Now that I'm commuting from Plymouth to Exeter anything up to 5 days a week I have stories aplenty of the inconsiderate behaviour of some passengers and I've already amassed a small entry entitled 'twats on trains' that I'll post at some point. However, the train journey that is the subject of this post was a trip away to attend a friend's wedding and visit other friends over the course of a long weekend. The journey itself was one of those long trips that inspired many hours of gazing wistfully out of the window whilst listening to music, allowing my mind to wander over the exterior landscape and thoughts of the people I'd be seeing, some of whom I hadn't seen for years. I decided to note things down as they came to me - they fall into three groups: Sights (S), Thoughts (T), Others (O).
Plymouth to Paddington:
S - Sun rising over the viaduct on the approach to Ivybridge
S - Boats in the Exe Estuary
S - Topsham houses through the morning haze
S - The pond in Tiverton (near Parkway station)
S - Lone tree in a field of slowly ripening wheat
O - Chinese students in my carriage talking quietly - sounds so musical I wish I understood Mandarin
T - I love her
T - East/West? Torn in two directions (London and Devon)
S - The school in Taunton
T - Tori Amos sends me the same way as The Tea Party
T - X, I love you
S - Cows loping across a field
S - Swan floating on a small winding river
S - Yellow-green wheat fields surrounded by dark green hedges, both dotted with dark green trees
S - Field of cows, some black & white, some brown & white, some with collars
S - At a station an Asian man greets a woman with a huge smile and an arm around her shoulders
S - Bowl-shaped depression in a maize field, directly under a tree - less sunlight there?
S - People moving carriages because they want to face forwards
T - I can't wait to see L & C
S - Gentle morning sun on dappled fields & cosy country houses. Welcome to The Shire!
S - Lady cyclist on a B-road
T - Fishing with Dad on Kithira
S - Pigs frolicking in a field of weeds
O - Tori Amos lyric: But I was alone when I knew it was real (song: Crazy)
T - I can't wait to see her
T - I'm constantly amazed by the powerful emotions evoked by beauty
Second train: London Victoria to Herne Bay
O - chatted to some really cool people who were going to fly from Biggin Hill to somewhere in Northern France as a day-trip!
T - Some things are only visible when your eyes are shut.
As I was noting these observations etc. down I also had a rather whimsical series of desires arise. They all begin with the phrase 'I want' so....
...to walk the empty city streets on a gently rain-swept autumn evening
...watch the sun rise over the Georgian houses of Topsham
...drink red wine while listening to flamenco at an outside cafe in Southern Spain, all on an autumn evening after having visited the Alhambra during the day
...look into her eyes and lose myself in the bliss of a kiss
...see New York
...wrap my arms around her and feel her pressed against me