The light falls sparsely on the borders, the clouds creating a patchwork upon the countryside. This trip is old hat, almost a commute. The jittery train dashes north from London to Scotland and the landmarks are comforting and familiar. Once we pass Berwick the tracks hug the sea most of the way to Edinburgh. I stare out over the horizon and down the crevices that dot the coast, watching the waves crash. I wonder at the houses built by the water between the train and the sea, envying the seclusion and beauty - the starkness that comes from living on the very edge.
The trip to London was short, business-like. The city, even the Underground, seemed quiet -even when crowded. The tube reminded me of commuting to school. Trying to stand against the shake of the train, refusing to hold on, testing balance in the way that you test anything you can when you're young. The utter embarrassment when, with a jolt, you lose your balance and knock into a disapproving fellow passenger, the laughter of your friends, the mumble of apologies. In my earphone cocoon I thumbed through the memories, their distance and clarity both a surprise.
I visited two pubs, one a local. Neither was The Dove, much to my surprise. There simply wasn't the time. A few quick texts to friends, confessing my presence and apologising for the fleeting nature of the visit. The beer tasted good, though. Earned and deserved after a long day feeling a fish out of water. The wine trade can be quite vast and daunting on occasion. Yesterday was just that sort of day.
We cross the bridge across the Forth and the waters are busy. Ships and tugs and launches all scattered across the blue expanse.
Back in Fife and inching towards home. The weather's better than London and the sun's bright.
There's something about time on the train. It's mine: no one else's.