Day 4: 13 September 2012

DipperToday’s destination had been pre-selected on day 1 – I had picked up bus timetables and the bus from Blairgowrie to Dunkeld only runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Dunkeld was another destination I had visited with a non photographer friend – on that occasion I was really excited to glimpse a Dipper.

No weather report this morning … I was not alone in being upset with yesterday’s caller – weather guru had been on the receiving end too!   This lead to a discussion about the stresses in life and about my big journey that starts soon.

I did not explain the serenity search … that seemed too much just now.

The bus was feeling a little unwell today and had an intermittent squeak – but it was one of those things that it is safe to continue with so we did.

The next bit of the journey retraced the same steps as on Monday and while I waited for the 57 at Seagate I had some conversations with a couple of people I haven’t seen for a few weeks and they wanted to know where was I going and so on.

When I got to Blairgowrie I had noticed that there is a driver change just before the centre so I hopped off the bus and walked across the bridge over the Ericht.  I had just shy of an hour to wait for my connection so I dawdled down a riverside walk and shot some pictures of the weir (the sound of moving water seems to be a recurrent theme this week).

I mooched a while, bought a bacon roll, visited the beautifully kept public conveniences and then settled down at the Wellmeadow to wait.  Shortly after a woman approached who had arrived on the same bus as me and we got chatting – this for me is one of the most important things about public transport; we meet people we may never see again and we have something in common (we shared a bus) and some good conversations follow.

This woman had been to try and get some embroidery linen – she had offered to stitch a kit for a friend and found that the needle had rusted the fabric so she was looking for fresh.  We discussed some alternative sources since the local shop did not have what she was after and we talked about bus journeys.  Nothing that will stop the world but it was a highlight of my day and I hope of hers too.

The route to Dunkeld, which was different to last time I went, was very scenic and I could have happily ridden backwards and forwards on the route all day (the first problem with that being that it only operates 2 return journeys twice a week! the second problem being that none of the seats were backwards!!)

In Dunkeld I walked to the Cathedral and photographed the grounds and the building as well as some obliging woolly neighbours.

ArchitectureStained GlassWeir

Tay at Dunkeld


I decided to go on the next bus to Aberfeldy – this is probably about the furthest away point I can travel to using my Megarider ticket. The journey was partly tedious (A9) and partly scenic and Aberfeldy itself was pretty – but small.  I had an hour there before the bus back so I set off to find coffee.  I make no apology for including a link to the Watermill Cafe – not only was the coffee excellent (I did a take away) but the staff were lovely and I met Whisper an 18 week old black labrador guide dog puppy.  Whisper did not have any issues over public or convenience since when I met her an accident was being cleaned up and Whisper was just as wiggly and waggy as any 18 week old Lab!

I took my coffee for a walk to explore – it didn’t take long! I sat in Victoria Park under the shade sail – by which time there was no sun to be shaded from, the wind had become gale force and it was raining … oh weather guru why didn’t you warn me? (but I cannot score this one since weather guru did not provide a forecast and the weather did what I anticipated so it was a draw really?)

I found an automatic public convenience – did what it said on the tin but I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious having previously read all those urban myths about toilets cleaning themself and throwing the door open if one outstayed one’s 20p …

I wandered back to the bus stop and sat on a wall to wait.  I almost got KO’d by a person delivering sun loungers (ahem … it was raining!) to the adjacent charity shop.  When the bus arrived though it got worse – the bus does a circuit of the town and although I have a megarider which is valid on ALL services within the area the driver would not allow me to board because “I am not set up”.  If you should happen to read this and you were the driver of the 14:25 to Perth on 13 September … congratulations – you let down your colleagues and your company with a peevish act  – it was inclement weather and I had a valid ticket which you declined; shame on you.  

The rest of that day was a long trog back to Perth and then to Dundee on the 16 and finally the 22 to get me home –  a long day and perhaps the least satisfactory of the whole week.

Today I:

  • Challenged myself again to take pictures of moving water from a height;
  • Resisted the temptation to say to a bus driver “Do you know who I am?”
  • Gained some serenity from a wiggly pup and nice staff at a cafe; and
  • Gained huge serenity from a conversation with a stranger

What will tomorrow hold?

Today’s Statistics:  Cost £0; Miles travelled: 179.6; steps taken: 7,920

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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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