July 25th, 2010

Fishy Circumstances

Sunlight, birthday

I am spending my birthday on a train. The weather is perfect, as clement as it has been for the last several days, but with more photogenically fluffy clouds. The land, in greens and yellows, glows in the basking sunlight.

The last thing I did the night before was to dance at a ceilidh, whirling exhausted around circles and lines with spirited historians of science. The first person to wish me happy birthday in person did so at 4 am, when the fire alarm went off in the halls ore residence. The first (& only so far) person to give me a present warmed the cockles of my heart by it: I barely knew her, but she immediately, upon learning it was my birthday, dug into her bag to offer me an ocean-smoothed stone from Aberdeen's beach, a piece of the city and its granite.

M. offered, or perhaps threatened, to arrange for a breakfast time choral rendition of the song I wrote for last year's BSHS song contest, a followup to yesterday's fabulous and performative Songs of Science session, which ended with a group singalong. Fortunately, M. refrained. Especially after the 4 am wakeup, most of us would not have quite been up for it.

I am traveling first class, which is civilized: free drinks and biscuits, table service for cooked meals, spacious seats, and ambient tranquility. Alas, I am again seated on the side of the train away from the ocean, and conveniently located for sun-based screen glare. Still, it is lovely out.

I am running low on Scotland, but there's still most of England to see today.