e s c a p e

[ 21:10 saturday 24 march – loch lomond , argyle , scotland ]

as the location tag suggests i have escaped from north glasgow college !

after about three quarters of an hour there was a scraping and a rattling , then the shutter flew upward . a pall of flat glasgow light slopped across the floor and an irritated man bustled across the hall muttering to start jabbing at buttons on the alarm control panel .

i simultaneously swept my things together and stood up , which didn’t work very well . the alarm siren ceased and the man turned to look me up and down . “hoo on ayerth aer ye ?” he asked , incredulous in 100%-proof glaswegian . i started mumbled my explanation . but as soon as i got to the word “london” a glow of understanding suffused his features and it was clear i need say no more . there is no act of stupidity or folly so great that a glaswegian could not imagine a londoner accomplishing it . i was released .

my flight back to london was booked for that evening , but having come all this way it seemed daft to go straight back . so i put my booking back to sunday evening and got the train up to balloch , at the southern tip of loch lomond . from there i walked a few miles up the west side of the loch to a youth hostel occupying a stupendously gothic victorian mansion .

i sit here now in a huge study with a fire crackling in the grate and the wind rustling outside .

i like glasgow a lot . less polite than edinburgh , in which i spent many long weeks nursing a succession of plays during the early years of the electric company . but it is a greater joy to get away from urban civilisation altogether . this place is sublimely peaceful . across the leaden water of the lake are mountains swathed in snow and cloud . it’s gorgeous .

: cH

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