I forgot to lift my tablet this morning. I only realised when I got on the train. It’s sitting where I left it, in the house, plugged into its charger, all the music, study matter, iPlayer programmes and books I had hoped to get through today just where I can’t get to them. The only reading material I possess for this two-hour journey are my own notebooks since I ended up not even getting a paper before I left Central. I’m well and truly trapped with my own mind this morning.
If I’m honest, I’m bothered less than I was. The sun’s just coming up and I have a window seat. Right now is my favourite part of the West Coast main line, between Motherwell and Lockerbie, and it’s misty with varying strengths every passing mile with hills and clouds peeking above the vapour. In between are power lines and now as we wend out of another pass, the fog is gone with trees, cottages and wind turbines to compete with the never-ceasing procession of vans, lorries and cars on the M74. Beattock Summit and the train moves on, the motorway left behind, if only for a minute, behind the trees nearly all turning golden as the autumn fools us that winter isn’t fast approaching.
When I travel, I’m normally plugged into my tablet, music in my ears and a screen before me, as I skim and scroll my way through another journey. I don’t object to this forced denial, at least not yet. There is tinny music coming from the guy across the aisle but it’s faint. There’s no one loud yet, no one I want to escape from. I have a notebook, a pen and a window to gaze out of. If I want, I can doze off or stare into space if I don’t want to shut my eyes. There’s often a reason why we do things unconsciously. We leave things behind and we moan or we curse. Invariably, though, there’s some hidden benefit and we see something we might have missed otherwise like country roads that one day I might want to walk down or mist rising in a valley whose hills peek above but don’t even loom ominously just now as another day begins.