Bus Trip

Today, being school holidays, me and the two youngsters went to a play park. Nothing so strange in that, except the park we choose was a 45 minutes bus ride away and it doesn’t even have incredible swings or anything.

Why did we go? Well, why not?

Toddler has a love affair with buses and bus rides, so the idea was to treat him to lots of bus and also use up time. One small snag to this often used ploy is that elder son and I don’t travel too well, actually we don’t travel well at all – we usually travel sick!

We were expecting a green bus but today a blue one pulled up. Being well traveled bus riders, we know the layout of our buses. Toddler always sits on the same bench in the same place… but today’s bus caused a problem. It was new. Brand new. Wow-wee new. The seats were all over the place, some facing forwards, some back. The normal place of choice – the five seat bench across the back – was only a three seat bench.

We started out on the back bench, me, two kids, umpteen bags and a folded buggy/stroller covered in mud. We were a bit squashed in. The bus rolled off onto the roads as we moved onto a four-seat place – us and our luggage. The boys facing forwards and me backwards…

Until the first corner when I remembered that although I might travel bad forwards that was nothing to how I travel backwards. So I moved to the forward facing seat behind the boys.

Finally sorted!

Except then we needed to open the upper window so that we could get a draft and not the stale warm air from the heaters.

And then we had to locate everyone’s sweet supply and water as chewing and drinking relieves some of the travel sickness.

Sorted – yep.This time actually we were.

If we ever did a ten minute bus journey we would never be settled before we had to get off.


The rest of the journey we enjoyed – the new seats all comfy, the radio playing ok music, the toddler trying to put his finger into the wi-fi socket on his chair, elder son trying to work out how to use the emergency exit! This was a really neat bus. After travelling on those rattle, bang, stinky, quiet, boring buses we are used to, this was some kind of luxury.

And it got me thinking…

Just because you are in a place where you think you have to forego the good things – like music, comfort, internet connection – well, you don’t always.

Why not have music, lights, action anywhere – on the bus, in the house, down the garden at the outdoor dining table. Wouldn’t it be great to have some kind of system that you could hide up in the parasol to play music and illuminate your table…

Thinking of which, here’s an extract from my review article – 10 Must-Have Outdoor Dining Accessories for 2017


8. Umbrella Light and Bluetooth Speaker System

When you are dining outside, it’s nice to have background lighting and music. This accessory provides both by clipping onto the top of your umbrella / parasol pole, or any other convenient pole or post nearby.

Looking a bit like a UFO, this system consists of a circular 8 inch diameter speaker system with 8 LED lights. The stereo is blue-tooth so will play any of your selected music from a blue-tooth device. The LEDs provide a powerful light source which will brighten your table to full effect – perfect for those outdoor late night card games but not, perhaps, for something a little more intimate.

It attaches to the umbrella pole so will be centrally located at your table, or you can attach it to most surfaces using the straps provided. It is said to be splash resistant so will be ok if outdoors in a storm, although it is best kept inside when not in use.

This is probably my ‘favorite’ of all the accessories I have chosen. Bright lights and music playing – just like being indoors only outdoors… and all the while feeling like you are sat under an incoming UFO!


I’m now off to try and find my land legs.

Bye for now


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