From the Journal: Stirling Services, May 1

Roaring an upward diagonal across the map of Scotland, I drift across the white line and find myself here, in this services compound on the approach to Stirling. A chance to call home, to pause for coffee and walk, dazed and bow-legged, among these short tempered pilgrims. I read a newspaper and watch a wall of pines swaying beyond the car park, and think about distances, and about my father.

It occurs to me that his Alzheimer’s is a poor reward from karma for a largely blameless life. I sip my coffee and watch these trees move, deep and green, and I send my love across the distance to him, imagining it arriving with a warm, soft landing (like clouds drifting open). Radio waves, telepathy and prayer.

The road signs tell me I am close to Bannockburn here, the blood soaked fields where history was written. But I’m passing through, rolling eastwardly without a quarrel, leaving behind a litter of crumpled napkins and a dusting of icing sugar.