Conversations with Strangers: On the Buses

It’s been a while since I posted one of my conversations with strangers, so here’s another one.

This time I happened to be on a bus, making a one-off unfamiliar journey. I noticed an elderly couple who were sitting at the front start shuffling along, making their way toward the back of the bus, they looked like they were struggling a bit, trying to steady themselves, but they made it. The man sat next to me and his wife on the other side of him.

Annoying Chatterboxes?ย 

The man – who I will name Tim, leaned in toward me and immediately began to vent about how he and his wife had to move seats because of the ranting man sat in front of them who wouldn’t stop talking – the ranting man seemed to talk to no end, to anyone within arms length – apparently the man rides buses on that route quite often, having had a few drinks, ranting away. “It’s so annoying when people sit next to you and don’t stop talking, we couldn’t put up with him any more” said Tim.

The ranting man was busy talking to the woman beside him – so there were at least two cases of conversations with strangers taking place ๐Ÿ˜Š

The ranting man bragged that he was 70 something years old. Tim scoffed “I can put at leastย another 10 years on that:” Tim said proudly. Tim’s in his 80s but looked very youthful for his age, not many wrinkles. “We eat a lot of fruit and veg, plus two brandy’s a day. One mid morning with a coffee and the other is due about now” Tim declared, looking at his watch.

Tim continued to recount some of the other man’s annoying rants and how frustrating the ordeal had been.

The Irony

I was on this bus for an hour, not a quick journey.

Tim chatted away for the entire journey, barely turning to acknowledge his silent wife. Lol, I wondered if she was simply enjoying having some thinking time to herself.

The whole time Tim was talking I kept thinking – you’re doing the very thing you find annoying when other people do it to you.

Silver Lining

Tim’s chatter was actually very pleasant and unexpectedly useful.

We got talking about the weather and rising gas prices before Tim gave me all sorts of tips and advice about home insulation (particularly for walls), and what a huge difference it had made to his own home and heating costs. At night they get all their power from solar batteries and feel like they run their home almost for free.

Tim checked with his wife to recall the name, before turning back to give me contact details of the company that did his insulation, his solar panels and solar batteries. Tim showed me the number in his old skool flip phone. “I don’t have one of those fancy phones, I stick with this”ย  he said.

I made a note in my phone for future ref.

I was curious about how many panels he’d installed and roughly how much he’d spent on it – a worthy long term investment. “People need to think about the long term, otherwise you’re just throwing money away, year in year out”

Glazed Windows

Tim regrets listening to a ‘professional’ who advised him against getting triple glazed windows, telling him they wouldn’t really make much difference, and to just stick with double glazing. Tim has since done some research and wishes he’d gone for the triple glazing, he’d advise anyone to do so.

Tim went on to tell me about windows that have a blind built in between the glass panels, “they look very smart, no faff around the window frames and you can adjust them with a magnetised mechanism so you can see out, but no one can see in” Tim explained. I’d never heard of these before!

We moved on to the topic of basements and cellars, and how to make best use of them for storing food and keeping it fresh – something many ‘newer build’ houses have done away with nowadays.

More property releflections

“I have a friend who’s built his own house and lives completely off the grid” said Tim, “He’s got his own turbine, produces all his own energy”ย  Tim recalled.

I should have asked if he’d worked in the building trade or something similar, but the conversation was running ahead of me.


Tim used to live is a very remote area in the north of the UK, he described the beautiful scenery and how on a very clear day they could see the sea. No people around “we don’t need people” he said.

The winters would be bitter ” Oh yes, by September we’d be stocking up on food, filling up our big freezers“.

Tim said the local police would call them throughout the winter months to make sure they were ok, had enough food, and remind them that an air ambulance could be sent over if they needed any medical attention.

Tim misses the isolation and peace of their old house. They live in a small village now, and still have beautiful views, but miss the isolation. Nosey neighbours are a bit of a bother at times, but Tim and his wife are very private people.

“We don’t attend any village coffee mornings, or ‘scandal mornings’ we don’t have people coming into the house. When we were doing the place up, a local lady came over saying she’d love to see what we were doing with the place. I told her it was our private home, not a peep show”. ๐Ÿ‘

And finally…

Burglaries, village louts, getting older and not needing as much sleep, pets, and life – are amongst some of the other things that came up during this wonderful chat, as the sun was setting beautifully all around us.

At the end of the journey we agreed it was a small world and we might cross paths again one day. I wished Tim and his wife a lovely evening and thanked them again for the advice and tips they’d shared.

Bless em.


sightseeing bus and lovely views vector

Have you had any conversations with strangers lately?

It’s a shame we forget a lot of these soon after they happen – imagine if we journalled them all and then read through them again years down the line…

P.S. Feel free to share any of your own home insulation tips below ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿก

Have a great week ahead๐Ÿ’ซ

27 thoughts on “Conversations with Strangers: On the Buses

  1. Ellie Thompson

    This is such a lovely post – I really like it and can totally identify with it. I felt I was almost on that bus with you. And what useful tips Tim gave you about saving energy in the home. I always feel very honoured if someone chooses to strike up a conversation with me in a queue or on a bus etc. You never know what might arise from a random conversation with a stranger. I’ve made a few friendships that stemmed from unexpected conversations – you never know where they’re going to take you. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m looking forward to reading some more of your posts too. Ellie ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. debscarey

    That’s something I’m missing currently – the enjoyment of random conversations with total strangers. People have always talked to me, and some of the conversations have been really interesting informative. Some less so, but they’ve fortunately been in the minority and I always have a book in my bag to hide behind if I need to. I blame it on a need for time sensitive research and deadlines being met.

    1. Cherryl

      Hi Maggie, lol, yes I think he enjoyed being ‘in the know’ and imparting his knowledge…he actually said something along the lines of ‘I’ve given you a lot of advice today’ ๐Ÿ˜Š thankfully there was no consultancy fee!

      I drafted this blog post the same day when I got back home so it was all very fresh and such a lovely conversation.

      More generally though, carrying a pocket notebook, or just using a notes app on my phone, is really helpful for random bits I might pick up through the day for a future blog post โœ๏ธ

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