Aboard the Ark: Day 2

I had to make Dog wait this morning while I went and pulled on a sweater; the last few mornings have been frosty and today it needed an extra layer for our jaunt.  The stars were all their in their rightful places (must get out my constellations guide and brush up on those I cannot remember) and it is too soon to see meteor showers yet – but I will be watching out later in the month.

We didn’t have one of our fleet this morning – we got a borrowed single decker.  It did the job and got me to Dundee but the hot (burnt hair) smell was a little unwelcome.  At the Bus Station there was temperamental madam – out of service, perplexed driver and an inspector testing and tweaking.  The inspector thinks it is the compressor or the air dryer this time … ahem the gear selection still isn’t right!

The Inspector used to be a driver … his customer service was never great and after a few e-mail exchanges when I have raised issues he clearly thinks I am a nuisance … he scowled.  Mate, I am sorry, it is not my fault that 99 is not a happy bus right now; it is not my fault that some of the drivers let you down and you have to communicate with me; and it is not my fault that some other drivers choose to talk with me – get over it and set an example of good customer service for your team to follow and if we have to exchange views let the intellectual arrogance go – it doesn’t work for you!

Anyway whilst I waited for a 57 the stranded driver came over for a chat while he waited either for a mechanic or another bus assigning.  Eventually he got a replacement bus and left wishing me a good day whilst I asked him not to break any more buses …

I went on to Blairgowrie and then caught the 60 to Dunkeld.  In between buses though I popped into Bunters Café where I could get a bacon roll on brown without a problem and very enjoyable it was too.  I might add that the cost of a personally made bacon roll and my coffee came to about the same as one of those pre made carb filled toasties at M&S yesterday!

On the 60 I did debate with myself whether to get off at the Loch of the Lowes turning or not but decided this time I would go to Dunkeld and walk back from there.  I didn’t want to be late home since having taken some time off I need to do some work this evening; I arrived in Dunkeld at 11:30 and had read the timetable that a bus back would be at 12:50 which would get me home just after 5pm.  I set off on part of the fungarth walk (by the way incase you don’t wish to follow the link that is pronounced “foonart”) heading for the Loch of the Lowes (famous for the Osprey watching in the summer).  As I did on Sunday I set the half way time and turned back at that point.

The walk starts up a steep tarmac road (no pavements and narrow) which is soon bordered on one side by mature oak woodland.  The path is well signposted.  There is a stretch on a tarmac driveway and then the path  becomes chipped forest path.  It starts to climb again quite steeply here.  Although the total climb is quoted as 85m it is completed over only about half the 1km distance and so is about a 1 in 5 slope.  I took a couple of breathers to take photographs.

There was clear evidence of the recent storms during the last week in September with raw torn branches on trees.  Most spectacular was this large oak branch that had fallen and was then split in half and resting across the footpath.

I also promised you autumn colour.  The sycamores and maples have already turned most of their colour but in some places the leaves have just withered and are dropping.  The oak and beech are only just starting to show random splodges of colour but the birches are about halfway changed.

I paused for a wee chat with these beasts – it was a wee chat because miss here was more interested in eating grass than  talking to me … hmmmph!

I did get to glimpse the Loch but it was still another 0,5 km and I didn’t have time to go on.  I am thinking I will return to this path in a months time and see if I have improved my fitness enough to complete the return journey right to the Loch side!

As I returned I did spot this contrail above the woodland and couldn’t resist marking that someone else is on a journey – bon voyage.

This fascinated me – a young birch growing in a void created by a broken branch of another tree.  This was about 6ft off the ground.

I was quicker going back down than I had been climbing up and so I had time to make some observations:

As I am climbing up a path towards a summit I achieve more if I keep a steady pace and take regular breathers; when I am going downhill I am more secure in my footing if I let my shoulders drop and slightly sit down.  However, when I reach a level surface again I have to gradually let the muscles in the front of my thighs and the ligaments in my lower back calf settle back to their best length and tension.  If I strode out as soon as I hit a flat surface I would rupture something!  I see direct parallels here with running  a business and I will return to explore that methodology in due course.

Meanwhile I took some pictures of different berry bearing plants and some seed heads:

Stanley Hill – looking up through the sun drenched canopy

… and after that splendid golden beech tree in the North Car Park one last look at the multicoloured trees and shrubs on the brae across the road.

I returned on the 23 to Perth and the 16A to Dundee.  I was curious that a woman asked a fellow passenger for advice about where to get off for the shops in Dundee.  The answer she got was oh it is ages yet.  With no further information having been offered and an increasingly anxious woman I said to her as I passed on my way off the bus that either this stop or the next would work for her.  I asked if there was anywhere in particular she wanted and gave her a broad indication of what she would find where.  She asked where she would get the bus back and I was able to point it out to her.  She thanked me and set off on her little adventure.  It left me wondering is it really such a big deal to provide appropriate information to help people make informed choices? I don’t think so but clearly other folk do!

A quick chat with toxic friend in passing and a catch up with weather guru and then I came home on the 22 for a change.  I know this may not seem like working at a business plan to some but I am getting huge insight form each of these seemingly mundane little bits.  Back to property searching tomorrow in a different part of the city.

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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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