No not 1, 2, 3 but 12: that is the number of our bus. It used to go to Camberwell but has retired to our garden. Owning things is not a very good reason to be cheerful, but hey, it is hard not to crack a smile when you see a routemaster stuck in the Berkshire 'burbs.
I blame it on Radio 4. In the days before children, I seem to remember, we had long leisurely lie ins on Saturdays. We must have, as one week we were listening to the comedienne Linda Smith discuss the demise of the Routemaster bus. At the end of the programme she mentioned that they were selling them off for little more than we were planning to spend on a new garden shed....you can see it...the twisted logic? Of course, a bus is so much more sensible than a silly old garden shed and we started to giggle.
Back in those days us Brits were only just cutting our teeth on Internet shopping, but I managed to go on line to track down bus heaven (or was it purgatory as their final resting place had yet to be decided). The next week we took the long trip right around the M25 to deepest darkest Essex. Faced with a large hanger crammed with buses we did what any normal human would do: we found the one bus without an Andrew Lloyd Webber poster and bought it.
A week later reality entered the equation and we considered out small lane and modest garden and the scale of the bus and the giggles subsided. Too late, the bus was on its way and going top speed of 30mph it was taking a time.
It was meant to be a festival bus, taking us to Glastonbury and the like, but instead it is a party bus. For one party with had a children's area upstairs with Scaletrix and baby football and downstairs we cleared the seats to have a bar and dance area.
More recently it had been storage and a workshop. We can quickly revamp it to turn it into a bar for parties or even set it up with a table, it can seat 20 people at a push. Can you imagine a better ice braker than reaching up to pull the bell to ask for more wine to be passed?
It is, like the house, very much of a work in progress but we love it. Besides it is hard not to be cheerful with a number 12 in our garden.