Never wait for a London bus again!

Hubby takes the car to work so I am more or less left without a car all of the time. It is bad enough waiting for buses but becomes difficult when you are waiting with two restless toddlers! One of my good friend recommended this app to me. London bus live countdown.

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With this app I am able to search for my bus stop and it will display all of the buses that are coming to that stop and how many minutes until they are due. I know that some bus stops have this information on the bus shelter itself, but this really comes in handy for planning trips before you reach the bus stop. I am fortunate enough to have a bus stop close to my home so when I see a bus is due in five minutes, I should be able leave and get there in time ( I use the conditional tense here as mothers out there will know exactly what children tend to do when you are just about to leave the house!).

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Even though I live in London, I am in an area that is not well served by buses. It means that I often have to take more than one bus to reach a destination. I find this app helps me in that I can check what time my connecting bus is coming. If it is a long wait I can take my time getting off the bus and maybe walk around with the children to alleviate their restlessness. If the connecting bus is a very short wait then I know to get the children ad my oyster ready and hustle to catch it.

The app also has a favourites function so you can save your most used bus stops. This way you do not have to keep searching for your bus stop.

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You can also log into your oyster account, so you can keep an eye on your Oyster balance and avoid that dreaded red light on the Oyster machine and passenger stares!

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There are also other cool functions including a journey planner.

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I am actually in love with this app. I have tried to get my mum to use it but she is unsure when it comes to technology! Now, whenever she calls and is at a bus stop, I find myself looking up her stop and letting her know which buses are coming when. This morning her bus was 16 minutes away so she walked home rather than waiting at the stop.

I also find myself walking past bus stops and wanting to shout out all the bus numbers and times but I’d likely get sectioned for that……so thought I’d blog about it instead.

To download this app on your iPhone/iPad click here

Android also has its own versions in the Google Play store, one of which you can find here

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Where are you from?

I hate this question. Where are you from? Well I think I’m expected to answer with where my parents are from. Well I have only been to their islands on very few occasions. I do not feel that entitles me to say I am from there. It is not that I do not want to affiliate myself with their islands. I am proud of where my parents are from and that their islands form part of my heritage. I just do not want to pretend that I know about their islands the way they do, as if I was born and bred there. My mummy would have taken me to her island every year if she could have but you see how her bank account was set up……..

But not everyone expects me to answer with where my parents are from. Some people ask me as they do not “get” my accent. I have always thought that I sound like I am from London but Londoners tend to disagree.

I have lived over half of my life in London, few years in New York but the rest of the time in the Home Counties. I was schooled in all of these areas. I completely lost my American accent ( I think it was teased out of me). I guess my accent would be from the Home Counties but when you get to know me, I go between different accents and colloquialisms anyway.

So back to this question, where do you come from? Where DO I come from? If you ask my friends you get different answers. Friends from the places I have lived in will say I am from the town I lived in before. I call London home but most of my friends from London would say I am not from London.

Where I am from is not of much importance. Which is why the question annoys me. To me, what is important is who I am. I have been influenced by a mixture of everywhere I have lived and different cultures. I have grown up in a West Indian household while living in England. I completely embrace that. I live in a multi-cultural society and am influenced by many cultures. For this I actually feel blessed.