Calm Amidst the Chaos


Balmashanner Across the Snow Bound Quarry

Yup … it snowed again!  We got up to a good blanket of it this morning and it has kept coming down all day!  We did dog walking in the Snow and after I got home at teatime silly Dog did a sit out in the snow protest until his tea was served.

It was signing on day today so I had to get on this morning.  I got a new bank card in the post and a notice from the DWP to say my JSA will be going up in April if I am still signing on (by about 71p so don;t get too excited on my behalf) plus I managed to ft in my weekly phone call from the mortgage company.  We went for our late morning constitutional in the snow, which was better than yesterday’s but still spoiled by Dog.  Pup’s pal Fergus was out on his walk too and they followed us through the woods.  Pup was excited to see Fergus and so was Dog – Dog was too excited and upset Fergus!

Having returned the boys to the safety and comfort of home I set off to go to Forfar.  The bus was a good 15 minutes late but the buses have been delayed all day.  It was the driver I refer to as Mr Happy (because he isn’t) and he made an effort today and grunted a greeting at me … well I think it was a greeting!

A change of driver a the depot and a much friendlier exchange of greetings.  I stayed on the bus to the far edge of Forfar and disembarked just before the footpath up to Balmashanner.  It was lovely walking up the brae on crisp virgin snow with not a sound or soul to interrupt my thoughts.  I just missed taking pictures of two deer (think roe does but may have been red hinds) … here is what they left behind though:

Deer tracks

I continued up to the top and then turned left to go on up to the memorial.

Snow ThistleConifers

Car wreck in quarry

Do you remember seeing this wrecked car in the quarry before?



The snow covered path

Looking Back …


Monument in the Snow

Having reached the top I paused in the shelter, popped into a tree for a quick wee – no choice I am afraid in the cold – and then set off to go down to the Lour Road.

Into the depths


Hey look at me calmly looking down into the old quarry and taking pictures!

However, having crossed this wee bridge the footpath was very difficult to make out, there appeared to have been some landslips and I decided it was not a safe route to continue on in the snow – I turned back a short way and took an alternative path that went down and around the far side of that quarry.

Snowy SculptureA tree den

Rabbit in the snow

The real rabbit is facing to the right – but doesn’t that look like a bunny facing left too?

I followed the path all the way to the Lour Road, crossed it and continued on the path until I got to a housing estate.  Wending through an overgrown path and the roads I eventually came to a cemetery gate.  I walked for what seemed like miles through the cemetery and was starting to  feel a little panicky that I would be late to sign on because I was trapped in the cemetery!  I could see the road I needed to get to but there was no obvious way down.  I did escape when I found another gate.

I paused in the high street to check the new bank card – only it seems they have reset the PIN too so that didn’t work and then I walked through to the job centre, getting a friendly bus driver wave on my journey.  When I arrived I sat down to wait but was only two minutes before a member of staff said the chap I normally see had a bit of a queue but she had a space and would sign me on.  I knew by this time that the buses were still suffering delays and so I did not want to wait at the usual place for an hour with no shelter – since I was sure I would just have missed one.

I walked back towards the High Street and just as I reached the depot a late running bus appeared – he was running an hour and 25 minutes late!  Dundee was chaos apparently – the buses behind him ended up being further delayed by a road closure following an accident, so I am very glad I caught that one and did not get stranded until almost 6 this evening.  I wiped a couple of steamed windies to help the driver out and got safely home.

My neighbour had to come home on the bus via Arbroath from Dundee and he said there was some excellent driving in the conditions … although he told me that G was doing a grand job – well I knew it wasn’t G since he had driven my bus and that was his shift done.  A quick description and I identified the lad – my neighbours response “well he might not be called G but it is what I call him!”

So I had a really enjoyable walk – even though it was snowing, chance to clear my head and get a wee bit of serenity back; the Job Centre was a pleasant experience and to our wonderful bus drivers and our fleet – thank you for taking care of us and getting us safely on our journey in this horrid weather – yes you too grunting Mr Happy (whatever you think I think about you – it is wrong – you are okay – just put a smile on your face sometimes?)


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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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