Why is it that however much you plan, not that I did plan this time, there is always a last minute dash to catch any mode of transport? On this occasion Steinunn and I began a 20 minute mad dash to catch the 15:31 Durham to Newcastle train. We were 4 minutes early, 4 minutes that could have been spent walking at a more leisurely pace over the entire walk from house to station, or, perhaps for a more noticeable slowdown, the four minutes should have been dedicated to the last stretch, cardiac hill. The train pulled up and as the doors opened Henry pulled up alongside us too. He didn’t want to sit down, he was planning his dash to the connecting train from Newcastle to Edinburgh, the same train that Steinunn and I were catching. We sat down knowing from experience that careful preparation is a waste of time and soon Henry joined us, realising that the carriage was less than half empty and no ensuing panic would occur.
So we switched trains without a fuss, or, were we on the same train? The platform was the same, the train emptied but I cannot remember if the train moved to be replaced by another. Anyway, we passed through Alnmouth (Steinunn wanted one of the houses below, or was it the one on the end that you cannot see?) then onto Berwick upon Tweed, which is, purely by the law of averages it seems, part of England at the moment, as it has changed between Scottish and English hands no less than 14 times and that’s not counting the last 600 years.
If we changed at Haymarket we would have arrived in Glasgow 4 minutes earlier, an opportunity to add to our previous 4 minutes, but didn’t seem worth it at the time. However, it turned out that McAlan, whose original destination was Queen Street station, had to do a circuit of Glasgow city in order to pick us up from Central station, which meant waiting around in the cold for 8 minutes before McAl arrived. So all in all, time was gained then lost yet all was in balance somehow or other.