Day 2: 11 September 2012

So encouraged by day 1 I was ready for Day 2.  Recently waking in time to get ready for work has been draining – but today there was no reticence in getting out of bed – I had slept like a baby!

Of course this date is an anniversary of 9/11 and attracts much reminiscence, which I understand, but my mission was to forget (my own stresses) and so I set off full of positive thoughts and the yearning for a day at the seaside!

Although the bus had no destination board today, it was an interesting observation of trust that only one person questioned whether they were boarding the correct bus.

On arrival in Dundee (although I am reliably informed the destination would have read Hanover) I popped into a well known high street store and bought a picnic before walking through the city centre to a bus stop to catch the 39.   The electronic timetable told me I had 20 minutes to wait and I was about to pop along to the shopping centre toilets when the bus appeared.  So I retraced my steps and then waited 5 minutes whilst two passengers negotiated that this was the right bus and described where they wished to alight.  Eventually after a committee of 5 had agreed their destination and their tickets were bought I was able to board and settle myself.  Seatbelts are becoming ‘fashionable’again on public transport so I fastened mine and sat back to enjoy the journey.

This was not a scenic route so there was a little time to check my e-mail, etc to while away the journey.  Once we reached the edge of Arbroath I pinged the bell and having got off the bus set off to the West Links.  For many this is a simple matter of crossing a footbridge over the railway.  For me this is a challenge!

  • I am getting more fearful about public staircases – although I have never actually fallen on one it is at the front of my mind all the time – so I like to grab the hand rail … the footbridge over the railway did not have a handrail!  I rested my hand on the steel frame but it wasn’t something I could hold onto.
  • Next issue? there were gaps between the steps (no I don’t mean there were steps missing) and so as I climbed I could see the ground getting further away … churning in my stomach because that means I am at height which makes me decidedly wobbly (okay for those that know me yes I am wobbly all the time – but I mean my legs were like jelly!)
  • Then it wasn’t a question of climb up one side and down the other – oh no! up then down and up again over the middle before finally down and then turn and down again!
  • The steps were shallow which meant it felt unnatural to climb and descend
  • Finally (and possibly the worst aspect) I could feel vibrations – there were other people using the footbridge behind me – I did not wish to be found wanting!

By the time I was on the green, green, grass of the West Links I was shaking like a leaf and feeling rather foolish!

I got onto the beach and made a beeline for the water’s edge …

Seaweed

 … a large piece of seaweed was being swished to and fro by the advancing tide.

I had my polarising filter in place so I had to twiddle (a technical term photographers will understand) until I found the optimum setting and then the snapping could begin.

I was so mesmerised I had to hop back out of reach of the wavelets several times.

I walked along the beach towards Arbroath, taking pictures and beachcombing (seaglass being my weakness).  I was approached by a friendly, but wet, husky type dog who circled me, eyed me with one blue eye and one brown and then departed when I asked to take a picture!  I was followed along the beach by a yipping terrier who was very excited to be greeted when he caught up to me with his master.

sand sculpture

Smiley Cat and Dog

I didn’t take a picture but did spot that someone had commemorated the date in the sand … I would later move on to the beach where I had collected seaglass and pebbles as gifts for friends on the day of the Boxing Day Tsunami so it felt quite appropriate to see this memorial nearby.

Beach

Is this a Sand Angel?

I did photograph these two human additions to the natural beauty of the beach – they made me smile and they made me wonder who had created them … if you should read this I would love to know!

I kept walking … through a rather lonely and very deserted attractions area (sadly the play park is still closed for refurbishment) and there were no tourists and the snack bars were all boarded up.  I know the schools are back in session and I know we have not had much of a summer – but really how do we expect to sell our beautiful county and attract income if we are closed in September?  It was such a bright and sunny day and there were people out and about looking for things to do and places to go!

So I made my own entertainment … or rather the local wildlife made my entertainment!

Swan

During my walk along the front and around the harbour I was being gently reminded that I had in fact not visited the ladies earlier.  I found some public toilets … in a concrete bunker!

Let’s just say they were public ( in other words they were open and  any person could avail themselves of the facilities)  and they were adjacent to my route so one could argue they were convenient – if that is the defintion of “public convenience” then the bunker met it.  The concrete bunker was functional and the facilities old but clean.  I needed them but I wouldn’t be rushing to recommend them and it added to my feeling that we really could do better to attract folk to visit our towns and cities.

After a return bus journey on the 39 to Dundee followed by a relaxing coffee (I was waiting for a phone call which didn’t arrive) I walked to Seagate to meet my homeward bound 20.   While I awaited my bus the phone call arrived – it was quite strained and ended abruptly when the other party’s equipment failed.

After feeding the pooch I did pop back into Forfar for some groceries.  It had been a warm and sunny day and I had only resorted to adding a cardy layer for this last bit of the afternoon.  Weather guru had concurred with me earlier that the day was set fair.  So it was a great shock that whilst waiting for a return bus the heavens decided to open … weather guru 1 British weather 1

Oh well I survived (sadly didn’t shrink any in the wash) and day three awaited.  Today I had:

  • Made myself do something that made me uncomfortable (those steps and footbridge);
  • Seen new things that I had to Google (guillemots – don’t laugh but I knew that we didn’t have penguins in Arbroath Harbour even though that is what they looked like); and
  • Soothed myself with some new seaglass for the collection.
Today’s statistics: cost £0; Miles travelled: 98;  Steps taken: 10,560
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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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