A variation, today, on planes, trains and automobiles.
Central Belt Shuffler boards the habitual morning train, stows the bike. Another bike (from another Glasgow-Stirling commuter) is leaned against it.
Then, a kayak.
A kayak comes on board the train, after some discussion with the conductor. It wants to go to Perth, the stop on from Stirling.
The conductor says that, technically, the train shouldn’t really be taking a kayak. It’s over-sized, and won’t fit into the luggage holders. (These are – it has to be said – under-sized for the amount of luggage on the train on some occasions. This time, though, he has a point.)
The conductor lets them on, telling them to stow it by the bikes, upright. It is large, and orange. It’s packed with luggage, and, it transpires the train tickets. There’s a lot of discussion about whether it should be upright or on the floor, and whether it will impede the passage of the trolley. Vertical, horizontal, vertical again. The younger man – a teenager – sits down, holding the kayak with one hand. Or, more precisely, resting his hand against it, while the other hovers over his smartphone.
His attention switches, and his hand hovers over the kayak and touches the screen. The train bumps over the points. The kayak starts to tip. I am in its fall line.
I put my hand out. The teenager too. The train steadies. The boat stays upright.
Stirling. Two bikes leave the train. One sea-faring vehicle remains.