A Two Mile Rainbow
No I am not going to claim that I measured the rainbow … but it stayed around for about 2 miles of my walk today. In fact since it appeared to reach about two miles ahead of me at all times then the bow would have been more than 2 miles …
I did manage to catch the no 22 this morning; I stepped off the 20 as the clock showed 07:31 and as soon as I boarded the 22 he switched on his engine and drove off … early! It achieves nothing since he arrives in Dundee at exactly the same time only instead of bringing 30 or so passengers he just manages 20! In business terms that equals lost revenue for the company, loss of faith in the bus services, reducing passenger numbers …
My neighbour on the other hand was late (mopey poorly child issues causing lack of parental sleep) and caught the one I was on yesterday – it broke down before it got to either of the Dundee bound buses. He got really grumpy about the constantly breaking down buses that no other bus companies would tolerate. He has been on more broken buses than me the past 6 months but there is a good reason – I avoid travelling on buses that are not those belonging to our local team of drivers; my neighbour catches at least one bus each day which is based at another depot.
He doesn’t believe my statistics that I am collating for this blog … you see apart from this week I have generally had very good, flexible, timely and reliable services with mostly competent and friendly drivers – whereas Neighbour experiences rude drivers who are poor drivers at least once a day using a bus journey that is consistently late and often breaks down … it is all about perceptions.
Anyway back to my journey – it was slightly marred by the drivers tuneless humsinging as he went along and his distinct lack of engagement with his passengers. Nevertheless we arrived in time and I caught the X7 to Montrose. My walk started from Montrose High Street, out to the beach as the tide was falling and along the beach to the north. It is really not an exciting beach at all – flat sandy and little to see …
I did learn today that another reason for the combination of very round and very flat (paddlestone) pebble beaches is that they were raised beaches from changes in sea levels in the distant past.
The pictures below show the cliffs leading along to St Cyrus beyond the River North Esk estuary, the flotsam and jetsam of recent storms and the estuary. It is considered feasible to wade across the river at the estuary (said to be about knee deep); if I was walking with someone I would certainly give it serious consideration but erred on the safe side and turned inland for the walk through the dunes and along the river bank, through a beech wood to get to the old Kinnaber railway viaduct. This was quite some trek with no waymarking to guide one, but is fairly straightforward with a little common sense.
I did get an interesting experience alongside the forest across the dunes. Buzzards make a mewling noise when they hunt sometimes but there was a bird of prey making an horrendous noise over there. I caught sight of a large Bird of prey and it looked very red for a buzzard so putting the colour and the noise together I am wondering if anyone has lost a Harris Hawk out that way. I then got a fright when I put up two cock pheasants making a racket as they went (well I suppose one would if people walked around with guns pointed at you!) and later I startled two more – very flighty birds around there.
Having crossed the viaduct the path turned back and led to a small road going below the viaduct and leading out to the Nature Reserve. I had a slightly unnerving experience on the viaduct – a man was walking along in front of me taking photographs; by the time I reached the other end I thought he must have turned the corner on the path but there was no sight of him on the wee road – he had just vanished! Walking out to the Reserve gave the opportunity to see the cliffs starting across the flat farmlands.
I was very pleased to get to the reserve, use their nice toilets and sit round the corner in peace at a picnic table for lunch. I had to bind a blistered toe as well – usually that is enough to stop it being painful but this one has continued to be sore the rest of the walk. While I had lunch I watched a pair of buzzards thermaling and hunting and then saw a peregrine. I decided that with my sore feet I did not want to walk half a mile along the nature trail and then decide the cliff paths were too much and have to walk half a mile back and then climb a small road SO I took the small road that winds upwards from the car park and walked up to the A92 and then along the wide flat verge to the village of St Cyrus. I was too foot weary to go look at the cliffs so I will make another trip where I catch the X7 there and walk from the village.
Most of my day today was solitary but I did have a charming conversation with a chap at the bus stop in St Cyrus – he got off a bus and engaged me in conversation about his day’s activities and how catching these two buses was new to him and the staff had been very helpful. He does gardening two days a week at Benholm Mill as a training placement and goes to college tomorrow. I told him a little about telecare and how that might help a co-worker who is struggling to organise their bus travel because they get easily confused and forget. Having looked up Benholm Mill I will have to add that to my list of places to visit sometime.
Since the beach at Montrose wasn’t very exciting and because there was no one to greet or talk with I found myself thinking about influential people. I have mentioned my fictional heroine before but I thought it might be helpful to summarise why two people are influential in my plans:
Ayla – the heroine in the Earth Children series written by Jean M Auel: Although this is fiction, the author does extensive research and so I feel that some of the skills Ayla has are very realistic. She is orphaned as a young Cromagnon girl by an earthquake, attacked by a cave lion and found ill by a tribe of Neanderthal people. The tribe medicine woman is allowed to heal her and adopt her. It is not an easy life because she is different so she learns to be adaptable and she studies hard to learn her mother’s healing skills. She also teaches herself to hunt – a forbidden activity for the tribe women. She is cursed and cast out but survives by using all the skills she has learned and then finding new ones. During her travels she uses her healing skills to care for other people whilst she is searching for her own people to make her home.
Ricardo Semler – wrote a book “Maverick” about the process to change Semco from a traditional paternalistic firm in Brazil to one which is run on very unusual (possibly unique) lines. He had started the process of changing the management of the company for a number of reasons but the final drive was when he learned the hard way that being’the decision maker’ was causing him ill health and stress.
What these two have in common includes a survival instinct, being adaptable in thinking beyond the norm, entrepreneurial, caring about people but empowering the people they encounter. These are qualities I aspire to in establishing a business and furthermore both of them had to make a long journey to achieve what they did; Ayla literally a physical journey and I think Semler’s journey was more intellectual. My journey is bringing me great insight, improved health and a sense of my place in the bigger scheme of things … I hope I never feel I have reached the destination because the path is too empowering. May your dreams take flight too and lead you along an empowering path.