The Simple Pleasures In Life: a series of Out Loud blogs celebrating the little things that lift our spirits, bring us joy and sometimes even reveal the miracle of life itself.
A bus ride can be so very pleasant. Preferable to the claustrophobic tube, I love to stare out the window as the bus slowly trundles along the London streets. And if a front seat is available on the upper deck this simple pleasure can easily turn in to a major viewing event.
When I was a little girl, riding the 102 from our house to my Grandma’s was good (although not as good as getting a lift in Daddy’s car which meant door to door service and the possibility of pop music – provided there was no football on the radio).
But in those days the great thing about the bus was that it provided a gateway to another, perhaps more compelling, simple pleasure: Holding The Tickets.
‘Any more fares please,’ the bus conductor would call as he clambered up and down the stairs and weaved along the aisle. I’d watch in fascination as he skillfully worked the machine, dispatching tickets with a spin of the handle and a satisfying clicking sound.
It was usually just Mummy and me so the tickets were mine to hold tight in my hot, little hand and perhaps roll in to a tiny cone. Of course I had to take care not to drop it in case the inspector got on. Even if it were all four children – my two brothers, sister and me, the others knew better than to attempt a ticket holding coup with me the youngest, ever-prepared to have a noisy and embarrassing tantrum.
Holding The Tickets still carries some charm for me. Only the other day I got to hold the tickets when we went to the cinema and I have to say I took a certain pleasure in examining the flimsy scraps of paper, noting our seat numbers and carefully separating the tickets from the credit card receipt.
That’s an interesting thing about simple pleasures – they often hark back to childhood. Another is that one simple pleasure leads to another. And another.
Like there’s no end to simple pleasures once you get started.