Tonight I am off to London by sleeper train. My plans are made, my maps arranged, my playlist (curated by D) is yet to be lined up, but still some hours yet. I’ve been looking at the map of London, thinking of place names and reimagining them as the first things the pop into my head: Piccalilli, Barbarossa, Houston Station, Calmdown. London is a strange country to me.
There’s a dingy light here in my flat from the rain, and the shush of cars and buses going by outside my window soothes as much as it worries me. I’ll have to go out shortly to pick up my coat – my big Afghan coat of unknown provenance that I’ve had since I was at St Andrews.
I can relish such details of dress and book and music and the places where I’ll be going tomorrow, alone and with others. In the past week, I’ve been writing an outline and editing furiously, and now it’s time to slow, to get on the right foot and to stow things neatly in my bag so I’ll be free to wander and to look. I’ll be a set of eyes and a shape moving through streets, or having the streets move around me as I sit inside a cafe by a big window,
in good light (I hope).