Dancin’ and Drivin’ – 19 March 2022

We were off to the Saturday morning dance class and then a mystery tour.

The road was busy today, mainly because of the weather. Not bad weather, but exceptionally good weather. Blue skies and sunshine. Everyone was heading for the coast today I’d imagine. Then I found why everyone was driving slowly. It wasn’t just the volume of traffic, it was also because of roadworks. Forty miles per hour and just to make it even more depressing, those big yellow spies in the sky, Average Speed Cameras and they will be there for at least 12 weeks. I suppose the roads do need resurfacing and spring is the best time of year to get the work done. Hopefully better weather and not fully in to summer. We can but hope that other folk will find alternative routes and the traffic will thin out.

Only six people were in the class. There was a dance tonight and a lot of people, like us, were happy to go to class, or the dance, but not both on the same day. Too much travelling to and fro, so most of the normal class had chosen the dance.

The great thing about small class sizes is that you get almost individual attention. The bad thing is that there’s nowhere to hide. Today we started with an easy Midnight Jive and then it was into the Waltz we were learning last week. Thankfully some of the others in the class were still learning the part we’d done last week, so that gave us a chance to reprise that part, then it was in to the more complicated ‘back section’. A short break for another sequence dance, I forget which one and then it was on to the Cha-Cha. The Cha-Cha, in my opinion is a totally pointless piece of fluff with arm waving an extravagance I can do without. I put up with it then put it in its box and left it until next week when I have to pull it out, try to reassemble all the parts and dance it again. But wait! The teachers are off for a week in the sun from Wednesday, so there is no class next week! Oh joy of joys! I mean, of course, “Oh what a shame. We’ll have to wait two weeks for the next class.”

We drove out of Brookside, headed in the general direction of home and then took the dual carriageway to Irvine. It was still a long drive down to the coast, but quicker than the last route the sat nav took us. When we got there it was wall to wall sunshine. Unfortunately, it was also wall to wall cars in the car park. There are loads of car parks at the harbour in Irvine, but all of them were pretty full. However, we did find a place to park and went for a walk to feel what a walk in the sun felt like. Half the world seemed to be there and they all had ice cream. It would have been a terrible shame not to join them, so it was a medium sized 99 with raspberry on top, then a walk along the beach. There were people walking, sitting on the sand, paddling and Scamp even saw two wee boys swimming! In the sea! In March! Are they mad!!?

It really is a long beach and we walked along about half of it then I wanted to look at the big sandstone dragon that sat high on the dunes above the beach. We struggled to climb up to it, wading through the dry sand then up through the dunes proper, but the beast itself was quite impressive. Loads of kids climbing on it, but I managed to get a few photos and remove the weans in Photoshop later.

We said goodbye to the dragon and walked over the hillocks down to to boating pond we hadn’t seen before. This really is an interesting foreshore. Lots of cropped grass, hills and valleys to explore. Just shows what can be done if you have a bit of imagination.

Drove home via a Tesco petrol station to get a fairly cheap, by today’s standards, tank of fuel for £1.62 a litre. Then we drove home via East Kilbride because I couldn’t be bothered driving through the traffic at the Kingston Bridge.

Fish ’n’ Chips which Scamp went over to Condorrat for because I was snoozing on the couch. PoD was a fairly crowded Irvine Beach.

No plans for tomorrow, but apparently we need some messages.

A day at the seaside – 17 January 2022

What better place to be on a bright and not too cold January day, than on a Scottish beach?

Scamp wanted to go to the seaside today, to the seaside on the east coast. That’s why we packed up the car with photo gear and drove across the country to Aberdour and down a road that led to the Silver Sands.

The Silver Sands are well named, because the smooth greyish sand does sparkle in a silvery way when the sun shines on it, and the sun was shining today. We drove down a narrow road with monumental potholes, unavoidable in places. If you missed one with the left tyre, the right tyre found its neighbour. Luckily it wasn’t a long drive and we got parked easily in an enormous carpark, one of about four as far as we could see. From there we walked down to the beach and those sands. I don’t know if they sweep that beach every morning, but it was perfectly smooth and not a lot of litter showing either.

We walked along the beach in one direction, and then in the opposite direction. We saw one girl wearing tee shirt and shorts paddling almost knee deep in the sea … in January (??) I thought at first she was just a child, but as we got closer to the family group, it became obvious that she was a bit older than that, and possibly crazy. Who in their right mind would go wading into the water at this time of year? Well, the answer came when we walked back in the other direction. Two girls waded out of the water, but they were dressed for it in wet suits and with those fluorescent buoyancy aids wild water swimmers trail behind themselves.

We left them to their exercise and headed for the cafe for a coffee and a bite to eat. Panini for me and a tub of chips for Scamp with two coffees to wash them down. The cafe was remarkably busy given the fact that it was a weekday and mid January, but I suppose it’s only the second decent day we’ve had for a long while. I imagine this place will be mobbed in the summer. We both agreed that we’ll come back and find out.

We drove back and got completely lost following the sat nav that was supposed to be taking us in the direction of Stirling. Instead it was determined to take us via Kincardine, so we eventually agreed to go with it. I thought we might stop for a photo opportunity at Torryburn, but the low sun was shining right in our faces and a low mist was obscuring what scenic view there might have been. We drove home.

Well, we drove home via B&Q to get some fixings to make that pedestal I spoke about. Our B&Q is a bit run down. It’s in a retail park where the only store that anyone goes to is Halfords. All the rest are carpet shops or cheaply made furniture sold at about twice what they’re worth. We are getting a new retail park with a cinema, a bowling alley, a hotel, restaurants and, well, anything you could want. It’ll be ready in early …. That’s the problem. It’s just a pipe dream and I’m not sure what they’re smoking in that pipe, but the story is convincing nobody. So, our B&Q had the corner connectors, but no screws to fit them. A do it yourself store that can’t do anything itself. We drove home.

That was about it for the day. I had a look at the photos I’d taken today and they looked pretty good. The new toy does take very nice photos. A view from Aberdour looking over to Edinburgh got PoD. I think Scamp really enjoyed that walk along the beach today. It certainly seemed to lift her spirits. It was a lovely beach and great views across the estuary to Edinburgh. I think it’s on our list of places to go back to.

Tomorrow looks like a return to dull, cloudy weather with the chance of rain for a while. I’ve got some woodwork to do, so that might keep me busy and we might get out for a walk later. We got a message from the couple who run our dance class to test the water for a return to class soon. Let’s hope things are opening up again. We’ll know more when Nick the Chick gives her proclamation tomorrow.