By pure chance I had my first full free day of zoom a couple of weeks ago. I cherish these days and they feel such a relief after so long of zooming during lockdown. I decided, as it was forecast to be a cold but beautifully calm and sunny, that I’d take the plunge and go on my first train trundle along to the east coast. I needed to do a few practice runs before my first solo trip to Keswick in June.
The day dawned as promise, frosty but blue sky and sun. I had a morning off my early walk and instead planned to catch the first bus into town at 09.50. I was ready early so decided to amble to the pond bus stop to see how the ducks were doing.
Teresa terrapin had just surfaced to bask on her log
And then my heart stopped as did my body. Ducklings had been hatched overnight and there was proud mum parading them along the pond
I counted them in disbelief as there were 10, yes 10 adorable chicks. I was captivated and in danger of missing the bus as I watched these balls of fluff following their mum
But they’d be there later, so I continued to the bus stop where a mum and her little girl were waiting patiently. The little girl must have been about 2 or 3 and was having her first bus ride ever and she was beside herself with excitement. Mum told me she’d been singing the bus song all morning. As the bus came I told her to put her arm out like me so the driver knew to stop. She shouted as loud as she could ‘STOP BUS STOP’….and her excitement had begun. I remember my girls enjoying a ride on the bus……nice memories..
It was when I reached the train station that the day took a turn for the worse, but not before handing over a box of choccie biscuits to my taxi office as they’d been so good to me during lockdown. I then turned and went over to the ticket office where a gloomy man sat behind the desk. I was anxious enough and really needed a smiley face but wasn’t going to get it. I couldn’t remember what to ask for, I needed his help not a grumpy face. I hesitantly said, with a smile on my face:
“ I need a ticket to get me to Bridlington and back again please’
‘You mean a day return’, he said rolling his eyes and making me feel very stupid. It hadn’t started well…..🙄
I was the only person waiting for the train so was hopeful of a silent journey. It was at this point I wished my audiology appointment hadn’t been cancelled the week before, as it would have been nice to have the safety of my hearing aids to help cope with the noise, but sadly Becky was ill so we’d rearranged for the following week; I’d have to cope without them.
I could see the train coming and put my hands over my ears as it pulled into the station.
I climbed into the front carriage and took my seat away from the only two other people. As soon as the train pulled away, I heard music playing and turned round to see the two people had removed their masks and opened a couple of cans of beer. I suddenly felt uneasy and as the music for louder and their voices competing to be heard, I could feel my body tense and realised I was gripping my bag hard. Thankfully the ride would only be 30 minutes so assumed the guard would appear and ask them to quieten down, but no such luck, he never appeared. By the time the train pulled into the station I felt so anxious, so nervous, so overwhelmed. Maybe the sea front would be quieter…..
The signs from the station are really good and once I got started I went from sign to sign following the sound of the seagulls. The first piccie I took was of a quiet beach, looking towards Fraisethorpe, Sarahs and mine favourite spot but only to be reached by car.
A lone seagull perched on the wall looking out to sea
As I headed towards the boats I could sense the tension returning as voices and people started to appear, I kept snapping…
It was lovely to see the lobster and crab pots again and the boats in the harbour waiting for the tide
Little Turnstones were rummaging in the mud for food
There were people sat on the harbour benches chatting away, people walking past me and suddenly I felt overwhelmed by the amount of noise and people, children shouting excitedly and parents shouting even louder. It wasn’t the image I’d had in mind for my day. I tried to focus on my camera, a speedboat catching my eye as it sped out to sea
I knew this would be the final snap
I needed to get out of this apparent chaos. My brain couldn’t take these surroundings any longer. So used was I to the quietness of my village that this was too much. Beautiful as it was I needed to be back in the safety of my village, so after just 30 minutes I headed back to the station for the train home.
I know everyone will find the return after lockdown difficult. Many like me, have forgotten how to be with crowds. It’s just that the experience seems exaggerated with dementia, a crowd can dozens or be just half a dozen people. Sensory overload had whittled its way inside my head.
Utter relief washed over me as I waited for the bus back to the village and I ended the day as I started ….by checking on the ducks..all 10 ducklings present and correct…..