I have made the momentous decision to sell my car, and become reliant on public transport. The continuing rise in the cost of petrol, plus the fact that my car spends most of the week gathering dust and bird poo on the driveway, means that it's just not worth keeping any more, particularly if you factor in the cost of insurance, tax and servicing.
However, the thought of being completely at the mercy of buses and trains makes me very nervous. As a country girl, where public transport is limited, I've been driving ever since I was allowed. I passed my test four months after my 17th birthday, and have been the owner of a series of old bangers ever since. In chronological order, I began with a dingy orange Vauxhall Chevette, graduated onto an ancient brown Audi 80, followed by a beige Maestro (this was a low point). Once I was employed, things took a turn for the better, and I've been a happy car owner ever since. So now, for the first time since I was a teenager, I shall be without wheels. I may even have to learn how to use buses, something that I've never fathomed anywhere I've lived. And, you may ask, who is the provider of our local bus system in Slough and Windsor? Why, it's none other than the First group, what are the chances? I am not heartened by a conversation with a work colleage from Bristol last week, who requested an "I Hate First Great Western" badge for her husband, who doesn't even use trains, but has lots of bad things to say about the First bus service there. Still, I shan't judge until I've tried it, and just think of all the fun characters I'll meet on my way to and from the supermarket.
I've also taken to riding a bike (ooh, get me and my non-existent carbon footprint), but although it's glorious at the moment, I can see a time in mid-November where all my best-laid plans go horribly wrong, and I am trapped at bus-stops for hours on end, with the rain soaking into my shoes. Perhaps the purchase of some all-weather gear might be a good idea, and if I wear it on the bus, it might even deter people from talking to me. On reflection, I am far too unsociable to use public transport.
Just time for one more plug for tonight's Week In Week Out rail special, at 22:35 on BBC Wales One, available on satellite, digital, and Welsh televisions. I think you can also watch it on the internet after the event. At least I'm hoping so, otherwise I will miss my short moment of fame.