Tuesday, 1 July 2014

on the X84

The post I wrote the other day on the marvellous Yorkshire band, New Model Army planted an ear worm in my head.  I couldn't stop singing their song Green and Grey, countless repetitions of the song on my stereo mean that I know the words off by heart.


Image from Lunatic Travel, here
The song starts with these words:
"The time I think most clearly, the time I drift away, is on the bus ride, that meanders, up these valleys of green and grey."  
And it's set me to thinking about the times I've listened to that song, first on tape with my Walkman (which took 4 AA batteries), then on my Discman, and now on my 'phone. I've listened to it heading homeward on a National Express coach. I've listened to it on the bus from Bradford to Ilkley, and indeed on the train.  But most of all, I've listened to it on the X84 from Ilkley to Leeds.

I did spend a while commuting into Leeds from Ilkley on the train, but as prices went up, and train services went down, it became more and more a mugs game.   I started catching the X84, which starts in Skipton, but I caught it in Ilkley to start off with, then goes through Burley, Otley, and Bramhope, into Leeds, through Headingley (passing the Original Oak and the Skyrack), and then past the Universities to the City Centre. It's described more at Lunatic Travel, here.

There is a bit of the journey where the road rises up above Wharfedale, and the valley is spread out below you, before the bus heads off to Airedale and Bramhope (pron Bram'awp), for which I always dropped my book.  It was magnificent.  Gods own County indeed.

I caught the X84 into Leeds for most of my commuting life.  After Ilkley, I lived in Otley (special mention to The Junction), and then moved into Leeds itself.  First to Bodington Hall, and then to a part of Meanwood that was very close to Headingley.  The X84 was my bus, and that route is the route I think of when I drift away to contemplate the valleys of green and grey.

What about you?  Do you have a special journey you'd care to tell us about?

The book challenge
Words at 3/7/14 - 95,000. Change of tack - just doing broad strokes to get to the end of the story.
55,500 words done since the challenge began! 12,000 last month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 26.
What I did last - Planning chapter 27 (fallout from a major death).