Latest news 2024-02-16: Experimental (unstable) datatool v2.49a available for testing. Download from the experimental page if you would like to try it out.

Dickimaw Books Blog RSS feed

No Services Stop Here 🔗

image of sign fastened to post

[Originally posted on Facebook 2015-05-02.] There are some interesting little curiosities in our village and the surrounding area, such as the Foxhole bus stop at the end of Long Lane that has “No bus services currently operate in this area” displayed on it. I’ve never known of a bus service that went down that narrow country lane, but I’ve only lived in the area for ten years. The nearest bus stop from our home is actually only a short walk away, but it’s cunningly disguised as a reminder speed limit sign. The only thing that gave it away was the board with a bus timetable fixed to it, but when the bus company decided to change from the one-hourly morning service to two-hourly, they removed the timetable, so the 9:20 now arrives at 9:55 (or thereabouts) and the 10:20 has gone to meet its maker (or, perhaps, just gone to Long Stratton instead).

Some of the old folk who were bred and born here have acquired a sixth sense through a lifetime of close contact with nature (or, possibly, frequent trips to Norwich) and they have divined the secret locations where the bus stops and can sense the times when the bus is due. And so it might happen, that one of these fey folk might come upon on a soggy mawther standing up in the rain and say, “if you’re waiting for the 10:20, that ent coming til 11:55”.

However, the bus company have spared us the anguish of sleepless nights, wondering when they’ll get around to replacing the old timetable with the new one, as they’ve removed the board it used to be fixed to, and so the bus stop’s disguise is now complete. No passer-by could ever mistake it for anything but a speed limit sign, thanks to its masterly camouflage.

No doubt the bus company is at ease with the knowledge that we live in the modern age with information at our fingertips, but that strange creature commonly known as “a signal” is a city-lover that delights in the frenetic urban high life and fears to venture down the winding country lanes where the pace is slower cos there ent no point tearing round the corner as they’ll only be a tractor there and you ent never going to pass that for the next five miles.

But the Foxhole bus stop with no service still remains like a phantom from the past and seems to say, “who remember that ole bus that useter stop here?”

Update 2019-10-05: eventually my curiosity overcame me and I asked some elderly locals who had lived in the village all their life what bus service used to go that way. I was either greeted with a puzzled “what bus stop?” or I was reliably informed that “there ent never been no bus that go that way.” The general consensus was that no bus could possibly get down that route because the lane is far too narrow. So why then, I persisted, is there a sign that says no services stop there? The reply was simply “there ent no bus that go that way.”

Sometime later I happened to be driving down a narrow lane further south of the village on the other side of the A140. (I don’t like to say that I was lost. I was confident that I hadn’t wandered across the border into Suffolk, and I was pretty sure that eventually I would find a sign pointing to somewhere I recognised. I was just temporarily misplaced.) I came to a junction with another equally narrow, twisty lane and, while looking around trying to determine which way to go, I saw another one of those “no services currently operate in this area” signs.

I’m not complaining about these redundant signs. It’s just one of those interesting oddities that piques a writer’s curiosity, but since my original post the sign has been removed, and there’s now no trace of the mysterious Foxhole bus stop that was apparently never on any bus route.

Nicola Talbot 2019-10-05 📂 Norfolk 🔖 Re-published

Next Post

image of dickimaw parrot with cookies in cloudsOnce upon a time, a little parrot decided to migrate across the vast ocean to the cloud lands, with nothing more than a handful of cookies. The Dickimaw Books site has migrated to a new web hosting provider and this is the story of its journey.
Nicola Talbot 2019-09-15 📂 Site 🔖 Migration

Previous Post

image of dickimaw parrot with cookies in cloudsOnce upon a time, a little parrot decided to migrate across the vast ocean to the cloud lands, with nothing more than a handful of cookies. The Dickimaw Books site has migrated to a new web hosting provider and this is the story of its journey.
Nicola Talbot 2019-09-15 📂 Site 🔖 Migration

Recent Posts

End of Year Ebook Sale
Book coversThe DRM-free ebook retailer SmashWords has their end of year sale from 15th December 2023 to 1st January 2024. My crime novel “The Private Enemy” and children’s illustrated story “The Foolish Hedgehog” both have a 50% discount and my crime fiction short story “I’ve Heard the Mermaid Sing” and cybercrime fiction short story “Unsocial Media” both have a 100% discount (i.e. free!) for the duration of the sale. Did you know that you can gift ebooks on SmashWords?
Ebook Sale July 2023
Book coversThe DRM-free ebook retailer SmashWords has a sale from 1st – 31st July 2023. My crime novel “The Private Enemy” and children’s illustrated story “The Foolish Hedgehog” both have a 50% discount and my crime fiction short story “I’ve Heard the Mermaid Sing” and cybercrime fiction short story “Unsocial Media” both have a 100% discount (i.e. free!) for the duration of the sale. Did you know that you can gift ebooks on SmashWords?
Bug Bounty Hunters
Image of magnifying glass over a green bug.I was recently informed that dickimaw-books.com had a medium severity reflected cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the version of cPanel this website was using at the time. I solved the problem by moving to a new web-hosting provider that didn’t have the issue. The security researcher used a non-invasive probe. No data was compromised.
Nicola Talbot 2023-05-22 (updated 2023-06-17) 📂 Security Site 🔖 Migration News Online Store
Unsocial Media: a cybercrime short story
Unsocial Media book cover.Greg has unwisely accepted a friend request from “Natalie”, a stranger who starts to stalk him after failing to hook him in a scam but, unknown to either of them, Greg’s wife (the narrator) is quietly investigating Natalie, following the trail from online into the real world.
Hello E-Hedgehog
The Foolish Hedgehog Cover Image.The Foolish Hedgehog is back in print as an ebook. If you’re looking for a short illustrated story for young children to keep them entertained over the holiday, have a read of the preview on SmashWords and buy it while it’s half-price!
Ongoing Email Issues on Website
For some weeks now, the forms on this site, such as the contact page, have been unable to send an email. It seems to be caused by an SSL issue outside of my control. All support channels to the web hosting company used by this site are down, which means I can’t even report the issue, let alone get it fixed.
Nicola Talbot 2022-08-28 (updated 2022-10-08) 📂 Site 🔖 News
Search for:
Search Tips

📂 Categories

Autism
Books
Children’s Illustrated Fiction
Illustrated fiction for young children: The Foolish Hedgehog and Quack, Quack, Quack. Give My Hat Back!
Creative Writing
The art of writing fiction, inspiration and themes.
Crime Fiction
The crime fiction category covers the crime novels The Private Enemy and The Fourth Protectorate and also the crime short stories I’ve Heard the Mermaid Sing and I’ve Heard the Mermaid Sing.
Fiction
Fiction books and other stories.
Language
Natural languages including regional dialects.
(La)TeX
The TeX typesetting system in general or the LaTeX format in particular.
Music
Norfolk
This category is about the county of Norfolk in East Anglia (the eastern bulgy bit of England). It’s where The Private Enemy is set and is also where the author lives.
Security
Site
Information about the Dickimaw Books site.
Speculative Fiction
The speculative fiction category includes the novel The Private Enemy (set in the future), the alternative history novel The Fourth Protectorate, and the fantasy novel Muirgealia.

🔖 Tags

Account
Alternative History
Sub-genre of speculative fiction, alternative history is “what if?” fiction.
book samples
Bots
Conservation of Detail
A part of the creative writing process, conservation of detail essentially means that only significant information should be added to a work of fiction.
Cookies
Information about the site cookies.
Dialect
Regional dialects, in particular the Norfolk dialect.
Docker
Education
The education system.
Fantasy
Sub-genre of speculative fiction involving magical elements.
File formats
Hippochette
A pochette (pocket violin) with a hippo headpiece.
I’ve Heard the Mermaid Sing
A crime fiction short story (available as an ebook) set in the late 1920s on the RMS Aquitania. See the story’s main page for further details.
Inspirations
The little things that inspired the author’s stories.
Linux
Migration
Posts about the website migration.
Muirgealia
A fantasy novel. See the book’s main page for further details.
News
Notifications
Online Store
Posts about the Dickimaw Books store.
Quack, Quack, Quack. Give My Hat Back!
Information about the illustrated children’s book. See the book’s main page for further details.
Re-published
Articles that were previously published elsewhere and reproduced on this blog in order to collect them all together in one place.
Sale
Posts about sales that are running or are pending at the time of the post.
Site settings
Information about the site settings.
Story creation
The process of creating stories.
TeX Live
The Foolish Hedgehog
Information about the illustrated children’s book. See the book’s main page for further details.
The Fourth Protectorate
Alternative history novel set in 1980s/90s London. See the book’s main page for further details.
The Private Enemy
A crime/speculative fiction novel set in a future Norfolk run by gangsters. See the book’s main page for further details.
Unsocial Media
A cybercrime fiction short story (available as an ebook). See the story’s main page for further details.
World Book Day
World Book Day (UK and Ireland) is an annual charity event held in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland on the first Thursday in March. It’s a local version of the global UNESCO World Book Day.