Bus philosophy

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.

St Andrews Cathedral
St Andrews Castle

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.

How this blog was written
View from the bus
Another view from a bus

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.



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