Great skies at night

I grew up only 50 miles from London, in a village which was connected to the rest of the world by a bus, and not very much else. Living far from school meant that we quickly developed a degree of independence which I think is probably unusual in children today. Every day, from the age of six, I took the single decker bus to school, five miles there and five miles back again. Our weekend pleasures were rural ones: roaming the fields, cycling along country lanes, and stealing putty from half built houses in the village’s new housing estate.

What does this have to do with this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge on the theme of Scale?

Once in a while, on the hottest days of the summer, the bus company put a double decker bus on the route to school. But not just any old double decker…. an open-top double-decker bus. The thrill of it! All piled onto the top desk, we gloried in our special place under the trees and close to the sky.

I live in London now, and here too I can still have that sensation of being a tiny inconsequential being under a vast sky. This photo was taken on the Heath at sunset, one of the highest points in the city.

Great skies at night,  Hampstead Heath

My son J has had an altogether different upbringing to mine…. fewer huge skies and another kind of access to the great outdoors, which I write about here.



  1. Lovely photo.

    I to travelled to school but on a double decker bus. I remember there always being a fight to get the front seats on the top deck. It was like having a window on the world up there.

    1. Thank you. I can imagine šŸ™‚ In our regular single deckers, the fight was for the back seat. Except that we didn’t really fight… with each year passing, we moved automatically further back in the bus…

  2. Brilliant interpretation of scale. When we look up and see the sky, it looks vast and endless – whichever way you look, it seems to go on and on and on…and us, we’re stuck on the ground and our feet can only take us so far šŸ™‚

    Like Hugh’s experience, I remember I had to fight to get to sit at the top of the school bus. Once the doors open, everyone would rush in and up the stairs. Sadly, I was never usually fast enough šŸ˜€

    1. Yes, you’re right, vast and endless. Today I’ve been hearing about the 100 people shortlisted for a one way trip to Mars. That’s endless a step too far as far as I m concerned, though they seem keen šŸ™‚
      I still take the bus a lot, but can’t manage the stairs quite as well as when I was 12 šŸ™‚

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