While I was walking to Bromley South last night I turned a corner and in front of me was this house….

I don’t know what it was about the house but it instantly reminded me of a construction set I used to have when I was a child. The system was called Bayko and was I believe made by Mecanno out of that fabulous material Bakelite. The system consisted of a green base with a grid of holes drilled into it. Into these holes you inserted metal rods and onto the metal rods you slid  a series of bricks to make up the model. The bricks were red and white and invariably the red bricks went at the bottoma nd the white at the top just like the house I was standing in front of. There were windows and doors to be added too, curved bricks for building bay windows and the whole thing was topped off with a red tiled roof.

My Dad had bought a huge box of the stuff from a second hand shop and I think this was added to at a later stage when he found another set. I loved playing with it building houses and all manor of things. It’s a shame we don’t still have it as it would most likely be worth a fortune now if the prices on some of the sites I looked at this morning is anything to go by!


Walking Blues

Last weekend my car broke down and I’ve been coming into work by public transport – which on the whole I don’t mind except for the weakest link – the 358 bus. I have to catch this bus from Bromley South station to my office and it’s an absolute nightmare. I’m either waiting ages for it or the driver is a frustrated formual 1 reject who wheelspins away from bus stops only to slam on the brakes at the next junction/crossing/bus stop. The route isn’t the most straight forward either as it weaves it’s way from one point to the next.

On Wednesday evening I left work at 5:30 as usual and walked to the bus stop. The bus came quite quickly and despite the demon driver it still didn’t arrive at Bromley South until 6:20. I had just missed the train by this point and had to wait for the next one at quarter to. As I waited I thought that there had to be a better way. I have long toyed with the idea of bringing a bike for that last part of the journey but haven’t due to the fact that South Eastern won’t allow them on trains during the rush hour (except folding ones).

Anyway the following day I decided that I would try walking the 3.3 miles to the station. I’d walked a couple of miles the previous lunchtime to pick up some Chilli plants that I’d been given on Freecycle so I thought that the extra mile wouldn’t be too bad. After all I had until 6:44 to get there as that was when the train I’d caught the previous night left. It had taken me about 40 minutes to walk 2 miles so I Should be able to do it in an hour and a quarter – I’d give it a shot.

I google’d a route and it was pretty much the way I would have gone except for a couple of cut through routes that I wouldn’t have known about. Typically there were at least 3 people in the office that afternoon that I could have scrounged a lift off but I was determined to walk it. I almost wavered when I discovered that it was only a mile and a half to Beckenham Junction and I could pick up a train to Bromley South from there but even though this might be a better option in the long run I decided to stick to my original plan.

As I set off I got to the place I normally catch the bus from and would you believe it just as I did a bus came round the corner – that never happens normally. It was a good job I didn’t have any cash on me otherwise I might have given in to temptation! Curiously as I got to the point where the bus rejoins the route after a detour towards West Wickham I saw another 358 – at least I think it was another one – it couldn’t have been the same one could it?

The walk was actually quite enjoyable although it was quite a hot day and I did have a bag that could have done with less things in it. Despite all of that I arrived at the station at 6:25 meaning that it had only taken me 5 minutes longer than the bus had taken the previous day. I’d also saved the princely sum of £2.20, got some exercise and a lot of fresh air – I was quite pleased about that.