The earliest recorded use of the phrase (albeit in a positive sense) was by O Henry in 1907, in a story called The Heart of the West: “I looked around and found a proposition that exactly cut the mustard”. However, nobody seems sure of the origin. One theory is: That it comes from an old western expression, the proper mustard, meaning "the real thing" at first and then "the best". There is a suggestion that the use of mustard as a positive superlative dates from 1659 in the phrase "keen as mustard", and the use of cut to denote rank (as in "a cut above") dates from the 18th century.
Indeed one immediate failing of the Dijon transport network is that there are no timetables available at all; hard copy or on-line. David visited the Tourist Information Office which doubles as the main bus sales outlet; ...
... also the rail, rural bus and local bus joint enquiry and sales facility at the main railway station.
Excellent buildings and ambiance, but not a printed bus timetable in sight!
fbb could find none on the appropriate web site. The dreaded disease of on-line stop-specific departure lists appeared to have conquered all.
The "brand" is Divia, "owned" by the city authorities and, as is usual in France, this network is let out on contract, in this case with Keolis, itself owned by SNCF (French State Railways). The web site offers ..
... a local journey planner (calcul d'itineraire), next bus at each stop ("Totem" prochains passages) and, apparently, timetables (fiches horaires). We are encouraged to "sélectionnez une ligne", viz 18 ...
... from Darcy to Longvic and then "télécharger" for the so-called timetable.
But this is the wrong direction. Intuitively, fbb had assumed from Darcy to Longvic. WRONG! The word "puis" (see enquiry screen above) means "next" or "and then", so an undertstandable misunderstanding, perhaps. But the mistake is easily corrected and the "timetable" for David's anxious truck-bound journey can be retrieved.
[The table has been chopped in two and stacked vertically to fit the blog page.] Nowhere is there any guide as to how long the journey might take; 10 minutes or 2 hours? Of further interest are the times themselves with the bottom chunk as an example. The interval between buses is:-
22, 17, 15,
15, 24, 26,
13, 14, 19,
24, 17, 17,
21, 24, 18
and 39 minutes.
Typically French and really easy to remember NOT. Hooray for the UK's "and then every 20 minutes"!
Two mystères Dijonnais need to be resolved. Why is route 18 shown as "B18" on-line? And why have all the buses changed colour?
As part of his research into this particular service, fbb had found the Longvic Carmélites terminus on Google Steetview ...
... complete with an 18 bus in off-white with twiddly multicoloured lines. David also sent photo of an 18 at the same place ...
Indeed, every Divia bus photo that David sent showed a vehicle prettily painted in purpley puce. Clearly something had happened since Google drove past.
fbb will reveal all in later blogs.
Announced earlier this morning!
Bristol fare consultation.
The results are in.
Changes due from 3 November.
*** Average adult single fare to fall ***
*** Children to get 50% discounts on tickets ***
*** Young people get discounts for first time ***
*** Simplified Zone structure ***