Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Journal 6/12/2010 - Trip To Leicester

Taking the Arriva bus to Leicester

I guess none of us likes hospital appointments, but as mine was for 9:00am this morning, I decided that not having to go to work today, I would combine mine with a walk round the shops and market afterwards in Leicester, which is 16 miles away. To save the planet, petrol and the headache of morning rush hour in the city, and also the fact that I have a senior citizens bus pass, that I would take the bus.

Following a ten minute walk to the bus stop, and a five minute wait in freezing cold temperatures, the bus duly arrived and I took my seat, upstairs as this was a double-decker. It was so cold that the windows were frozen over, and that was on the inside! They never thawed out until we reached the outskirts of the city of Leicester over an hour later. The traffic was so bad that after I got off the bus, it only left me 12 minutes to walk the half mile or so down to the hospital to keep my appointment. It was quite a dash!

I won’t talk about the appointment, apart from the fact that two very large needles were stuck in me, while I watched it on the monitor at the same time. Ouch!

Around 10:30 I walked out of the hospital expecting the sun to have warmed things up a little, but nothing of the sort, as freezing fog set in and everywhere was getting whiter and whiter. To walk around Leicester market is a marvellous experience though, especially the fruit and veg section, where the most colourful displays, even in winter, of produce is piled high on the tables, with bowls of everything marked up at one pound a bowl, and the stall holders shouting out their wares, often in jovial fashion and very much in competition with their stallholder neighbours. You can fill your bag up with lots of fresh food for a few pounds.

The Seamstress outside The City Rooms Leicester

After buying only a few apples, I left to walk round some of the shopping malls, but this isn’t really my cup-of-tea, so ended up looking round some of the side streets, taking in some of the architecture, which interests me greatly. I just had to take a picture of the City Rooms and the statue of a seamstress outside, which although I’ve seen many times before, is gorgeous and I love to touch the bronze (I think) form, so smooth and cold in my hand.

The weather got really strange at that point, as although the sun began to shine, there was a strange showering of ice crystals swirling about glistening in the brightness of it all, and still very cold.

By afternoon I had had enough and it was time to catch the bus back home. The ride back was much less stressful, and with the rapidly clearing fog, produced the most amazing sight out of the bus window. The freezing fog had covered everything – trees, fields, even sheep with a thick frosty coating that was now gloriously sparkling in the sunshine, all against the deepest blue sky.

After a half mile walk back home, I sat down with a lovely cup of real coffee and reflected on the day. Then looking at my little pedometer that I attached to myself earlier that morning, I saw it read 9,894 steps! This translates to 5.62 miles – wow! But then looking at the next setting, guess how many calories I had burned? Well, would you believe it, just 400! I reckon that I ate more than that for breakfast, and now I was about to tuck into a couple of crumpets, chocolate biscuit, oh, and one of those lovely apples I bought earlier!

To see the City Rooms in 'streetview', click here:,0,13276293075708664441&ei=eFb_TPKeFsKYhQfQ-NC6Cw&oi=local_result&ved=0CCsQnwIwAQ&ll=52.633441,-1.134188&spn=0,0.018497&z=16&layer=c&cbll=52.633822,-1.134525&panoid=VcGX5DzrIEp3sncJlmP-bg&cbp=12,109.13,,0,-8.57