… and a Child Laughs …

So … have you stopped laughing yet?  I haven’t and I have helped other people with a dose of medicine (laughter) by recounting my muddy escapade … meanwhile my Fitflops have just come out of the tumble dryer as good as new and beautifully beige again!

Today I played it safe and I did go to Barnhill after an uneventful mooch with Dog.  I didn’t have breakfast (because I burnt the toast whilst reading an online forum and then realised I wasn’t fussed enough to start toasting fresh).  The tide was in – infact I thought it had just turned and was on its way out again – but it was still a good metre down the beach from the eventual high tide.

Monifieth Bay

I walked towards Monifieth first of all – I could see a huge swirl of geese over the estuary beyond Tentsmuir but the sky was just to flat and leaden to get any really good shots and they did not fly over as one huge flock but in smaller skeins; nevertheless awesome to watch.

As I wandered, selectively collecting seaglass and watching the waves I suddenly realised that just a few metres in front of me where several small waders.  It took me  awhile to identify them through several websites but I think these are Turnstones – you can imagine why they have their name!


Having snapped this picture I turned and walked back the way I had come, glancing over my shoulder I saw they had flown away.  I found some other things on the beach a little less appealing – certainly not fresh and I am fairly sure not human (the wrong shape):

Whilst the following look much more exotic there are apparently sponges located all round the British coast in shallow water – or at least there were because, like the kelp forest, there are an awful lot of sponges tossed up on our beaches just now – I have rarely seen these before this year.  Below that although the trunk looks to be from a palm tree it could be from any number of plants that are now grown in the UK.

This morning, before I set off I had sent an e-mail to a friend about why I am writing the blog and I know she will not mind me sharing part of that here – it is in response to being told how inspirational I am:

You also need to bear in mind when reading the blog that if I am out and about all day every day I am not doing other stuff – so my house is a tip okay?  …  I am not perfect, I don’t have a never ending source of energy … I am prioritising what I need right now which is being out there, meeting people, finding myself again, healing … to some people that seems like a luxury; to me it is essential.
Next week I will run out of money … I don’t know what I will do then; I am looking for work even while I am out and about but as I know from before the whole process takes several months!  I do think about it but I am not dwelling on it because that won’t change it … whilst there just might be something happen that changes it when I am out there talking with folk?
I am sharing this for two reasons (well three actually):
  1. I don’t want to be seen as heroic … I am just doing what I have to do to keep my world as intact as I can.  If that helps and inspires others then of course I am very pleased;
  2. I had an idea this morning which might earn me a few pennies – so what I said in the second paragraph may be partially true (see below); and
  3. A slightly loose connection but on my way home on the bus this afternoon a child in her buggy tried to touch my foot as she boarded the bus – in a world where we train our children not to interact with strangers an oddly touching (and intriguing) gesture.  All of a sudden, later in the journey, she started to laugh – real peals of childish laughter- is there any sound more uplifting than that?  Now of course the child laughing won’t directly change my world but maybe I can spread some of the childish joy and exuberance with my idea.

Sea Glass Made Purposeful – An Idea

Whenever I collect sea glass I collect selectively and only around 5 % of what I see gets picked up.  As I was looking this morning, focussed on the aqua glass I found a piece of startling orange and then there was a seam of green glass.

For the past few years the Christmas cards I have made to send to friends and family have generally had a fir tree theme and I realised I was thinking that if I collected the green glass I could make a glass fir tree and photograph it ready to make Christmas Cards.

Something else I am often asked is why I don’t sell cards (there are a couple of reasons actually – firstly I want the people who receive cards from me to feel they are special and secondly I have found over the years that too often people don’t have any idea as to the real value of handmade items – they focus on cost) … but I did realise that in my head was a suggestion that I could try and sell these cards as well and perhaps make to order some of the sea glass trees as ornaments?

Here are my initial prototypes – as I said to my daughter they won’t make me rich and they won’t stave off the money running out next week but at least it is trying to do something for myself!

I made this fir tree while I was on the beach, adding some other found objects just for fun, and whilst I was on my knees laying the sea glass out I was greeted with “oh I thought you were praying for a moment”; when I turned round there was the woolly dog who stood on my kite last week and his person who continued “or that perhaps you were setting the kite up … I have got the right person haven’t I?”  I confirmed I was indeed the kite woman from last week but there was too little wind today so I was trying something different.  We had a nice chat and then the dog was persuaded to get up, from lying on my feet, and off they went.

I did end up bringing all this sea glass home and some of the stones – just in case the in situ photographs weren’t good enough … but I might experiment with glue and making it a small sculptural ornament too.  This tree is about 15 cm tall including the ‘pot’.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful … apart from having a laugh about a bit of ‘horseplay’ between the driver of this morning’s bus and the driver of this afternoon’s bus.

I did spend a good 10 minutes helping a passenger to find her way to Pitlochry using my phone (timetables downloaded) and explaining how to get from one bus stop to the other in Perth.  It wasn’t going to get her to Pitlochry by the time she needed to be there.  Disappointed she thanked me for the trouble and went off to see if anyone else could give her the answer she wanted.

She was directed to the sales office and they suggested the M8 would get her to Perth more quickly.  She returned to let me know and thank me again and I asked her about the connections for Pitlochry; she told me they didn’t know so she would just keep her fingers crossed.  I had a quick check online after she wandered off again – the coach would get her to Perth bus station – if it was on time – at the exact same time the bus she would need to catch was leaving.  I hope she was lucky and it worked for her, even so it wasn’t going to get her where she needed to be in her timescale.  This raised two questions in my mind:

  • Why would anyone set off on  a journey with a fixed arrival time without planning anything?  Had she arrived at the bus station in Dundee 30 minutes earlier she would have arrived in time!
  • Why does the sales office for a transport company not provide full information to assist a passenger arrive where they want and need to be?  It does not generate good customer loyalty; it does not create an impression – I would put money on it if that passenger bumped into the salesperson tomorrow she wouldn’t pick them out of a line up but she would recognise me – because I took the time to understand her full criteria and offer her the nearest solution; I wasn’t being paid to do so I was simply sharing the knowledge that I had that could assist her.

In other news Mother is home safely from her eye surgery and Pup Dicey is up on his feet and so the fun will now begin … but right now I need to go fiddle with uploading Christmas Card ideas to my art sites …


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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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