Back to the festival city

Yesterday, one of my colleagues said that it felt quite autumnal and it was dark and wet when I woke at 5.30am. Summer is on the way out. My train was a few minutes late and very busy but at least I was getting away before the August bank holiday rail works and delays. My reserved seat was occupied by someone and the staff initially suggested I sat elsewhere and moved again later but I stuck to my guns and he moved. I just wanted to sit in one place for the next three and a quarter hours. Before we got to Warrington we were stationary for several minutes. I noticed some Himalayan Balsam (impatiens grandiflora) growing by the river. Another 19th century import it has become something of a pest as it shades out other plants.
I started to do some work and noted that Virgin are still having to apologise for problems with their wifi (they have been saying this for several weeks now). A woman sitting opposite jumped up and knocked my coffee over, narrowly missing my computer. It made me think of the student Leonie Müller, who is living and working on trains in Germany. This would be more expensive over here and if my experience today is anything to go by, not always feasible even in the more spacious first class coaches. Several people did get off at Preston and it became quieter. Blue sky put in a brief appearance after Lancaster but most of the Cumbrian and Southern Upland hills were shrouded in mist.
Borders hillside 2006 b&w
We passed Steven’s Croft, a power station that is fuelled by offcuts from the forestry industry. This, with wind turbines and hydro-electricity means Scotland is ahead of the rest of the UK in renewable energy. Sheep in South Lanarkshire were orange, having been dipped and at Carstairs Junction I had to again inform someone who asked if the secure buildings there were a prison, that it was a high security hospital. Almost every time I come up by train someone asks that question. A rainbow was visible on Tinto and although it was raining when I reached Edinburgh it has not persisted so far. I did get damp when walking out for supplies but there has been enough natural daylight to do some white on white painting and decorating I needed to get done. Tomorrow I hope to see some photography and art before I start painting in the flat.

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