An evening rush hour crowd heads over to the newly designated platform, at the far end of the station.
Arm aloft, a member of staff gestures the crowd to follow them. No tourist crowd this, though, tightly packed around the umbrella, looking about them at the wonders. No, his pose is more leader-of-men, hastening them to the barricades.
Stormy weather is forecast. The Met Office gives an amber warning – a little orange belt running from Glasgow to Edinburgh, as well as covering much of north and north-west Scotland. Tomorrow morning, Central Belt Shuffler heads east, and so is duly warned.
The weather forecast, on the other hand, has been warmed by the intervention of one insistent cat, on a cold day in Germany. Watch, and wish all forecasts featured pet presenters.
Many of us return to work tomorrow (apologies to those of you who have already, or have been working through the festive period to keep us safe, well and well-stocked of crucial Christmas goods). It’s never the most cheerful day of the year.
Central Belt Shuffler spent Christmas resting up south of the border in Kendal. Kendal is home to the fascinating Quaker Tapestry. Each panel was designed and created by different groups round the world, depicting aspects of Quaker history and philosophy.
One panel celebrates ‘Quaker Enterprise and the Early Railways’, and is decorated with wagons passing over a bridge, a stream rushing down below. Another, with a fully-rigged ship, encourages us to ‘Live Adventurously’, while advocating one of the key tenets of the Quakers: pacifism.
Another – Central Belt Shuffler’s favourite – depicts a long-skirted woman on a bike. ‘More Freedom,’ reads the legend. (Quakers were quick to the cause of women’s rights, anti-slavery and gay rights.)
These motifs of travel and tolerance, and a life lived adventurously, with freedom and equality, are good ones to take into the new year shuffle.
It’s 2015, and so to launch Central Belt Shuffle into the New Year, here’s some chocolate money from Virgin Trains to wish all fellow shufflers smooth and interesting travels in the year to come.