Friday, 20 June 2008


Travelling on a train in a wild and remote part of Western Scotland. I sit in the front seat of the front carriage, being pushed from the back by a snuffling and tired engine. I look out of a gritty panoramic window at purple mountains and streams that burst raging from rock.

The train heaves itself up to the top of a hill and waits, like it is trying to catch it's breath. Before us is a huge vista of green and brown fields stretching away into the blue distance. Birdsong flits past and around, swoops down and twists away, like ribbons of sound. I am stunned by the beauty of all I can see all around and how it seems to be running towards me like a tide against the still background of a dark blue sea that holds the shadowy silhouettes of distant islands in it misty grasp.

Like a roller coaster ride, the train is suddenly plunging down towards a village, rattling like a hysterical cage on loose legs as it swings into the bends and spills towards the finishing line of a red light and a neatly swept station platform with a newly painted white kerb. I hold on tight. I scream.