Aboard the Ark: Day 7

I have no lovely scenic photos to share with you today … in fact in many ways it has not been a good day!  But let me start at the beginning …

… no evidence of crocodile wrestling on wakening this morning, but I had woken and then drifted back into a dream; my alarm music played and I couldn’t stop it in the dream and then woke to the realisation that my arm had gone to sleep and couldn’t find the phone to cancel the alarm!

When I looked at the weather forecast last night before falling asleep it was showing a dry and breezy day … kite flying was on the cards.  As I lay there wakening properly I became aware of rain outside and a quick check at the weather forecast showed a totally different day – with moderate rain right through until early evening; the kite stayed home again!

Dog’s sojourn was shorter again because by then it was belting down – I managed to lose a poo bag as I got ready to pick up – they re biodegradable but I still hate to leave plastic wantonly in the natural environment, however the wind took it so fast I had no chance to catch it back.  I got a blast of cold rain as I bent down to scoop (mental note to self turn sideways to the rain direction in future).

One of the highlights of my day was Weather Guru’s banter (making playful fun of mutual acquaintances) and disbelief at the weather.  I had to wait for the journey home for another highlight.

Then  a real lowlight … I hate it when paving slabs tip and squelch cold muddy water all over me … yuk!  After Green Tea and Toast I headed back to the library to continue my research and focused on Customer Service.  In addition to the wonky paving slabs which the Council has left unfixed (so delivering poor customer service) I am really disappointed at the level of noise and disruption at the library – are these traditionally not quiet places?    Now don’t get me wrong it is great to see small children coming in and returning books and a little excited noise form them is fine.  An adult stomping up and down on a hollow raised floor less so and two supposed adults sitting talking at high volume, listening to music, having  a noisy dialogue and a very public belching competition is in no way acceptable – was anything done about them?  not by staff although eventually a fellow library user sat closer to them than me did say something and ask them to change their behaviour.  I wouldn’t mind but the staff are just as noisy – another example of less than good customer service.

When I had done enough research and was getting hungry I set off to find a postbox and a coffee.  Have you noticed that post boxes seem to be getting further apart?  I had to walk across the City Centre to find one.  Now we live in a technological age where more people use electronic communications but people do still need to send items in the mail.  Royal Mail have tried getting us to do their job by weighing items, buying postage online and printing our own sticky label (I note that doesn’t include a discount even though I don’t use a Royal Mail sticker or printer!) … now they want us to do the delivery round ourselves too?

Finally I got to a coffee shop which I take for granted offers decent customer service (apart from their cramped, pokey and falling apart toilets).  They must have been having  a bad day too!  I selected a toasted sandwich and without saying what drink I wanted was asked if it would be large today – a little bizarre!  Having clarified my drink order and paid I waited for my cappuccino.  I have never been served a cappuccino of that standard in that chain … yes I have stirred this but the colour is not all from the “chocolate sprinkles” and the froth is negligible – more like a latte!

this is cappuccino?

I will be providing feedback because when my sandwich arrived (incidentally it was plonked at the far side of the table well outwith my reach)  it was overdone so the bread was like cardboard and there was a constant burning smell in the background.  By now I was too down to ‘fight back’ and demand fresh food.

My return bus journey included some very charming young men who taunted others on the bus and talked about sex all the way to the destination.

I thought though that I had avoided a toxic friend interlude  … no just delayed!  His colleagues have been picking on him and it is my fault – so thanks chaps because I got 30 minutes of being whinged at.  You all want to know how I know names and things – because you ALL have big mouths and you ALL use them ALL the time – and that isn’t generally to smile and be civil! and clearly none of you know when you are doing it.  I spy for no one; I tittle tattle to no one; and most of your comments are unsolicited – think I might just send a note to that effect for their noticeboard … oh and guess what – I am a customer so that is another example of very poor customer service – chaps you let the organisation down, you let yourselves down and when you deliver poor customer service it upsets customers.

The second highlight of my day was seeing the covering of snow on the back hills – high up in the Angus Glens – it must have fallen this morning when we were having rain.  It is beautiful from this distance; it is a connection to my Mother because before they moved she sometimes used to drive to the end of their road just to look at the snowy hills; and it is a reminder that winter is on it’s way – snow on the back hills is normal tough at this time of year and doesn’t mean we will have blizzards just yet!

I am going to keep that lovely picture in my mind and try to have a better day tomorrow … maybe try and capture that image for you on my return journey and post it in tomorrow’s post.

UPDATE: I have never done this before on the blog but this is too important to ignore.  

On 23 December last year I came across a mysterious little piles of books in local bus shelters … I was intrigued … but also ashamed to say I made a prejudgement that given the timing they would turn out to be religious material.  The book was printed as something called The Honesty Project  (I hope you will be equally intrigued and follow that link to read about this unique experiment).  Essentially the books were offered to individuals on the basis that if we enjoyed it we would pay the author the asking price after we read it; if we didn’t enjoy it we would forward a donation of £1 or we were free to leave it there for someone else to enjoy.  Well I love reading and it wasn’t a big book but I was so taken with the idea of the project that I took a copy and paid the next day.  I had a charming exchange with the author on his forum.

After I published this post I found an e-mail form the author in my inbox telling me that the next book is now available for sale.  I will be ordering but more importantly getting this message today of all days is a real boost – so thank you Paul.  Sometimes we have to do what seems like a whacky thing to achieve our dreams.


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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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