Unplanned Excitement … No Mud Involved!

You will have to bear with me for a few moment before we get to the real excitement … but I will give you a clue, they were big and they waved!

Before that though my day had an explosive sort of a start … as usual I caught the wee bus into Kirriemuir and as we arrived on the dot of 07:33 should have expected to see the behind of  a large double decker still there or at the very least easing round the newsagents at the corner.  The driver was surprised that the 22 was gone and he took two of us and dropped us enroute as he set off on a school run.  I had a pleasant conversation with a regular passenger who thought she was being amusing when she said you look like you are off to fly kites and then saw the funny side when I said “I am “.

So when the bus arrived and I stepped on I thought the driver was commenting on my kite – since it gets a lot of comments – it turned out he was trying to find out how I got to the stop and was the bus late?  I indicated it was delayed by the roadworks in Forfar but that he had in fact left early, and this had been confirmed by the other driver.  He got all defensive and said he would bring his camera to take pictures tomorrow (not sure how that demonstrates what he did today or yesterday or the other two days of the week!)

I calmly told him that I have had discussions about times before with the company and my phone is constantly kept to time automatically and I understand how the ticket machines (used for timings) are all calibrated the same.  He started to argue then that he had left exactly as the clock on his machine changed; since the driver that took me to another stop followed exactly the same route we would have seen the back of the bus if that had been the case.  I also told him I have been using the service for the past 20 weeks with only two missed buses compared to three missed buses just this week!

I was not going to discuss it with him at all but he started the conversation and then was rude and aggressive (not a smart move with an already unhappy passenger?)  He is adamant he did not leave early; what he does not know is that as well as me getting dropped off at a catch up point, a woman who is a regular passenger got a lift to a point ahead of the bus so he had left her behind as well.  He was early at the timing point at the exit from Kirrie, he was early at Glamis and at Charleston and by the time he reached the timing point approaching Dundee he was 2.5 minutes early; at a timing point he is supposed to stop and wait until the correct time and he didn’t.  So as well as leaving at least 4 of us behind on Monday (yes 3 of us were late but the fourth had been on time and he had gone) and leaving at least 2 behind on Tuesday when I arrived on the dot of 07:33, then leaving early yesterday as soon as I boarded, I have been told this evening by another driver that a passenger has told him that she has missed the bus every day this week even though she has been at her stop before the due time.

He has the opportunity tomorrow to make good but my complaint will be sitting in draft awaiting my decision whether to submit it or not.

After that piece of nastiness I took myself to Barn Hill to fly the kites.  I put the delta up first and could get good height but with the gusts she was a little slow to respond and so we had a few crashes.  I put her away and got out the parafoil.  I rewound the lines on the handlebar to give that another try.  It was tricky to launch because the foil kept folding itself up on the ground but I did get her flying and the handlebar is great to use but I still don’t have the lines completely even and so I need to figure out a solution to that.

I changed to the reels and had some good flights – I could control the turns better and even when she landed it was surprisingly easy to relaunch her most times.  Very difficult to take a photo of her flying when I am on my own but I did find a stable position to transfer the lines to one hand and use my phone to grab this shot with Buddon Ness in the background.

When my arms were aching and I had had several good conversations with dog owners and people just curious about kite flying I settled in the shelter; free of the wind and with the sun shining it was blissfully warm.  I had some lunch and read a little then tried another small stint of flying.  I had just started to pack up the kites when I glanced across the sands where the tide was going out.  a flurry of wave movement round some rocks caught my eye – at first I thought it was a dog in the edge of the sea … and then  the excitement started to build … was I really seeing what I thought I was?

My first sighting of marine mammals … a group of eight seals were hauled out on the sand.  I did not ant to go too close since they can be easily disturbed and youngsters become separated so I used the extreme digital zoom to try and get some detail.  I just love the banana shapes they make and the way they seem to be either waving or making a V sign with their tails.

I was so excited I dashed back to my backpack, hauled out the camera and shoved everything else in just so I could get down onto the beach … I kept glancing over my shoulder to make sure they were still there and hadn’t swum off.  I was lucky that the beach was pretty much deserted at this point so there would be no dog running off and frightening the seals.

Eventually, my need for photographs satisfied I set off along the beach to the Ferry to start my journey home.  I was approached by three different dogs with a polite request to throw balls for them … I did warn them that I throw like a girl but apparently that is acceptable.

That big bird that was at Montrose yesterday was at the Ferry today … look …

… no the gulls are not wearing fitflops these days – that is my footprint for size comparison purposes.

It was hard to get birdy photographs today since the sun was bright, low and coming across the water so I couldn’t shoot with it behind me.  I did get these of a very fluffy Oyster Catcher and some Sanderlings

So an easy day on the feet and some unexpected things to see and photograph – plus a good kite flight or two to dust away some cobwebs.  I want to try and get walks of around 7 miles each in for the next three days – so hopefully the rest day will have set me up for that.  They will need to be walks where I don’t need boots though because that blister is very sore!

Hope you enjoyed the seals today and I wonder what tomorrow will bring …

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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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