Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Roond and aboot

Sometimes it is sunny in Scotland...

Last Sunday it was one of those cracking autumnal days - yes, I'm talking about the weather again - where you have to try and get outside. As luck would have it, I'd arranged to go and walk in the Pentland Hills with an old mate of mine who's off to trek some crazy trail in South America soon and needed practice. So by 9am we were strolling up weatherbeaten hills into the crisp sunshine, getting some stingingly-cold air into our lungs. Because of the weather, it was pretty busy up there, and we passed plenty of groups of ramblers with their trekking poles and expensive Goretex jackets. I'm sure they were nice people, but there's something about that kind of person that has all the latest and most expensive gear on show that I dislike. Golfers are the worst - with their £400 drivers and electronic trolleys. I think it's basically jealousy. When I play golf I hack round with my mismatched clubs of different makes - in fact, they are so rubbish that once I played a shot with my 9-iron and the end of the club sheared off and flew down the fairway. I bet fancy clubs don't snap in half. Actually I think the club head went further than my ball. Anyway, I think I've gone off on a tangent somewhat.

Moving on to something different - the bus I caught to work this morning was hit by a car, right under the window where I was sitting. I was almost at my stop, when we motored through the Broomhouse roundabout and I happened to briefly look up from my book. A red Astra came circling round the inside, and as we chopped in front - which I think is what's supposed to happen at roundabouts - it didn't stop, and ploughed into the side of us. I had that odd train of thought you get when something unexpected happens quickly - "Oh, that car's going to hit us...that car is hitting us!...why is that car hitting us?" It wasn't a major collision or anything, we just crumpled the front corner of the Astra and bounced it up onto the grass roundabout. In fact, our bus driver didn't even notice and carried on. It was only when we came to a halt at the next stop he found out. The irate driver had followed us, got out, and charged up to the door. There was a brief but amusing moment when our driver thought this bloke was wanting to get on the bus, so helpfully waited for him to run up and opened the door - only to cop an earful. "You just hit me with yer f*cking bus, pal!" shouted the car driver. "You shoved me right into the f*cking roondaboot!" No-one gets irate quite like a Scotsman - especially one who gets punted into a traffic hazard at 7am. Anyway, the driver got out and quizzically looked at the scratches on the side of the bus, and everyone had to get off so he could swap details with the Astra driver. I had to walk the rest of the way to work, but it was worth it.