Last week’s Adventure Week finished somewhat differently to what was planned. I ended up having a lie in on Friday morning and wasn’t able to head to Dunbar and back by the evening peak. I will hopefully try to get through there this weekend. Instead I went to St Andrews, spending only about an hour there. That was by intention rather than design as the 2.5 hour journey to St Andrews passes through some lovely countryside as well as two of Scotland’s New Towns, Cumbernauld and Glenrothes, which are less bonny, to say the least. It is a good journey just to sit and watch the world go by or to catch up on reading or, in Friday’s case, one’s iPlayer backlog. Thus it was that I was to be found crossing the Fife countryside watching a documentary about Pompeii presented in typically magnificent style by Mary Beard, combining enthusiasm with a good few decent one-liners.
The bus arrived in St Andrews about 10 minutes late due to roadworks in Guardbridge. I had swithered about heading home via Dundee though balked at paying £22 to travel 80 miles on the train. Instead I decided just to have a wander. I have a habit when in St Andrews to make a circuit, heading along South Street, past the Younger Hall to the Cathedral, Castle and back along the Scores. The Younger Hall is an attempt at Greco-Roman architecture that has just ended up looking like a pile of boxes all piled up or a mechanised comic book villain at repose. It in fact belongs to St Andrews University’s music department but just looks like the head office of Toytown City Council.
I had planned to go to Dunbar just to be by the sea. Since I couldn’t do that, I stood by the Castle for a few minutes watching and listening to the waves, appreciating them as a multi-sensory experience. I felt the usual sense of calm as I touched base with the grey sea and looked across towards the Angus coast. I also watched a grey bird with a long body that I couldn’t identify, being shamefully ignorant of such things.
I walked along to the Martyrs’ Monument and past Howard Place, a square surrounded by elegant town houses reminiscent of Edinburgh’s New Town, before going for the bus back to Glasgow. That was memorable by the decent share of characters sharing the X24 with me, including two huge, slightly stinky dugs (with entirely non-smelly owners, I should point out) plus several people having conversations I would rather have missed including someone having a loud argument on her mobile including unironically saying did the person she was speaking to really want their business shared to others on the bus. I couldn’t help hearing what they were saying and wondered why people couldn’t wait until they got home to have such sensitive discussions. It would be better all round. I plugged my music in, started to write and tried to tune out, with varying degrees of success.
The bus arrived back in Glasgow just before 7 and I had about half an hour to walk back across town to Central for my train home. I stopped at the traffic crossing on Killermont Street, looking up at the massive Cineworld cinema with its many floors of lights and escalators, before I sauntered down Buchanan Street, letting the city pass me by. It was busy, a Friday night, with folk going out or having been out for a while, as seen by the fair few scooped people about the place. I felt relaxed, unbothered by the rush of people around heading this way and that for once with more urgency than me. It doesn’t take much to see the world anew; as with all the other adventures of the week, it may setting out on foot or just looking another way, turning another corner.