Thursday 26 January 2006

One of my favourite work trip photos, of the Cromarty Firth The Last Junket.

As you’ll maybe know, I’ve spent the last three and a half years travelling across the highlands and islands, and beyond, for my work. Travel has been a great part of the job and I’ve seen a huge amount and had wonderful experiences, but there have been times when the stupidly early starts, freezing trains and bland airports have come close to outweighing the fun, anecdotes and inspiration the trips have given me. Back to back day trips with 6am starts do get a bit gruelling, and keeping an overnight bag in the flat that’s always semi-packed and ready to go has sometimes made me feel more like a war correspondent than a students’ union administrator.

I guess that’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to move to Glasgow and to a job with less travel. Not to say that I am ready for the pipe and slippers just yet, but I’d hate to become jaded and not enjoy travelling any more. So it’s possible that the journey I’ve just finished this evening will be my last flight until the autumn, when I am planning to go to Canada.

I’ve been in Sheffield since Monday for a course, and after a bus and two trains to Manchester airport then a very long walk between terminals, I was waiting at the gate when the woman at the desk called the flight on the tannoy:

And another favourite - the northern mainland of Shetland “Ladies and gentlemen, Eastern Airways are pleased to announce the departure of flight 801 to…” She paused with a sigh.

“Inverness!” chipped in a chorus of half a dozen or so of my fellow passengers.

“…yes, Inverness. Please come forward with your boarding passes ready.”

We all laughed, and as we approached the desk she apologised profusely: “I’ve done seven flights today, I’m beginning to lose track!”

I know how she felt.

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