Friday, 30 March 2012

Random thoughts from my trip.

Looking out over Findochty.
Followers of this blog will know that this week I’ve been to see one of my ancestral homes: Findochty, Scotland.  The trip was about two things: visiting the place itself, and going on a long train journey – something I fancied doing. 

Below are a few of my thoughts during the last few days.  Some of them are a bit personal, some a bit morbid, and some of them a bit amusing.  Enjoy.

In Findochty:

  • I wonder if the increased desire to discover my family of old is due to me getting older and beginning to accept the decreasing likelihood of ever starting a new family of my own.
  • In writing, it’s easy to feel constrained by the ‘canvas’ we choose, such as the tense or ‘person’ we’re writing in.  But each one has its own advantages too.  Life can be a bit like that as well: we might not always be happy with aspects of our selves/lives, but there may be advantages we’ve missed.
  • There’s a strange feeling when you finally do something you’ve been planning for years.  Now you’ve done it, what now?
  • Making a trip like this isn’t just about the trip, it’s about the stories you hear from family.  Stories that probably never would have been told had you not gone.  Like the one about my Granda as a 14 year old boy, jumping off the quay at Buckie and running away on his Dad’s fishing boat...
  • I didn’t remember anything about Findochty from my last visit as a ‘wee bairn’.  But I am proud to have my heritage in such a beautiful place.

On the train:

  • In the time I spent travelling to Findochty on a train, I could’ve been in Beijing by plane...
  • Sometimes things can feel like destiny or fate – like being sat near the same person twice on different trains.  But really, it’s just Maths.
  • There’s a certain unspoken trust between people on trains.  You can leave your bag to use the facilities and be fairly sure no one will touch it.  Coffee shops are similar.  Why is this?  And why do we fear the worst of people in other places?
  • I seem to listen to music or read books by people I wish I was like.  Do other people do this?
  • There’s a certain way that we novel-readers on trains look down on the magazine readers...
  • On trains, planes or other public transport, we’re all thrown together. If there was an accident, these are the people we would spend our last moments with.  We spend years looking for the right person to grow old with, to die with, when it could all come down to random chance in a moment like this.
  • And last, but certainly not least, this: 

(Apologies for the long clip, but it’s all I could find!  
You should watch the whole movie anyway, it’s truly beautiful.)

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