Three words I detest: Bus replacement service | Zella Compton

DELAY: Bus replacement services make your heart sinkDELAY: Bus replacement services make your heart sink
DELAY: Bus replacement services make your heart sink | JPIMedia
You might wonder what’s worse than a bus replacement service on the railway.Yes, there are a few things, but it doesn’t feel like it when you are stuck on a bus, windows steaming, trundling along at 0.5mph as every Dick and Harry take to their cars to avoid being stuck on a bus replacement service.

I really wish staff at the railway station would warn you about it before you board the train, so you can prepare yourself for the pending doom – or make cunning alternative arrangements.

Can you imagine my horror on hearing that we’d be shunted off the train when we’d already left the starting point and were under way? Especially when we had carefully-timed lunch reservations in Piccadilly – which sounds awfully grand but it’s a new place I’ve found which is cheap as chips and serves the most wonderful French flavours.

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And, you know what? When the guard cheerfully estimates it’s only going to take half-an-hour you know, you just know, in the deepest part of your dark heart, that you need to multiply that number by three. At least.

Frustrating...Frustrating...
Frustrating... | JPIMedia

It was worse than that.

The bus waited for nearly eternity to open its doors, stopped at every backwater station on the route, beeped at every other vehicle in its way, even when stuck in lengthy traffic jams, before finally grinding to a halt just outside the station... because a car was blocking the entrance.

It was dismal. And yes, there was Wi-fi on the bus, and a charging point in each seat for phones.

But I like to travel on trains as I can walk around, use the loo if I am super desperate and guard against all likeliness of being car sick.

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We missed lunch as our pain was compounded by a broken-down train on the tracks that were working and a billion other people who were also competing to get to their appointments.

Generally speaking I find all rail staff to be terrific, super helpful and full of good cheer. But if only they’d felt the need to tell me before boarding about the buses I could have done something, anything. Bless the guard who let me come back via another route.

It is amazing what you can reel in on beach at Hill Head

Have you seen the Weetabix advert with the submarine which the girl catches with a fishing rod and lands on a chilly looking beach in front of a row of huts?

Well, that’s the beach at Hill Head. I spent my childhood fishing thereabouts, learning the skills of casting from my dad – though I could never bring myself to put a rag worm on the hook – okay, any worm.

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I caught eels and flatfish regularly, but obviously should have eaten Weetabix as nothing as exciting as catching a submarine ever happened to me. It’s fabulous to see somewhere you know appear on national television, especially when it’s for a good reason and not for some cycle-stealing spree.

Would you risk death to make your dreams come true?

A man has reportedly died in America after firing himself into the air in a rocket he built in his garage.

What do you think the thought process could have been behind that?

It wasn’t a massive, reach-the-moon type of an affair, more of a glorified cannon-shooting than anything else.

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I’m thinking he must have been to the circus once and thought ‘I’ll have a go at something similar’. The so-called daredevil was 64, so I suppose you could argue that it wasn’t as much a waste of a life as it could have been.

There’s something to admire about people who take their passions so seriously they’ll risk death and destruction to realise their dreams.

I can’t see that I’ll ever read or write myself to death.

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