The burbs

My two-week period of homelessness has meant I am spending more time than usual in London’s leafy south-eastern suburbs. A couple of nights ago I went truly off-piste and ventured out to Biggin Hill by bus. And you know what? It’s nice out there! What it lacks in 24-hour shops and, well, people, it makes up for in prettiness and a cheery fellow-feeling that you don’t see so much of in town, largely because everybody is in too much of a hurry to stop and make conversation (and anyway, if you start a conversation with the wrong person you might get stabbed). All the bus drivers said “hello”, including the one who took me, and only me, from Keston to Bromley in about the same time it would have taken by car (thank you, Ken, for all the new bus lanes).

Also, I got to see horses in fields. I like horses in fields, as long as they are quite far away and separated from me by something solid (e.g. the side of a bus).

Staff

I have a shiny new staff pass from work which gives me free travel on tubes, buses and trams. It’s the best thing ever, but not so much because of the money I’ll save. The reason I’m really excited by it is that every time I swipe it on an Oyster reader a little message flashes up and it says “staff”. And each time that happens I want to tip the bus driver a knowing smile, one that says: “yep, you and me pal, we’re staff“.I haven’t actually done it.