Sunday, 28 February 2010

Notes on February: a month in numbers

My February in numbers:

1 = the number of live performances watched. Last night we went to see comedian / writer Alex Horne's ' Wordwatching' show which was so much fun. It involved lots of talk of words [my idea of bliss] along with mention of sans-serif fonts and a pun about someone being 'beaten to death'. Maybe you had to be there, which actually you can be - here's a list of his remaining tour dates.

1 = the number of books he signed [and singed - long story] for me:

3 = the number of times I've redesigned my blog header, removing my original [loud] one for something quieter and more 'birdy'. And I'm probably not quite done altering things just yet.

£5 = the amount I paid for these beauties:

After stating two days prior that I would like a pair of blue leather shoes how could I resist when I spotted these on the sale shelves? OK, so they're not leather .... and the wood is fake ... but they are shoes and they are blue and for £5 I can forgive them anything else.

7 = the number of months I'd let pass in between haircuts! Check out the date of my last cut as I made note of on this page:
July 09!! Unbelievable. I'd decided to grow my hair long, so had been putting off visiting the salon ... which then closed down and I lost touch with my hairdresser ... who's the best I've ever been to. Luckily I found her through Facebook and she and my follicles have been reunited at last. As of last week I'm back to my usual wavy, wispy self:
8 = the number of pence it costs me to check my emails on my mobile phone - a feature I have only just set up after having the phone over a year!

Lots = the number of times I've thought "I'll just check my emails on my phone ...because, you know, there might be something quite important that I neeeeeed to see right now" since setting up the email feature on my phone after a year of surviving without it!

64 = the number of the bus I was waiting for when a strange man started talking to me ...

I could just tell by the way he was pacing around and kept looking in my direction that it was going to be me he spoke to despite the fact there was already another woman at the bus stop.

When he did, inveitably, speak he asked if there was a bus due. We were at a bus stop. There's always a bus due. Not that I was that facetious with him. I was perfectly convivial, after all, you just never know when a strange man at a bus stop might turn a bit ..... what? Hostile? Bizarre? Over-familiar? It's possible. Maybe.

But not in this case.

It turned out that he'd recently bought a digital box for his TV but it didn't work. So he'd had to come back into town to get a replacement which he now had in a carrier bag which he'd twisted around his hand. I furrowed my brow sympathetically when he stated "But it's the cost of the bus fares, isn't it?" as he didn't look like a man who could afford too many unexpected deviations from his budget.

"When are we going to have some summer?" he said, tentatively smiling at me as I shuffled about, rubbing my cold hands together. "Not yet!" I replied. Smiling back. When the bus came he gestured for me to board first and once I'd sat down a part of me just knew he would sit in front of me.

Which he did.

I thought that I knew he was bound to take advantage of having me as a captive audience and proceed to turn around and talk for the whole trip .... and I'd feel embarrassed if other passengers saw and heard and stared at me .... thinking things about me while he talked on and on .... But that's where I was wrong.

He didn't.

He didn't say a word. Didn't turn around once. Allowed me my own space to travel and think in peace. Once he'd got off the bus, a long way before my stop, he had to double-back on himself and walk back past where I was sitting: him on the pavement, me still in my seat. Yet again, I knew how things were about to play out: we would look at one another through the bus window, registering the fact that we were both decent, friendly humans and we'd politely nod, smile and acknowledge that we both existed. That we were both visible.

And that's exactly what we did.

You see, he wasn't a madman; a druggy; a nutter; a fruitcake; stalker; rapist; murderer or psychopath. He was simply a middle-aged man who'd saved up and treated himself to a digital box from a catalogue shop, which didn't work, causing him to make a trip into the town centre, a trip which he probably didn't make very often ... and he just wanted to tell someone about it.

So he told me. And I'm disproportionately happy that he did.

1 = the number of times I almost burst into tears on a bus after nodding at a stranger ....

So, farewell February. Salutations March; my, what a freakishly busy month you are going to be.

Julie :)


  1. :: This is turning into a marvellous monthly post.

    :: Your bus story is truly lovely.

    :: I am envious your hairdresser didn't stray too far. Mine moved to Australia, and I haven't had a cut I love since. :(


  2. Good on you. There aren't that many of the scary people about. I too have "one of those faces" that means that EVERYONE who feels up for a chat on the bus/in a queue/at the doctor's surgery picks me. It's quite useful in my line of work. Today, I had a chap on the bus tell me about his visit to the Manchester Bus Museum (who knew there was one?). I was quite pleased too. Maybe it's the week for it.

  3. I love this post. Loving the new header too and those shoes, what a bargain!

  4. Great post, Julie! What a heart warming story about the man at the bus stop.. it's good to remember that there are some normal humans out there and not everyone who wants to chat is a nutcase!

  5. I love those 'renewed faith in people' moments. They come all too rarely sometimes so hearing about them - even when they happen to other people - makes me happy.

    Love the new blog header - I won't hold my breath while you decide whether or not to fiddle with html :)

  6. Fantastic post! Love the blue shoes... and love the hair! Growing hair out is a pain in the keyster, is it not?!

  7. That is a truly wonderful story. How absolutely lovely.


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