Wednesday December 19th 2007
Get on at Penicuik town centre, 1.03pm.
Driver asks where I’m going. Very cold outside but winter sun and condensation marking all the windows. School crossing patrols face each other across the road. Man laughs outside a bookies. Into fields, child’s feet in the frost. Down past barbed wire. In Roslin see over a wall to a window with a silver foil tree and a woman pacing around a yard. Someone talks loudly in German, wipe the window with wet sleeve. Edinburgh is 7 miles. Fast along the edge of the Pentlands and a half-deflated snowman. A headline says MONTHS OF PAIN… Seat backs are high. Lights turn to red on Morningside Road and stop next to a hardened flowerbed. It is getting colder. Standing round a table in the tailors in Bruntsfield a woman holds out a needle for a man to take. A window caked in dirt and surrounded by twists of cables. Turn left into shadow, and an old man sits down and blows out his cheeks and someone phones him but it is the wrong number. Cold water is collecting in a pool on the ledge. The moon is showing in the empty sky ahead. Onto London Road right now and lights in the shape of kissing angels and the sun catching marriage dresses in a shop. Has gone fast. The carpark at Meadowbank is crossed with tracks in the frost but only one coach sitting at an angle across the lines. A tanning shop advertises LIE-DOWN BEDS. Front window has clouded up completely. A red and black front door. Someone downstairs says "I can’t carry anymore!". Into Portobello and a tree weighed down heavy with red berries. The driver gets off and puts on a motorbike jacket whilst the bus stands still. Again wipe the window, can see less and less. A triangle of light on the wall in someone’s living room, wooden stairs inside a church spire. The sand on the beach is even frosted, sea is completely still without any ships. Smoke from the power station like a photo not moving. Two pigeons peck at each others heads. Over the river in Musselburgh, girls in a travel agents wearing pink short-sleeved shirts. The grass looks long on the racecourse. Return to fields and accident repair. Close to pylons. A large cross.
In Tranent empty washing lines and fresh houses.
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