Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tuesday in the Slow Lane

Yesterday was one of those days when I was reminded of how amusing life in a small rural area can be and why I love living here.

We went to Buncrana yesterday, leaving on an earlier bus than we usually do. We'd discovered that there is another bus company that goes through Buncrana on the way to Moville and it would get us home at 3ish, so we figured we'd take that one home. On the way, we had to stop for a minute or two on the main road in Clonmany to wait while a frightened cow made her way off the road where she was running back and forth. Fortunately, she was not injured.

I finished the library book I was reading (Lantern Slides--a short story collection by Edna O'Brien) just as we were arriving in Buncrana, so the first stop was the library, where I returned it.

When we'd turned the corner on Main Street to head down a side street towards the library, we passed a window full of delicious looking baked goods, including some blueberry scones. It was not too long before we found ourselves back there buying a couple of scones to eat right then and a caramel slice to bring home. It's a pretty big one, so we will share it tonight. I do not recall seeing The Corner Deli before and it is relatively new--it opened last August and we only went to Buncrana once after that, until last week. We agreed that we will go back again the next time we are in town. As we were leaving with our goodies, the young woman behind the counter called out, asking if we did not want butter and jam. We didn't. She seemed surprised. 'Are you sure?' she asked. Those scones were so good just as they were--they didn't need anything extra.

We called in at the butcher, where we'd gone for the first time last week. We wanted to find some good sausages that were made with good ingredients and not full of a bunch of fillers and stuff. I cooked the chilli coriander sausages we got last week and we loved them. Bill wanted to get more for the freezer, so we did. We were chatting with the young man behind the counter and mentioned that we live in Moville. His face lit up. 'Moville! That's where I'm from. Nice little village. Moville, born and bred.' We told him how much we liked the sausage and he was pleased. He told us that they are made with the butchers own animals and don't have artificial casings or other junk in them.

We did the rest of the stuff we went there to do and we headed back towards what we assumed was the bus stop. We had a little time, so we sat on a wall to wait. We did not know exactly where the bus would stop, since the schedule just said 'at SuperValu.' We knew it would be across from SuperValu, because of the direction of the traffic, but the other buses all stopped down the road a short way and we did not know if this bus would too. Usually there are other people around waiting, but there was no one else there. We were prepared to flag the driver down. As we sat there, a guy came up and asked if we were waiting for the bus.  I said we were waiting for McGinley's. He said it came at 1:30. I said the schedule said 2. He was glad he hadn't missed it. He walked further down the road and waited. Other people started arriving to wait. He got tired of waiting and left, saying he'd be back. At about 1:50, a small NW Busways bus pulled up. This is the bus we usually take, but we knew that particular one did not go all the way to Moville. Turned out that everyone else who was waiting wanted that bus, so within a few minutes, we were once again the only ones there. Soon the guy came back and asked where everyone had gone. I told him the NW Busways bus had come and everyone had gotten on it. 'That was probably the bus I wanted,' he said. I told him about McGinleys and he asked if it went through Ballyliffen and Clonmany. I said it did. he kept asking me questions, so I told him what I knew about it--it started in Dublin and ended up in Moville, making some stops along the way. He decided that it probably would not come and if it did, it would not stop for us. He decided to wait for the 4:20 NW Busways. We told him that's the one we usually take. He told us we should go get a cup of tea while we waited for it and he would probably see us then. He was off to kill time. By then it was 2:05. Within 5 minutes, the bus came around the bend. I flagged it down and we got on. There were just a few people on it. Since no one ws getting off at Buncrana, I suspect he would not have stopped if I hadn't waved at him. If the guy had only waited a few minutes more, he could have saved himself a couple of hours!

The last people besides us got off at Carndonagh, a town about 15 minutes away from Moville. The bus driver left the bus running and the door open while he went into a shop for a couple of minutes. Then we were on our way again. Shortly before we got to Moville, we saw cows on the road again. Two large cows and a calf were walking along the road, with a car alongside. The driver had the door open and was waving at them. The bus driver pulled up behind them, diagonally across the road to block their way. The driver of the car, who I assume was the farmer, got out and was able to get them through the gate. Then he gave a thumbs up to the bus driver and we proceeded to Moville. Later I was thinking that if he was the same driver who started in Dublin, he'd had an interesting mix of driving experiences that day, from the crazy drivers and traffic of Dublin to helping herd a few cows on the edge of Moville..

photo by Bill Burke

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