Travelling to Shetland

The Caledonian Sleeper took me North. It’s the most marvellous way to travel – and fulfils the requirement to be socially isolated. I had one of the new cabins, or “rooms” as they call them. It even had a built-in toilet and shower. So I woke up refreshed, approaching Edinburgh.

The modern tap on the sink in my travelling room on the Caledonian Sleeper.

Because of COVID-related timetable alterations, the train didn’t go all the way to Aberdeen, as it normally should. I changed at Edinburgh onto a normal train.

Aberdeen was eerily empty. I drew a picture near the Art Gallery.

This church had been converted into a restaurant.

Then eventually I found somewhere open in Belmont St. I sat outside. The waitress cleaned every table and every chair after customers left. She even sprayed the laminated menu with disinfectant before replacing it on the pile. On a paper form at counter I filled in my contact information for contact tracing. Next to the form was the biro to use. I used it without thinking. I guess everyone had used it. I did remember to wash my hands afterwards though.

While waiting for my food I drew the establishments on the other side of the street, visible through the awning.

Belmont St, Aberdeen.

Both were bars. One was a converted church and was called “Redemption”. The other was a house, called “Revolution”.

The restaurant I was in was called “Books and Beans”. I could see no books, and beans didn’t seem to feature on the menu. I had an excellent huge sandwich.

Maybe we need a campaign for meaningful restaurant names.

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