The surreal after life of 'Dubya' Bush

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Texas (US), Dec.15 (ANI): Former US President George W. (Dubya) Bush is clearly enjoying himself after leaving the White House.

He has been spending time saying hello to his neighbours, walking his dog Barney and shopping for inane things like a battery from the local hardware store.

In between, he regales his audience with many of his anecdotes.

His new life is a world apart from the activities of other former Presidents. Two weeks before he left office, he told Fox News he was looking forward to going back to Texas and was excited about the "next chapter in my life."

Bush and the former First Lady Laura Bush moved into a modest house in a Dallas suburb and promptly disappeared from public view.

Daria Place is a cul-de-sac in the pleasant Preston Hollow neighbourhood north of Dallas. The Bushes' single-storey 8,500 sq ft house apparently sits on an acre plot here, and was bought by the couple for 2.7 million dollars.

Just before the Bushes arrived in January, Dallas City Council approved their request to erect a security gate at the junction of nearby Meaders Lane - the only access to Daria Place.

Apart from the new gate, there's really nothing special about Daria Place or its adjoining streets. Actually, it's all fairly drab by Dallas standards. Modest single-storey bungalows stand side-by-side with more elaborate Tuscan-style villas. It just looks like any other middle-class Dallas street. It's quiet too.

The Bush home is close to a busy toll-way and Dallas Love Field airport, so travel is easy. He has been spotted mountain biking (followed by a Secret Service detail) in Rochester Park a few miles up the road, and just south is the Southern Methodist University (SMU) where his Presidential Library will be built.

Beyond that, is the Highland Park United Methodist Church, where he and Laura occasionally attend.

Until recently the Dallas Police Department had posted an officer outside their house, but not any longer: budget cuts have meant the Bushes have to rely solely on Secret Service protection now.

Bush has said publicly that he wants to use his George W Bush Institute - part of the George W Bush Presidential Centre in Dallas, which will include his archives and library - to "promote human freedom" and search for "practical solutions to important public policy problems, guided by the principles of freedom, responsibility, opportunity and compassion."

Just one week after walking out of the White House, he and Laura went to a women's basketball game between Baylor and Oklahoma in Waco, where he received a "prolonged standing ovation" from fans.

In February, he paid a surprise visit to 30 students at a political science class at the Southern Methodist University, or SMU, in Dallas. When he walked in "the students applauded but you could tell they were just shocked", said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

So what has he been doing? In March it was announced that Bush would be writing his memoirs.

Instead of telling his life-story, Bush will concentrate on explaining approximately a dozen choices he has made throughout his life - from the decision to quit drinking to sending troops to Iraq.

"I want people to understand the environment in which I was making decisions," he told journalists earlier this year. "I want people to get a sense of how decisions were made, and I want people to understand the options that were placed before me."

He has met a few dignitaries in town. He's very popular here.

Bush is "done with politics but not with policy. He's excited about continuing to promote these things at a policy institute in the heartland of America.aura too has been busy speaking at conferences around the country. "And she is very involved leading the women's initiative at the presidential centre. They both believe that women will be at the forefront of freedom in the Middle East. She has been involved in designing the library. And she's working on her own book, due out in the spring, reports The Independent. (ANI)

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