I don’t blog daily. I’m sort of taking part in Bloganuary by posting a summary of the week’s prompts.
Some responses have been brief.
8th Jan How far back in your family tree can you go?
Another short one. . .
I have the name of my birth mother on my original birth certificate. No father recorded.
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9th Jan What is the most memorable gift you have received?
I can’t recall any memorable gifts.
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10th Jan Has a book changed your life?
Not that I am aware of. Including, sadly my own.
11th Jan How do you define success?
Success is when you move on to the next goal without having to change track.
Now happiness… that’s a different question altogether.
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12th Jan What chore do you find the most challenging to do?
Flushing out the fishpond pumps.
Hosing the filters is messy but necessary and relatively straightforward. (I am so glad we’re not on a water meter.)
Getting into the pumps is a mission, and I don’t do it often. One pond has a pump that’s fastened with screws (now where did I put that screwdriver?) and the other pond’s pump has clips. Both are tough to undo and a pain to line up and reconnect.
13th Jan If you had a billion US dollars, how would you spend it?
A priority would be a home big enough to have the extended family all around for dinner at once. Caterers as required… regular cleaners and a gardener. And a house-sitter to look after the dogs if I want to visit anyone without them.
I have four children. I’m sure they would help me spend the rest.
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14th Jan What is your preferred mode of travel?
That depends where I’m going. And when. And why.
When I was working, I preferred to travel by train to conferences, rather than drive a long way. Back then, I got up early and would get drowsy driving long distances. And in those days, I lived near a rail or underground station.
For shopping, I need the car. I shop once a week and fill too many bags to carry on a public transport – even if it were available.
For socialising, I’d prefer to travel by public transport and relax with a drink. But once I’d moved away from the London Underground station we lived near for decades, I found that public transport rarely goes from where I am to where I want to go.
Even in the London suburb close to the home I moved from, it took two buses or a local overground train to get from my new home to any underground line for travel into work. Needless to say, I drove most days (which took a similar amount of time to cover seven miles North to South London through the Blackwall Tunnel).
To travel the three miles to my mother’s house without a car, I would have to take three buses travelling around the houses to cover a ten to fifteen minute drive.
Then I met my present hubby who hardly ever drinks alcohol and, even now, enjoys driving.
Which is fortunate.
Once we moved away from London, we found that, out here, our nearest town, three miles away, has little in the way of bus services, and the railway station is way out on the other side of town. There is no bus service to the station. Trains stop running to it at 9pm anyway, and are cancelled at the drop of a hat. Replacement bus services are likely to leave early if there’s nobody waiting at the station when they arrive, so heaven help you if you’re running just a lee-eetle bit late.
When we first arrived, buses used to pass the end of our drove hourly, and would stop if you hailed them (as long as the driver saw you). There have been cuts since then so I don’t know what the position is now. Looking out across the field from the window where I type I rarely see a bus these days.
(‘These days’. . . Isn’t that a telling phrase to give away one’s antiquity?)
Our neighbour’s daughter used to get a bus into school from town. (Her mother would drop her off before starting work.) That bus was removed from the schedules in the latest round of cuts, just before Christmas, so she now has to be driven to school by a parent (10 miles, 16km) and collected in the afternoon.
So much for saving the planet.
Giving up our cars for alternative transport is not an option out here – not just for us oldies, but for anyone. And, given the way the locals drive, I wouldn’t suggest cycling on these narrow, subsiding, roads with no pavements or walkways, never mind cycle paths. Drivers whizz along, bouncing over potholes and overtaking dangerously. They wouldn’t survive long driving like that in the london suburbs. But then, they wouldn’t often be able to reach such speeds in the first place.
Maybe that’s an item to add to the previous question about how I would spend my billion dollars. I’ll have an armour-plated vehicle please, and a chauffer to drive me. And maybe a private aircraft, to avoid the roads altogether.
Feel free to add your own rants in the comments 🙂
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