Roger French, A P.S.
Last week, Uncle Rog was extolling the virtues of five new bus routes from around our nation. On 22nd inst his eager eye hit on two linked services operated under the auspices of Oxfordshire County Council. Of course they are not NEW new services, but a rejig of something that was running as recently as last year.
fbb was wondering whether to augment Roger's wisdom and write about these services; when he received an e-mail from a chum, Woodford Lynn. Now, as an evangelical Christian, fbb would not countenance Woddy's actions, but he is sort-of happy to pass on his chum's findings.
Woodford has relatives in the area, viz an elderly Aunt Aggie who lives at Heyford. actually a cottage about half way between Upper and Lower of that ilk.
It so happened that Woodford was enjoying a visit with his kiddies, to the peripatetic fairground that was operating near his outer suburban village. So he decided to "experiment" with the surprisingly modern services of Gypsy Queen and her crystal ball. Instead of a mysterious tent shrouded in thick curtains and flickering LED candle light, she uses a "consulting room" in her well appointed mobile home.
Some cynics, on reading this report, may suspect that the Gypsy royalty had an i-pad screen secreted below her "output device" ...
"Ooooooh," quoth her Romany majesty, in ominous plangent tones [look it up], "the mists are dark and doom-ridden today. The messages from beyond this world are cloudy and indistinct."
There was a long pause during which the queen's hands were fiddling with something under the table.
"I see a coat of arms, resplendent in glorious heraldic colourways!" She knew all the latest tech jargon!
"Alas," hissed Gypsy Queen menacingly, "nothing materialises and the signal is fading fast. I will refresh my receptory nexus." And she nipped out of the emergency door for the lavvy, a bevvy in and a faggy.
A few minutes later she returned, accompanied by a slight whiff of some smokable "substance" and an additional tinge of supermarket brandy, then gazed into the globus once again.
I see a river, maybe the Styx, the route to the Underworld." She rubbed her eyes. "Ah, no; as the miasma clears it is the Cherwell," she croaked as only a crone could croak. " It is the Cherwell, river of death."
"Well it's a bit polluted in places, but it is near Bicester, so the spirits may be guiding us thither." After caressing the ball with her wart encrusted hands (she uses rice crispies, PVA glue and lipstick!) she continued quickly ...
"But there are no timetables there." After a bit more fiddling below the table, she announced truculently, "The image has changed again, we are now entering a world of gleaming spires and ivy covered professors of academe."
Woodford looked perplexed.
"It's Oxford innit," she announced thoughtlessly reverting to her natural Hackney patois.
"Yer'll 'ave to 'ave a butchers f'y'self, mate. I ain't seein' none!"
Could it possibly be, thought our determined dabbler into "the dark side", that none of the local authorities involved in the Bicester area actually tells you about the buses?
"But wait!" Gypsy Queen regained her composure. "I have found a map of destiny showing buses in Bicester on-line. I mean in the crystal ball. It has appeared from ..."
Our depressed enquirer opined that a map over ten years old was unlikely to satisfy his thirst for public transport information in 2023.
By now the Hackney Gypsy was becoming desperate. "There's another map from the town of dreaming academic spires ..."
No he wasn't. The Unclairvoyant reported that it was dated 2013.
So, it would have to be an act of utter desperation and self sacrifice for Woodford if he were to have any hope of finding the new bus services to take him Aggie-wards.
He would have to try Traveline!
He handed over his fiver to the Gypsy Queen and drove, a sadder mortal, back to the Bunyanian Slough of Despond, a k a Milton Keynes.
The search for omnibological truth continues tomorrow in the similarly unreal world of 21st century public transport information.
Next Bicester Bus blog : Wednesday 1st March