I've been looking for a new bag for work since my last (free!) bag is falling apart at the seams - and more worryingly at the strap so it keeps falling off my shoulder. Nothing that really worked in Winchester so I decided to try Basingstoke which has a good bag shop. But it costs about £6 to go to Basingstoke on the train, which is about a third of the price I was thinking of spending, until I realised that my bus pass would cover the journey. And yes, it took an hour and a quarter on the bus, compared to twenty minutes on the train, but the weather is so cold I can't go to the allotment, and I caught up with email/paperwork and other household chores at the end of last year.
So I set off on the bus, and it turned out to be a lovely journey. I sat on the top of a double-decker as it swayed through lanes and along dual carriageways. The sun was the bright winter sort which brought every colour out of the brown landscape. Many fields were in their bare harrowed state, and lay sleek on the hills showing off their curves to perfection. The Test river was bright and gleaming in glimpses along the first part of the route, and strange yet homely pieces of architecture dotted the journey. I couldn't help thinking on the way that my mother would have really enjoyed the trip in her younger days.