Opening Doors: Day 5 … Time for Reflection?

My all time favourite quote is this one:

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.  Edith Wharton

It is a favourite because I am not a centre stage floodlit sort of a person; I am much happier in the wings and letting other’s bask in the glory – I am one of life’s mirrors and sometimes folk don’t like what they see reflected back however true a reflection it is!

So today, a week after I finished work it is time for reflection.  I tend to reflect a lot anyway but today was an opportunity to withdraw from the centre stage, seek solace and take stock.   I knew the weather at Elie was set fair so I chose to return there for my sojourn.  I caught my usual sequence of buses and shared my fear from yesterday briefly with weather guru.  I had also shared some thoughts about the behaviour of the school pupils yesterday on the bus – when we got to Seagate Bus Station there were two drivers sharing what they would probably call banter but which came across as ‘a scrap’.  My first reflection then today was why is foul language and bad manners becoming increasingly acceptable in our society and I can only think that young people see the adults around them behave that way and copy it.

I also had the opportunity to say hi to an acquaintance who is at pains to avoid me – you know the sort of exchange I mean where they look like they want to become instantly invisible.  I do know why; this person thinks I criticised them – when in fact I was criticising a system rather than the person.  I respect this person and it saddens me that they cannot see that … one of the people anxious about looking in my mirror I guess.

Someone who couldn’t look in my mirror was a blind spaniel who got on the 99 .. what a sweetie but she insisted on sitting with her back to the direction of her owner’s proposed travel which made it sadly comical.  Clearly a much loved dog.  I caught the 95 and briefly pondered (as I have other days this week) on the whereabouts of “it’s you again” … but it was a different driver and he had a quarrelsome bus which kept losing traction and needing rebooting!  We got there eventually.

You may look at this first photo and think “why has she included that – the rocks are fuzzy and it is just lots of sea” … well yes that is true, however, look in the middle towards the top and you will see a white streak – it is fuzzy but it is the splash from a diving gannet.  Last time I watched gannets diving I was on Rona around 4 years ago; I struggled to get pictures then too but it is a memory that has stuck with me and suddenly there they were today putting on a synchronised diving display.

Before I got to the gannets though I had seen some other things on my walk from Elie.  I started at Woodhaven and walked on the Ruby Bay Beach.  As well as a few pebbles and pieces of seaglass I was fascinated by this forest of worm tubes across the beach.  I found another blog by a person who stays just down the coast at Lundin Links which suggests they are Sand Mason Worms.

Then there was this discarded tyre which is now an anchor for the seaweed … and crusted in barnacles.

I loved this almost perfect oval quartz stone – it was too big and heavy to collect … but such beautiful symmetry from the sea’s tumbling

I was sad to find this dead guillemot … yet also fascinated to get such a close up of these birds I have been watching over the last few weeks.

All this flotsam and jetsam on our beautiful beaches – and that is before we look at the kelp that has been thrown up by the recent storms … this is a complete bank of sea weed near Elie and in Anstruther it is so bad that they have had a JCB digging and scooping it off the beach for the past couple of days and loading it on to tipper wagons – they must have moved tonnes of the stuff and now there is a distinct seaweedy smell about the place.

Having walked along the beach I climbed up to the path I used yesterday and returned along that towards Elie until I found a bench; lunchtime!  Today’s sandwich was courtesy of Starbucks and was pretty yummy and met my dietary restrictions too.  Couple of apples and a bottle of water to finish up all while I read and looked at the beach.  I think I could see a seal on the rocks – but it was a long way away and close ups of the photo don’t confirm it for me – in fact they made me wonder if it was a whale or dolphin carcase rather than a seal.

I watched some waders – until a labrador arrived to play fetch in their pool and I am fairly sure now that these were greenshanks that I was watching.  Of course the cormorants were out on the farthest rocks soaking up he sun – as was I (soaking up the sun I mean not sitting on the rocks) and tomorrow I will have added to my tan.  The daft labrador then arrived by my bench in the hope of sharing my lunch … hmmm wet labrador is my favourite type of dog (not).

I adore this little inlet … it is sheltered and undisturbed because getting onto the beach currently involves traipsing through a pile of kelp.  The seabirds obviously enjoy the privacy.

I mentioned the curlew’s characteristic call yesterday and here is another bird I have recognised and loved to see for all of my life … a grey heron.  This one was fishing on the edge of the sea just after the tide had turned.  Just after taking a series of pictures of him I had walked back across the springy peat turf to Woodhaven and spotted the one in the second picture

Quickly followed by another old favourite overhead – a Hercules aircraft flying along the coast and off over Earlsferry

I decided to have an early return today so I could go and do that tedious thing … the supermarket shop.  If it was up to me I would never bother – but Dog was running out of biscuits and I suppose I was getting low on loo roll stocks …

I was really pleased that I changed my mind and waited for the 95 back to St Andrews instead of getting the X60 to Kirkcaldy and then the X26 to St Andrews … when the 95 arrived at the bus stop I was greeted with a big smile from “It’s you again” … how lovely to see a friendly and familiar face and get chance to catch up.

So perhaps not an exciting day for you as readers – but today I:

  • Enjoyed having peace and quiet and some time to reflect;
  • Realised that being out in the open air all day has done me a world of good;
  • Didn’t do my tai chi again – no excuse today!
  • Reflected on yesterday’s pondering – not only do people ask me questions but they tell me things, largely unprompted …
  • Had a brief toxic friend moment – but shrugged it off quickly;
  • Planned that tomorrow I will shop at the Farmer’s Market at St Andrews and then decide on the rest of the day; another chance to eat local and stick to eating healthily – which I have done well with this week; and
  • caught the wind and the sun to top up my healthy tanned look.

I know that what I want to do in the future has to be about people; has to be with an organisation were skill and competence are valued; and preferably will not mean me being stifled in an airless office.  My health, mental and physical is far more important to me than a higher income.

Today’s statistics: Cost: £0; Miles travelled: 120; Steps taken: 7,900; Pictures taken: 64


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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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