Some musings on travel and borders

I had to have my ingrown toenail seen to in Hazel Grove this afternoon, so it was a case of a lie in and waiting, and shivering, in the snow at the bus stop for a 192 that could be bothered going all the way to Hazel Grove (the first 192 was going to Stepping Hill, the second 192 was going to Stockport. A case of third time lucky…) I got there half an hour early because there was a surprising lack of traffic on the A6, and – enjoying the view of the snowy pennines on the horizan, above the rooftops of shops and the civic hall, I had a forage in Cancer Research and found a Jellybean CD for £2. I didn’t think it was worth £2, only it had ‘Who Found Who’ on it, which I used to own on 7″ when I was about 10, and which I knew I would get stuck in my head within the hour, so I bought it. I’m listening to it now, and it’s surprisingly good whilst being very of its time. I also spotted The Beatles ‘Strawberry Fields…’ on 7″ for £5, which to a collector would be a bargain, but to me it didn’t seem worth it as I just don’t like it enough. I did buy the Soft Cell version of ‘Tainted Love’ on 7″ for £1 thought, but it won’t play on my record player. Further investigation has led to the discovery that the 45 rpm setting seems to have re-set itself to 33 and a third rpm. If the 33 and a third setting had re-set itself to 45 then it wouldn’t matter so much, only it hasn’t. The 78 setting is fine, so it’s obviously not the belt slipping or anything like that. I can only conclude that I probably haven’t used it since I tried to transfer Laura Branigan’s ‘Self Control’ to digital via Audacity: Can only presume the record player Didn’t Like It. Laura Branigan didn’t much either, as the file is very, very quiet…

After the podiatrist, I stood at another bus stop, shivering in the snow by Bird In Hand Yard, waiting for a Bakerbus to Poynton so I could go to Brookside for Garden Centre vouchers and thermal socks. The 391 obliged after not too long, and as I travelled through Hazel Grove, I reflected on cross border bus travel. Living on the Stockport/Manchester border, and before that the Stockport/East Cheshire border means I tend to have a duel perspective on many things, and I’ve found that whilst I didn’t appreciate this when I was growing up, I appreciate it a lot more now. There’s a balance of urban and rural, town and city. Brookside is only just in Poynton but, just as there is when I get the Buxton bus to Lyme Park, there’s the immediate border contrast when you get off the bus, with the bus stops in the blue and white colour scheme of Cheshire East, signalling that you’re coming to the end of the GMPTE zone. It’s not marked at all in Heaton Chapel because both Stockport and Manchester are in the GMPTE zone, so the signs of crossing the border are different: things like the recycle bins outside houses and flats being different, and the change in council insignia.

After Brookside, I walked back from the East Cheshire border to the terminus in Hazel Grove and caught a 192 back to Heaton Chapel. This was followed by a trudge to Heaton Moor to pick up my quilt from the launderette. Last weeks laundry soundtrack was Gregory Isaacs (including the blissful ‘Nightnurse’) and Lily Allen’s ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’. I think it was Lily again today.

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