R’s story…..

‘R was 92 and had previously held a driving licence. He walked slowly with the aid of a stick. He refused to use the ramp that was available and utilised by the other passengers when boarding and alighting the bus and he would not take the arm of Martyn (the driver) or others if it were offered. Despite having mobility problems he preferred the back seat of the bus and both drivers and passengers would wait until he had made his way up the steps to the back and was seated in his favourite spot. He was dressed smartly in a tweed jacket and flat cap. He rarely acknowledged other passengers although they sometimes made reference to him in their conversations so it was clear he was still a part of ‘the group’. Aside from when he spoke to me he did not interact with other passengers nor seemed to be engaged with the world outside the window. Instead he was continually lost in his own thoughts. One of the first things R explained to me was how his wife had died (it was not clear if this had occurred recently or not) his eyes filled with tears as he told me that he was alone and that she was no longer with him. He went on to say that the bus service and the lunch club he attended was his only contact with the outside world and that he would be lost without it. In the absence of the bus service he told me he would have ‘nothing’.

Webber, 2010.

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