Listening to: Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)
On the way: back home (slowly)
Errr. . . right. . . where was I?
Inverness station at 4.30am, not enough sleep, about eight trains waiting, don't know which one's mine, no Edinburgh train on the departure board, nobody about, just me. . . and (in the absence of strong coffee) The Sex Pistols on the iPod.
Twenty minutes later there's a human being who explains the train to Aberdeen goes on to Edinburgh. . . they obviously don't like to brag about it. So at 5am we're off on the pretty way, east, then south.
Well, I just assumed it was the pretty way as it was pitch black until well after Aberdeen. The sun rose over Arbroath (note to self: try an Arbroath Smokie one day), a few minutes later we trundled past Carnoustie golf course and more than a few were out on the course in the half-light.
Bridges in and out of the Kingdom of Fife took me to Edinburgh, then it was south past the Bass Rock, through Berwick and Alnwick to Newcastle where former England football manager Bobby Robson got on the train. Then it was the Angel of the North, flooded fields all through Yorkshire and into the Midlands.
The Youngest joined me at Birmingham and we went through the ritual 'how's school?' questions, I read her NME (didn't take long), helped Mario through several weird adventures (they have some good drugs at Nintendo) and we tumbled out at Exeter around six o'clock.
The birthday celebrations were long and full of calories, but a big success. The Boy and I escaped on Saturday to watch Exeter v Penzance, surrounded by 6,000 other rugby fans eating pasties, drinking cider and saying "'ello my luvver" ever such a lot.
The Youngest and I set off back to Shrewsbury yesterday and I'm on the sleeper to Inverness tonight. Mrs TPF seems to be struggling to keep two boisterous pigs under control, there's a concrete floor to be finished, walls to be built, paddocks to be laid out, a kitchen to strip down, floors to dig out, slabs to shift - I need to get back.