in little over an hour and a half in majestic red livery, followed by the agonising hour long shuffle to get the final 8 miles home. The tree kicking frenzy that sets in as you watch a stray 29 sail past as you wait at the cash machine behind hundreds of poverty stricken students preparing themselves for a night of hard graft in the union. The desperate uncertainty: was that a late 19.05 or - feckitpleaseno - an early 19.20? The daily seething irritation at the lack of thought that didn't go into timing a bus to arrive at a (fairly) major intercity station at the very minute a popular train is scheduled to leave. Integrated transport is but a tragically distant memory from a civilised, Oystery age. It's a form of madness, inflicted on the poor or carless of Stoke. Don't get me wrong, driving a car is pretty bad there too.
But no matter. Expect to see a new Clare, stylishly dressed in Italian tailoring, zooming at a high pitch along the speedy routes home (it'll get up to 75 mph, he said. Are you insane? said I) to the minimised pad in Burslem, where steaming pasta & goats cheese await. La Dolce Vita-on-Trent beckons.
Till it gets robbed, of course.