Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Tonight's trip home was fairly peaceful. I was reading an article in the Guardian about how Britain is so noisy these days. It touched on train announcements; principally their excessive frequency and pointlessness. I realised that my journey had been astonishingly quiet so far - not a single officious pronouncement about not smoking (there's a smoking ban, for fuck's sake), reading the passenger safety notices, what "station stop" we were coming to... Too good to last, of course. At Linlithgow, we got a rather halting statement that we were at Linlithgow. Still, it was an improvement.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


During a rather good talk at work this afternoon, I was much distracted by the resemblance of the speaker to Tony Blair. I don't mean the Bambi-eyed TB of the early 90s- more how he's going to look in a few years.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Good for the soul

A welcome walk today, after a bit of a dry patch. P. and I went up Ben Vuirich, a fairly obscure Corbett which is not very near to Blair Athol. The forecast promised a clearing day from the North, which didn't really happen, apart from some patches of blue sky. It's a while since I did such a long and strenuous walk, but it's good for you, you know. A few inches of fresh snow made things slower, although it is possible that some of the featureless boggy bits might be even worse in summer. There was no view from the top and I took no pictures.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Somewhere after Falkirk last night, my mind wandered from Bond's doings in 60s Japan (I'm reading You Only Live Twice), and the rest of the journey was punctuated by me falling forward and then jerking awake again. Funny how it seemed to be in the air - many of my fellow commuters were doing the same, each with their own snort, grunt, or whistling expulsion of breath. Sometimes I feel alert for the whole journey, and sometimes drowsiness is just in the air.

Friday, January 05, 2007


Work has been restful for the last couple of days. As part of an emerging social trend, a lot of people are taking a New Year break, with the result that the trains were quiet and the office was almost empty. Even the annoyance of delays caused by a derailment at Waverley (last night's sleeper went off the rails) didn't quite break through the calm. Things would be so much better if we didn't let the absentees back into the country.

Back to crowds and a manager in the same room as me on Monday.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I'd hoped to go walking tomorrow, but the forecast looks very poor and my appetite for crappy weather in the hills is a lot less than it was. So I'll try to find something else that is worthwhile to finish my mid-winter break off with.

Living in Scotland means that I get the 2nd Jan. off. Working for my new employer means that I get the 3rd too (it's something to do with Dundee local holidays. And no, I don't work in Dundee). This time of year being as miserable as it is, I wonder why we don't just all take the whole of January off and have done with it.

At least I don't feel as down as last year.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007: the story so far

I thought some exercise was in order, so I climbed Arthur's Seat. I coincided with high winds and a squall of very cold rain at the top. Who needs to go away at the weekend, when severe mountain conditions can be got twenty minutes from my front door? As I had risked it without a waterproof, I was carrying a lot more weight by the time I got down again. The now-traditional Triathalon was just starting as I passed the commonwealth pool. Actually, the first time I passed, they were appealing for more marshals to come forward (you get your own yellow reflective vest - quite an incentive), and the second time, the children's race was underway, which meant that a lot of competitive parents were shouting at their offspring.