Calm Amidst the Chaos
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:
I continued up to the top and then turned left to go on up to the memorial.
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.
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.
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?)