So after dissing the York bus only a few days ago, I went for a ride on one. An open topped York bus. On the freezing cold last day of January with the snow blizzard that was about to hit York already making itself felt in the air.
I now know what it is like to have the beginnings of frost bite in my nose end. Why don't they make hats for noses? You can get hats, gloves, ear muffs, even thermal underwear to insulate your nethers, but noses are just left exposed to the elements. Anyone good at knitting? There is clearly a gap in the market.
Apart from the bitter cold, being on the York bus was really very good. There was even a commentary to listen to, through some provided earphones. I found it a bit irritating at first, because the commentator was talking to me as if I was an imbecile, but then I realised I had tuned into the little kids' channel. I hadn't realised there were channels. After playing around with the dial for a bit, and amusing myself by listening to various different languages, I settled into the English one (for grown ups this time), and began to enjoy it.
After about fifteen minutes though I'd had enough of being in the open top, and moved downstairs for the remainder of the journey. Maybe I'm just getting nesh* in my old age.
The view here is of the River Ouse, and the bus is going over Lendal Bridge onto Museum Street. The tower is Lendal Tower, built in the 1300s, originally defensive and also a toll point along the river. An iron chain was once stretched from this tower to Barker Tower on the opposite bank, to stop river traffic. A little ferry used to operate just here from at least the 1400s, to get people from one side of the river to another. But the ferryman was put out of business in 1863 when this bridge was built.
*Nesh was a favourite word of my grandfather, who hailed originally from Sheffield. Being described as nesh means you're a wimp - in the sense of overly sensitive to the cold!