From My Archive I Choose…
U is Uno…
Originally set up to provide student transport for the University of Hertfordshire, Uno now operates an extensive network of services in Hertfordshire and into North London for use by the general public. The companies vehicles are instantly recognisable in their pink and purple colourscheme and make a change from the sea of red to be found throughout London’s suburbs on Transport for London controlled routes. You can catch up with their Information and Timetables here.
09:30 and Uno buses congregate at St. Albans railway station. Even the flowers are colour-coordinated 😉
An Optare Solo on St.Albans High Street.
One of Uno’s Scania double-deckers in Edgware on the 614 route to Queensbury from Hatfield.
A Dennis Dart at the terminus of the 610 Hatfield – Enfield route.
One of the newest vehicles in the fleet, a Mercedes-Benz Citaro passes Trinity United Reformed Church in St.Albans.
A couple of my regular contacts have asked about how Epi and I got together. Having read this excellent post by Arindam I thought it was time to tell.
Why Fireworks?… Well, in England we celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Many times we express our disappointment at his failure but we still celebrate it each year on November the 5th! But this date became much more significant for me as it was the day I met my wife to be.
I was a happily single man… well reasonably so, but was starting to look for that right person to settle down with. You can do what you want while you’re young – the aposite is that you can get married, have the kids and then do what you want. It really comes down to what you want to do. I chose a life of transport enthusiasm and flying before marriage.
Given that most people meet and marry (at least for the first time) in their mid-twenties, at 35 I was an older citizen. That brings the challenge of seeking someone of a similar age group because the usual pick-up locations are less likely to provide a target rich environment (to quote military terminology). Common sense suggested putting out feelers with friends and also dating agencies – you see, at my age there was a need to apply a certain logic to the process (not that logic would have a lot to do with the final outcome!)
I met a number of people via dating agencies and other routes but none really was my ideal (and I doubt that I was theirs either!). Then I was contacted by a married female friend from the flying club asking if I’d be prepared to join her and a couple of friends for a meal. I had to organise the meal and date. I’m fortunate in having one of London’s best Indian Vegetarian restaurants on my doorstep – Rani. So I booked a table for 4 with them.
The meeting took place on 5th November – Guy Fawkes Night. I met my friend and an older member of the African Community along with a young lady who initially seemed a little sceptical but was introduced as Epi. The evening passed in a whirl of conversation but I remember little of it because I was captivated by that young lady opposite me. She had her hair slicked back in a peak on the right of her head, deep brown penetrating eyes and, how to put this, a pixie face 🙂
Meal over, we parted and went home. My friend called me the next morning asked if I would like to meet Epi again – the only possible response was yes! I took her out for a first date to St. Albans Verulam Park and the Abbey in the middle of a winter freeze with the lake frozen over (she hates the cold)! Despite the weather we had a great time and subsequently visited Kew Gardens together (yes we both love the natural world).
We rapidly found ourselves spending more time together – much to the amusement of my future mother-in-law’s foster child 😉 I dropped a hint in the following February that I would be proposing when we saw the Cherry Blossom on the trees (her last chance to escape!).
Hows this for romantic – we’re driving down the A5183 and there’s that dreaded Cherry Blossom… I ask her the Question and she says yes. Proposal in the front seat of a Ford Escort at 50mph… Very romantic 🙂
On our wedding cake – adorned as it was was with sunflowers – there was a little box of Fireworks 🙂
Ok – that’s enough embarrassing myself and my good lady… normal service will be resumed in the next post!