Trails and trials of the writer who walks
Most of my trips start with a mishap before I’m even on the first train of the day. On one occasion the rucksack cover disappeared somewhere between my house and the station (a distance of about 200 yards) but I didn’t realise until the train was pulling in. Same station, same train, one year later, I removed my rucksack prior to boarding only to discover that the strap pocket containing my phone charger was unzipped, gaping open and empty. Today I didn’t even get as far as the station before 30 pages of Ordnance Survey printout cascaded from the bottom of the map-case slung around my neck. I’d neglected to secure the Velcro.
It’s a seven hour train journey from my Lancashire village to Inverness, but not expensive thanks to advance tickets. Just £17.15 today. As I write this, we are traversing the Cairngorm National Park which is snow-capped and stunning. So much pleasure for so little money.
Scotrail have even thrown in on-board entertainment. Just make your way to the loo and settle down. A mellow female voice intones: “Please do not flush towels, nappies, gum, unpaid bills, junk mail, your ex’s sweater, hopes, dreams or goldfish down the toilet.”