Big day trips have become less frequent as time has gone by. I have been busier in the last year or two and more mindful of how tiring they can be. Plus I’ve gotten lazier. What I sometimes do is a whirligig, a round trip or look where I spend most of the time travelling, usually when I have only set out around lunchtime and time is relatively short. Today’s is one I have done a few times before, to St. Andrews and back, with the two-and-a-half-hour bus journey a great opportunity to read, write and just clear my head. It was also a great opportunity to write an OU assignment. I had an hour to wander in St. Andrews amidst the tourists, buy snacks and use the toilet before heading straight back home again.
There are days when visiting a place is less important than travelling, seeing where I end up and just being on a journey. I suppose it is the public transport equivalent of psychogeography, especially when the destination is unknown upon setting out. One famous Saturday when I still lived in Dunbar, I set out in the morning, ended up in St. Andrews then, on a whim, took a bus to Glasgow then another back to Edinburgh then home. I couldn’t quite believe what I was doing that day, suppressing laughter as I asked the driver for a ticket to Glasgow. The journey today was less whimsical. I thought about going to Kirkcaldy Galleries today but there was a bus to St. Andrews leaving soon so what could I do? I thought about coming back via Dundee, though, but in the end traipsing back through the Fife countryside won over going the road and miles to Dundee, which in any event I was only in last week.
I had a conversation once about something called bus philosophy, the random, even Zen-like thoughts that come while on a bus. Bus philosophy is best practised on the way home from places, when your brain is more relaxed and getting closer to home, though I have sometimes employed it in traffic jams and even on planes. I have often thought that philosophy is a best suited to a pub though for those of us for whom pubs give a sore head when sober, bus philosophy is not a bad substitute. I’ve got a while before home yet – I’ll have to see what transpires in the miles and miles to Glasgow still to come.