metawidget: close-up of freewheel of a bicycle (bicycle)

Life without owning a car is something that gets enough questions asked of me that I thought I'd post a few things about it. Also, I like reading this sort of thing from other people (hi, [livejournal.com profile] asimplelife!), so I thought I'd give back.

So, for starters, here's the situation: I live with my wife and toddler son in an older residential neighbourhood in Hull. We're within walking distance of most of the basic necessities of life, none of us have any mobility-reducing disabilities. I've got the lone driver's license in the household.

the details )

When Oscar was on the way, we heard predictions that we'd be buying a car (or maybe even a minivan!) soon 'cause young kids require cars — we (well, mostly I) did consider getting one (by buying or hand-me-down), but so far we're managing pretty well with a toddler and all the options we have. I know of one co-worker who's thriving with school-aged children and no car, too, so apparently parents in the right situation can manage with multiple kids and not owning a car.

I guess that's a fairly broad picture of how we manage transportation in our little family. I've been wanting to write that out for a while, I hope it's useful or interesting to some people out there...

metawidget: Person sitting cross-legged from the rear, in black and white with noise and scratches (body)
So, this evening on the way home with Oscar strapped to me and laden down with bags, my shoulder popped out (this is a chronic thing that just happens to me sometimes). I was talking with some friendly woodgie-ing people on the #2 a little before 6, and reached to put up his sleeping hood and felt it go. It wasn't too bad, so I thought I'd see if it just slipped back in if I relaxed it as much as possible. No such luck, and so at the end of the route, I told the driver my shoulder had popped out and I might need a little time and maybe a hand with my stuff while I put myself back together.

The driver pulled over to the time-stop around the corner, called in, offered an ambulance (I wasn't quite ready for one), asked if I could stand (I managed), and was sort of reluctant to do any sort of manual intervention (there must be a "don't touch the rider" policy, which is probably a good thing most of the time). He phoned in again to tell someone he would be running a little late, and helped me get buckles and straps undone on a messenger bag, a backpack, a coat and a baby, stood around and talked to me while I popped my shoulder back in (it's a lot easier when I'm a little distracted and when I'm not wearing 50 pounds of gear and baby). Oscar slept through the whole thing — pop out around Preston, ride to the end of the line, chat, unload, sleep on the cooperative seating, let me pop in, put him and everything back on. The driver was patient, methodical and friendly through it all, and fended off a possibly grumpy dispatcher all the while. So, for all the unhappy or odd OC stories out there, I thought I'd add this to the Internet. Thanks, Mr. Driver, and happy holidays!

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metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
metawidget
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