We have reached the time of the year when the nights are fair drawing in. Soon the clocks will go back but at least the leaves are still falling to offset the getting dark far too early carry on. I work two evenings a week until 8pm and as I head home, it is now dark and I can live with that. Getting dark at 4pm when on a day trip was something I always hated. Edinburgh day trips were always better because I generally felt comfortable walking through New Town streets after dark but in other cities, I wrapped things up fairly sharpish then began to make for home.
When I travel home from Paisley of an evening, I get a train from Gilmour Street just before 8.30. Not long after I started, I noticed certain trends. There was always an older couple heading for my stop and when we got there, there was invariably the same older woman suddenly looming out of the darkness as the train approached, all so often frightening the living shite out of me. The older couple, who are there just about every Thursday in life, probably coming home from an evening class or something, just annoy me. I’m sure they’re fine, they just bring out my impatience. For those who don’t know it, Hillington East train station has two platforms with the Glasgow-bound one accessed via a bridge that handily is where the front of the train stops. I used to try to get off the train first because this couple always got off at the right place so I didn’t have to walk behind them so slowly up the stairs. I ended up calling them the Slowingtons and I dreaded seeing them at Gilmour Street. I even imagined a life for them. But they so often appeared. I tried to get off far enough behind them not to get irritated but it didn’t work. So, for a while I decided to get off the train at the next stop, Cardonald, since I live halfway between the two stations. I haven’t seen them for a few weeks but now I’ve written about them I surely will.
I wrote here last year about why I used to hate autumn, because for a few years I knew I would be in for a quiet, largely work-free winter. One year, on 31st October, the last day of the season, I went for a day trip to Arbroath, up in Angus. It was absolutely baltic. I went to the Abbey and then to the Signal Tower Museum. I sat in the fish and chip restaurant across the road from there as the sun went down about 4.30 and remember feeling sad about the end of the season as the last of the daylight went. Nowadays I have consistent work all year round so the turning of the year only matters because I like to notice the changing seasons, the sharpening of the light as there is much less of it. This time of year I like. Particularly living in the city. I grew up in Dunbar when the weather was intense even in high summer. Rain here can be intense too but at least it isn’t normally accompanied by a constant wind, like in Dunbar or Arbroath. The city is good for some parts of autumn (like the photo below of the Queen’s Park), while being by the sea is best when the sun goes down because the horizon is more visible and you can see where the sun’s last beams hit the waves. Hopefully I will get to see it as this autumn goes on, in Arbroath or otherwise.