Travel Writing

One of the North of London Class 373 sets in G...

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Or, Things I Wrote on the Train Yesterday (mostly descriptive)

I seem to write so much more when I’m travelling, and when I say travelling I mean the physical act of sitting around while a kind train driver, pilot, parent or friend takes me to a place. Once I’m there: useless. I can’t write for anything, unless it’s one of those trips where there are long times spent sitting in the sun with sunglasses on and quiet all around. Otherwise I’m too busy trying to get involved in things and Live My Life.
Funny, that. I’ve just noticed. I write more in the summer, when I’m relaxed and when I have nothing to do but contemplate and notice. All three are the perfect combination but I guess this explains also why I wrote so much more holed up in my bedroom with cosy lights and music on with no pressing deadlines than I did in the dead of winter with my housemates all around, or when I’m busy at work, or have any sort of deadline – including a creative writing one! This is an important thing to remember: I write in quiet (or at least monotony), sunshine and without pressure.
Just need to work out how to replicate that ‘on holiday’ feeling…

Anyway! On the train to Harrogate yesterday I got my Moleskine out and sat it on the little pop-up table in front of me beside a pen. It was a beautiful sunny day and as I watched the countryside fly past I wrote these little things (mostly descriptive). Although I know that colleagues sometimes read this, I was not thinking about libraries at all and it was a lovely journey (the two, I hasten to add, are not connected!)

On the way to Waterloo, I.

He has a very tiny mouth, and features all clustered together in the middle of  wallowing face. When he coughs – inside his mouth, a disgusting habit – his cheeks bulge our like a bullfrog’s. Later, I notice that he has fallen asleep and his neck is spilling over the top of his mismatched shirt like too much cake mix in a tight case.

On the way to Waterloo, II.

A beautiful curve to his neck, he turns and gazes out of the window and then falls asleep. At first he is statuesque, the long lines of his features accented by the strong swells and contours of his cheekbones. I notice that his cheeks themselves are totally  flat, planing up from the corners of his mouth to his eyelids where it is as though they have risen up to cover his eyes – not as in other people where the eyelids themselves come down like shutters.
Then, as I was admiring his full lips, his mouth falls open and he begins to snore. Nevermind.

London King’s Cross to York: A Whistlestop Journey

Country punctuated by train stops.

Ponds dip into existence while resevoirs rise out of the earth.
Gone as soon as they began and the Green stretches out as far as you can see.
Canals ride beside, calm and serene,
and sometimes stately homes appear regally amidst the boxed hedges and gravel pathways deposited on the land.

Not knowing the way without the (very ) occasional roadsign
it feels the way a kingdom might well before the invention of the M25.
Only settlements and tree-edged fields for miles.

York to Harrogate: A Note Macabre

If you look at a cemetery with no one you know in it, it becomes an acre of skeletons.

A final thing for my own sake: all unedited as it the purpose of this blog.

I do find it funny that I only want to write in summer. Can creativity (if you can call it that) come in such cycles?

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