I was watching out the kitchen window as I did the dishes this afternoon and I saw the inevitable... the 38 double-deck buses have been replaced with long, one-level, bendy buses. I knew it was coming; they've been advertising the change for a couple weeks now. Sure, they're more efficient with three on/off doors, but what about style? There's nothing cool or romantic about riding into the West End on the same kind of bus that you could ride in New York, LA or Caracas. It's so awesome to get just above it all and get a different perspective on London than you can walking the streets. I don't think any other city has been lucky enough to have its buses be a tourist draw and I think they should do more to keep them going.
In more upbeat news, most of you are aware (through Bill Bryson or personal experience) that the UK has great names. Elephant & Castle, Cockfosters, High Wycombe, Newcastle-Under-Lyme. Today I found another I quite like. Tucked away in the Southeast corner of London County is a little spot of a town called Pratt's Bottom. How delightful is that? If I lived there I think I'd have to suppress a chuckle each time I checked the mail and received a letter addressed to Shaun Coley of Pratt's Bottom.
So I guess, all-in-all, England will keep its charm regardless of the view from its buses.