One of my favourite places to be “outdoors” is the concourse of a big city railway station. To have coffee, or better yet, to be at beer, is an added bonus.
After an excellent breakfast at a little deli in Callander, I drove on southwards. It was interesting to see clouds form over the central valley. Coming into Edinburgh, there was heavy fog and drizzle, though it remained warm.
On the way down, I happened across an #Engineering #Marvel, and went out of way to go and see it. Many years ago, touring with a friend of mine, on two occasions, we’d found ourselves at a loose end on a Sunday afternoon, and visited – quite by chance, as it were – engineering marvels. One was a certain “nuclear installation” on the coast of Cumbria; the other, a radio telescope in Cheshire. To pass within a few miles of the Falkirk Wheel, and not pay a visit, would be crass. And I speak as someone who can allow the Flying Scotsman to steam unseen past the end of my garden at 5a.m on a working day, whilst I lie in bed.
I allowed myself the luxury of complete dependence on the Google sat nav to get me to my final destination, with only one or two cursory glances at it to ensure that it knew what it was doing. There’s no call when using sat nav to switch off your common sense or your sense of direction. At one point I drove past Fettes College.
But back to the great railway stations: I love big stations. Victoria, St Pancras. Glasgow Central. The destinations boards, the bustle and hustle, the romance. Better still – possibly – in the days of steam, with whistles, steam heating, clatter and bang. I remember steam heated trains from my youth.
And what of the journey, the pilgrimage, the embracing of change, the understanding that things must change? Steam has gone, but most everything changes. Tomorrow will be different. The journey never ends. We must take nourishment from all aspects of it: the good, the bad. From the rest and the rush. From the pleasure and the pain.
On a journey, we may do things differently at the end, than at the beginning. On a journey we must adapt and learn, most especially from our mistakes.