What a long strange blip it's been
Edit - As Flick pointed out, for anyone belatedly reading this drivel, it makes even less sense if you don't start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).
Pulled out of Victoria Coach Station at midnight (cue The Jam) feeling like a spent pumpkin, but wasn't destined to get too much sleep. The woman beside me (I always look for the smallest person to sit next to) was on a spontaneous rescue mission of sorts to the Carribbean, and was saving a huge chunk of cash by flying from Newcastle.
Can't say more than that, but it was quite a tale. Strange how sometimes you are just at ease with people, so she ended up sleeping with her head on my chest between bouts of telling me all about her impending adventure, and about the business she had just set up earlier in the day with her grown-up son. Life does seem to happen in lumps. We took the metro to the airport and had coffee together. I was glad someone else was being even more impulsive than me. I saw her all the way to her check-in desk with a goodbye, good luck hug (in all my years of airporting I've hardly ever been greeted or seen off - sniff). I do hope her mission succeeds.
The car was still where I left, thankfully unfettered by evil, so drove home as other people started their day's commute. Despite a can of Red Bull, radio at full blast and the windows down, I came as close as I ever have to falling asleep at the wheel and had a Very Scary Moment - I don't recommend it. Guess it was just not my day to die.
Here endeth the epic saga. "And always keep a-hold of Nurse, For fear of finding something worse" - in my experience, when I let go of nurse I usually find something far more interesting, and I have yet to be eaten by a lion.
I grabbed an hour's sleep before my only meeting (was determined not to be a feature on Border News), and somehow revived enough to get through the rest of the day.
Hadn't had a chance to blip anything, when I noticed that the strange Borders ritual of pronouncing this year's "Callant" was in progress (the Welsh word "boyo" comes to mind). The announcement was celebrated with a pipe band and a silver band (most Borders public rituals seem to involve these) bashing out a few tunes, and then some 'likely lads' (presumably the Callant was one of them) cheering/jeering at the assembled multitude while standing on the back seat of a red Ford Escort Cabriolet. Class.
I've been resisting including any pictures of recognisable people in case their lawyers are bigger than my lawyers, but if I'm honest I didn't really manage to capture the majesty and awe of the proceedings... I think part of me was still in denial.
The streets fill for these sorts of occasions with such rapidity that it's as though a whistle goes off somewhere that only true Borderers can hear. Within a few minutes of whatever it is fizzling out, nothing but tumbleweeds and the odd police cone remain. Teens in the Borders must REALLY be bored, because even they turn out for these things - especially girls who are at the stage where they overdo the makeup and laugh louder than is strictly necessary. From my vantage point on the town square's fountain I snapped this fine head of Scottish hair.
I'm back in the Borders.