There is nothing worse on a train journey than finding yourself sitting next to the drunk; even the amiable, hopelessly grinning, variety. The disappointment on finding yourself in such a position after what has been a most pleasant evening in the city is nigh on overwhelming. One quick glance down the aisle is all it takes to pick up on the looks of smug pity from your fellow passengers who are by now near ecstatic at having been passed over by their decidedly unsteady fellow traveller. Your happiness quotient plummets alarmingly at the realisation that your glorious day is now petering out to a dismal end. But what can you do about it?
I was a bit puzzled when the woman I had sat down beside suddenly shot up out of her window seat and leapt off down the train like a scalded cat and dived into another some 5m away. Odd, I thought. It had been a most enjoyable “Stag-do” and I had managed to stay relatively sober (imho) – a relative state achieved by leaving a good few hours before the others. I felt as the groom’s father I should uphold as much dignity as possible under such testing circumstances. Ah yes…father of the groom. At long last my erstwhile hillwalking companion, “Cap’n Jack” of the “Fatdog” days was to marry Fiona, his partner of some 12(?) years.
As I snuggled into the now handily vacant window seat I burped happily and, as I stared out into the dark passing night, my mind drifted back to the previous October – the last time Cap’n Jack and I were to take on one of Scotland’s iconic mountains…Ben Lomond. Continue reading