Being here

Now the trip to Cambridge and London is out of the way, my thoughts are beginning to turn to where next. Not necessarily a holiday but at the very least a day trip, something that probably won’t be possible for the next few weeks. It will be a case of enjoying what’s happening around me and finding new dimensions in the familiar. Plus of course planning future trips, which invariably is the best part. I have exactly one trip planned in the next few weeks, which is to Aberdeen for the day at the start of April, but that’s it.

I have a few ideas of places, new and not so new, that I would like to be in. I will do my best to take a few Fridays completely off plus take some long journeys, which feel slightly more worthwhile when it doesn’t start getting dark until well after teatime. Thinking on that, I fancy a trip on a Virgin Pendolino, possibly just to Carlisle. I haven’t been to Tullie House in a while. Other ideas floating around my head are Culzean Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle, Dunbar, Dunnottar Castle, Perth and Kilmartin, though that last one will need a bit more effort in terms of logistics. Easter is three weeks away and I will have four days off. Some of those days will be spent at home, reading, sleeping and doing as little as possible. But at least one good day trip will be in order, plus going to Edinburgh to watch a Hibs game. Since it will be the Easter weekend, it may need to be somewhere a little out of the way as the really obvious places, cities and the seaside, will be full.

My only trip out of the west for the next few weeks comes tomorrow. I’m going to Edinburgh for the football. There might be a quick walk around the city thrown in before the game too. That’s fine. It won’t be a hard day, unless Hibs get beat, of course.

At the moment, I am particularly interested in where I am. Since current circumstances limit much travelling, that’s just as well. I was walking home from the bus stop last night and above the rooftops, I could see the hills which were a deep red in the cold twilight, as shown below. The sky was a deep, sharp blue as it often is as the sun has set below the horizon. Not so long before, the sun was casting long shadows. Often that’s the best kind of sunshine, the kind most conducive to daydreaming if it wasn’t absolutely baltic. I walked up the road, thinking that I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

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I have spent a fair bit of time wishing I was doing something else or just anywhere else, anywhere at all. Sometimes that isn’t necessary. Taking another bus route or just looking the right way can do the trick. I was running early for work in Paisley last week. Usually I take the 61 up the road but instead I took the 60, which took a very different route through the town centre via the Royal Alexandra Hospital, ending up a couple of streets away from work. I was still there early but I felt the benefit, comfortable in not knowing quite where I was but ending up with a little more local knowledge into the bargain, feeling more informed about the place I work in as well as my curiosity satisfied in one sense but generally heightened. Sometimes it’s just like that, there’s always a new mystery, a new place to be filled in on one’s mental landscape, much like Google Maps but much harder to chart.

Apropos of nothing else, here’s a photo of a billboard advertising Scotrail, on Paisley Road West. You don’t even need a train to get to GOMA from there, incidentally, but 10/10 for effort.

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Tomorrow’s post will be about Orkney, entirely different but another place I would like to see this year or next.

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