Thursday, 25 August 2016
The 2016 Challenge, day 0: Getting to Oban (3)
I had a very enjoyable conversation on the train with a lady whose name I carefully noted on the back of a piece of paper which I subsequently discarded (getting a bit dopey here, ya know!); and on discovering that she too would be making the onward journey to Oban on the same train as me (although not a Challenger) we agreed to take the stroll between the two Glasgow stations in company. This decision, although it seemed natural and innocuous at the time, was actually to have a profound impact on my in the days ahead; because I had been planning to stop at a suitable shop in Glasgow to buy some new batteries for my GPS unit. I had had it several years now and it was still on its original set of batteries. I do not make a great deal of use of it: for me the GPS is there as a back-up for difficult navigation situations - a device to answer the question "WTF am I?" when you're in featureless terrain with no safe collecting features in the direction you want to go and the cloud comes down. At other times it stays safely switched off in the "emergency gear" compartment of my rucksack. So I'd been thinking, well, I don't know how long these batteries are going to last, so why not replace them with some nice fresh new ones? Just to be on the safe side.
Well, that had been my plan ... but when my pleasant new companion offered to buy my a drink, I was hardly going to be so churlish as to refuse, was I now? The batteries I had in the GPS were working just fine for the time being, and there'd surely be another chance to buy some new ones before I needed them. So that magic word "drink" worked its charms once again, and I enjoyed a very pleasant pint of cider in a bar near Glasgow Queen Street instead of buying a "just in case" set of new batteries for my GPS unit.