It's time I took up a new hobby. The other day I was in grave danger of writing something of lasting significance. And then, all of a sudden, I remembered why I retired in the first place so I put my pen away and went in search of a new hobby. It wasn't until I was having a pot of tea with Cousin Dave this morning that I hit on the solution to my search, something to fill the void left by my abandonment of the pastime of lamp post watching. I will become a bus ticket collector.
As a one-time bus conductor I can claim a professional link with the hobby which will make me less of a sad old fool. By going in search of a rare Hebble Bell Punch or an odd East Midland Setright I can rekindle that marvelous community of like-minded eccentrics that I last enjoyed when I became fixated with lamp-posts. And what a community there is : eBay is a hot-bed of colourful vintage tickets and some of the rarer ones can command a price of several hundred pounds at auction. And you would be surprised how many other fellow enthusiasts there are out there. The composer Michael Nyman wrote an entire opera about bus ticket collecting ("Man and Boy : Dada") and there is a society dedicated to the study of tickets (The Transport Ticket Society).
So here I go, launching myself into another journey of discovery. All I need is endless time, an unquenchable curiosity, and - of course - a ticket.