Perhaps, on more mature reflection, going through airport security and forgetting that I had in my pocket the metal nut I’d just picked up outside in the car park wasn’t that hot an idea. But at least the complete search and scan I was then treated to did reveal the pin left in my trouser turn-up, which I suppose was a bonus. I did try to explain to security that it was just a ‘lucky nut’ but they really weren’t that impressed. It was my fault, but I just can’t pass an old washer/nut by without picking it up (see 23rd april and 27th August for this somewhat perplexing addiction.) But emptying out my pockets at the airport did make me realise just how much junk I keep in them all the time. This is it, with no additions. Clockwise from the bottom it goes camera case, glasses case and glasses (funky red ones) roll of sellotape (never know when you might need it) spare shoelace ( bought from the stall in Wells market that has the persuasive advert ‘don’t let a broken shoelace ruin your day‘), pencil sharpener, small very sharp penknife (actually I was smart enough not to try and get that through security) very small blue maglite torch, lucky pebble with hole through it that my daughter, Bea, gave me from Sidmouth beach, jeweller’s loup magnifying glass (three possible magnifications – count them), box of plasters, note book, yard-o-led propelling pencil, tissues. Missing on this occasion is the small pritt stick of glue. I’ve used it all up and need to get a new one. I swap all this rubbish from coat to coat each time I change, and the crazy thing is that the only times I don’t move it all across turn out to be the times that I really need something that I’ve left behind.
I went to the airport to fly up to Glasgow with my daughter, Alice, who was looking at the university there. She starts in September. The university buildings look a bit like Hogwarts. It was an odd and exciting sensation walking around the city with her – all these places that are so unfamiliar, all the cafes, roads, buildings are just like a play about to begin – all the various actors and scenes waiting their turn in her life.
Glasgow is an old place and wears its traditions well. The university coat of arms comprises images from the legend of the city’s foundation by Saint Mungo, namely a bell that never chimed, a bird that never flew, a tree that never grew and a fish that never swam. The university had made small lapel badges with an image of each element of the story and they gave them out to the would-be students. I picked up a handful of them because they were pretty and I liked the idea of the legend – you’ll have to look it up. Somewhere along the line another street washer got mixed in with them, but that’s just the way it seems to go for me.