Sunday, 15 November 2009

On the road (to Diss)

Planning to travel to Diss for the Transition East meeting, I expected to drive. I intended to offer space in my car for anyone else travelling the same way, when someone on the google group mention the train station in Diss. Public transport? I hadn't even considered it.

A quick search on Traveline confirmed that the journey would be possible by bus, though considerably longer than by car.

I awoke on the day of the meeting to howling winds and lashing rain beating against the window pane; stuffed my breakfast down whilst printing off a google map of Diss and wrapped up warmly for the walk to the bus stop.

Stepping outside, braced against the weather, I realised that the wind had dropped and the rain thinned to the odd spot. Walking, I thought that this experience of using the bus would be an interesting start point for a blog post about how my expectations about travelling are so distorted by oil. I expect to be able to leave my house, jump in my car and travel: warm, dry and insulated from the world, direct to the door of my destination.

Standing at the bus stop I was caught by the magnificent green fields in the storm light. I watched the rooks; some flying overhead, some still hunched in trees. The few birds still singing so late in the year took the place of my car radio.

On the bus I met others travelling to the meeting and we talked. From the bus windows I saw a hare, a herd of deer and a covey of partridges. I watched the low sun sweeping the fields and burnishing the trees, and I realised that a blog piece that started off being about our false expectations about the ease and pleasure of travelling facilitated by our private car ownership was becoming a piece about my false expectations about the difficulty and undesirability of using public transport.

In Transition, we all start from different places and we all travel in different ways. But I'm enjoying the journey, and I'm learning along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely posting. Went to Reydon / Southwold by train and bus last time I went over to see Charlotte and Mark to work on the bulletin. So much nicer than driving by car - new vistas and new people and not having to concentrate on the road. The bus was a major bone rattler but otherwise it was all good!