Untitled system
“We’re now exposed to the maintenance tracks. Such observations would be impossible if there were but a break in the clouds in the sky for the sun: now more houses, more settlements and more trees and common land in between are set behind us. And there’s a constant black line that floats beside me on the other side of re-enforced glass – it’s not that comforting though it keeps disappearing above the window frame.”

There’s an age where both Ine and Pie go well together and a new form of energy is created. Right now I am around ten minutes from the border between Scotland and England, heading south east of Dumfries towards the next stop, which is Carlisle. My final destination, after meandering through the hills of Ayrshire down in to the valleys of the Lake District and through to the northern hills of Lancashire, is eventually Manchester.

There was an age when this journey would have been altogether more troublesome and harder to navigate. As the window set to my right dost frame each scene as I occasionally look out, the landscape escaping before my eyes, there’s a hill another hill a town a townhouse a church a paddock a river lake tree forest fence and field. All rolled in to one and relative to us as a travelling hanger of internal sound.

Museum Project (from found material)

We are not reserved – just quiet

Before all these ‘objects’ of the landscape, the very fabric of a traveller’s horizon would have been North South East and West by way of tree, hill, lake and track – all forayed before each step forward. And none of these tunnels or bridges would ever have existed. Right now I think of the short walk books my father keeps in his trunk at the top of the stairs, behind where the dog used to sleep.

The page says jump (with a smile) It was on a walk through the Peak District that I lost one of these books. He blames me as he entrusted the book in my hands. I was the navigator following the instructions set before me with each turning page.

“Walk three miles east of the pink tree set before you and come to a fence two metres in height. From this fence head down a track through a stile and over a dry stonewall. From here see the tip of a reservoir to your left. Follow its line around North West arriving at a dam. Scale the dam reaching midway between water and stone. Jump off in to the water and swim to the shore on the Eastern side. Once there head north to a second stile…”

And so on. I do this with a smile of course, as I’d rather forget how I left the book, having survived its rigorous instructions, on the top of the car – we set off, the gravel underneath us crunching and expanding space beneath our tyres, the book flew off the roof caught by the Winter’s afternoon sky.

And we are now in England and the accent is altogether different. Carlisle is as grey as Glasgow’s West End on a sunny day and from here the world seems to be not so much as awake as the humdrum of the engine I sit behind. I am facing north west now and there’s not a stile in sight, just more bridges and tunnels that disguise our guise as a linear traveling collective machine.


Hidden Spaces – a month of blogs by members about their hidden space – whether they be real, imagined, unbuilt, cut-off from the public, demolished, spiritually significant or politically sublimated. Read more from the series.