Saturday Saunter: Waves, autism and Arran


It’s Saturday again and it’s time for another Saturday Saunter. This one isn’t being written live: we’re back to Tuesday night. The clocks have gone back and it’s well dark now, about half eight at night. I’ve just had a chocolate milk, one of my current vices. I’m not sure what I’m going to write tonight so we’ll play it by ear.

On Monday I was in Dunbar. I managed to get there for a walk. The day was cold and sunny plus there were big waves. My kind of day. It was the last day of a good few days off and I managed to be in some very fine places. Dunbar was fine but Arran on Friday was magnificent. I got such a lot from the time there. I’m going to try and get back to Lamlash next summer, just to be and possibly to get across to the Holy Isle too. It was an incredible day. I like Arran more every time I’m there.

When this is posted, I will probably be having a lie-in. Hibs are playing tonight against Celtic at Hampden. I’ll be there and it might just be grim. Tomorrow should be nicer. I’m off to Stirlingshire and in particular Doune Castle. I like that part of the world a lot and with the autumn colours, it should be particularly beautiful. I think I’ve written about Doune here before and how it combines my historian side and the deeply rooted nerdish side of me which likes Monty Python. It is also in Outlander but I’ve never seen or read it so can’t comment on that. To get to Doune involves going to Stirling, which is a place I like. I was last there in the summer, there for the football with an added visit to the Engine Shed. I went past Stirling last week on the way to and from Dundee and made sure I turned my head the right way to see the castle.

I pay a fair bit of attention to autism and diversity issues and one thing I really liked recently was a sensory map the Scottish National Portrait Gallery have produced. It not only shows the layout of that magnificent building but also but how loud or quiet areas are as well as whether they have strong smells and indeed whether the toilets have hand dryers or not. I’ve been to the Portrait Gallery many times and it is generally fine for my own particular blend of sensory sensitivities. I don’t like that they’ve plonked a shop in the ambulatory, the balcony area with the historical friezes, as that always was a calm place where I could get my breath back. The hand dryer issue is one I have mixed feelings about. I prefer paper towels because they dry my hands better plus the noise can be overpowering of dryers. Plus dryers don’t tend to dry properly, except the Dyson ones, which thankfully the Portrait Gallery has, even if they’re too loud.

I read an interesting phrase just now in an article from the Washington Post about how listening to the perspective of autistic adults helped a mother with an autistic son. The phrase was about ‘how autistic happiness manifests’. I don’t really think about how my autism and my happiness are linked, to be honest. Sometimes they are wildly conflicting. In the last week the things which have really made me happy are:

  • Big waves at Dunbar
  • Inspired Halloween costumes
  • The Hibs team running out at 3pm on Saturday
  • Reading a good book
  • Looking at train departure boards

I suppose the phrase could mean when my autistic brain is in sync with the rest of the world. Sometimes it happens. I prefer cool and calm days and places. The best moment I had recently was last Friday standing at the bus stop at Lamlash. In front of me was a road then a patch of grass then the bay and then the Holy Isle. It was quite calm, an occasional car, some words in my ears. In the city I’m happiest under trees or slightly above the bustle. Or looking up. I seem to need a decent balance and thankfully the few days I had off recently managed to bring a good range of experiences, city, sea, gardens.

One last thing. I share these posts on Twitter and it’s quite pernickity to customise Tweets on WordPress. Usually, it’s just the title, sometimes a comment on the post. What I’m going to start to do is to add an image description to describe the featured image that accompanies the Tweet. I’m aware of the growing movement to make social media more accessible, which Glasgow Women’s Library highlighted the other day, so that’s my small contribution to that. Today’s, incidentally, is ‘a coastal scene, with a hill and a rock in the background, with foamy, crashing waves in the foreground’.

Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today, Saturday 2nd November 2019. Tomorrow will be the October digest, another Loose Ends post on Wednesday. Post 700 comes soon. Any thoughts about what I could write about or indeed questions that only I could answer, send them my way. Have a very nice weekend, whatever you end up doing. Cheery bye.


6 thoughts on “Saturday Saunter: Waves, autism and Arran

  1. Alli Templeton

    Great post, Kev. Gorgeous waves picture, and some interesting insights into autism. Funnily enough neither of my kids could cope with hand dryers. Maddie isn’t autistic but she has very sensitive hearing and she was terrified of them. Even I’m not keen on them for the same reasons as you. I don’t know why they have to make them a) inefficient and b) excessively loud. Madness in this day and age with all the senstivities people have.
    I hope the studies are going well. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Digest: November 2019 – Walking Talking

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