Thursday, 20 December 2007

Train Journey

Outside the frost clings to the fields and trees, white, stiff, outlining detail. Thick fog.

There's a weird screeching from the table seats behind me. What I thought was a miniature puppet show that a woman was attending to with great concern turns out to be some kind of bird in a cage with a specially made quilted silver fabric cover.

A portly man in a grey suit ahead of me plays with the underneath strip of his tie, twirling it as if it were a stripper's tassel. He has a missing front tooth and ate his lunch with great haste. Crisps, but he doesn't seem like a regular crisp eater. Bit like my grandad when he ate crisps. Reminded me of spitting image depiction of Roy Hattersley - all lisping and spitting and large bubbery lips.

Tables are awash with laptops - I'm wondering what the plug-ettiquette is when there is only one between four. If you're the first there and plug in, is it acceptable for someone else to want a shot at some electrical input?

Angel of the North high on a hill - all heavy metal solid and earthbound.

And then Newcastle - a city which looks interesting every time I pass through - its a testamont to industrialisation and modernisation and tradition - bridges, levels, warehouse rennovations, steeples of churches and turrets.

Weak winter sun tries to break through the mist and haze. Bright across the hazy landscape - it hasn't the strength to melt the ice layered on patches of water in the fields.

And then the sea, grey against a grey beach. Sandy coloured houses with red roofs pushed up against the hillside. The clouds out to sea rise up like mountains in the distance. the train flashes over a glassy river with arched brick bridge reflecting and a heron on the water's edge.

The bird lady is wearing a pale blue sweatshirt with a janty parrot emblem.

After five and a half hours I'm losing the will to live. Finally getting off the train and standing in the icy Dundee wind, face pink and burning, breathing deeply. Relief to be outside.

No comments: