This is the first time for quite a few years that I have used the Caledonian Sleeper. After a very pleasant evening in the company of my good friend Jane at the splendid Look Mum No Hands cycling café in Old Street, I arrived at Euston in plenty of time to be able to use the showers in the first class lounge only to be told by the platform staff that the first class lounge was closed. However, there is a perfectly adequate was basin hidden away in my cabin so I employed the complimentary toiletries to good effect for an “underarm-underleg wash”, as my dear sister in law so delicately describes abbreviated ablutions.
Recalling how the movement of the train is not conducive to relaxing slumber, I retired early in the hope that I would nod off before our departure at 11.50, but that was a vain hope too. There was just too much hubbub and activity from other passengers and the slamming of the train doors just prior to departure would have woken me up in any case. Then the guest (we are “guests” on the sleeper: not “customers”, and heaven forfend that anyone should refer to us as “passengers”) in the adjacent cabin produced a sneeze of the kind of pitch and intensity of which the Flying Scotsman would have been proud. Then the train started moving. I think it would be easier to sleep in a chair facing the direction of travel rather than a bed across the carriage, but I have paid for this bloody bed so I shall do my best to sleep in it. Suffice it to say that this is the first night since being issued with my CPAP machine that I won’t be able to use it. There are no 3-pin sockets in the sleeper cabins. I don’t think it will matter very much: in order to suffer from sleep apnoea, firstly you have to be suffering from sleep.
Oh, and what, you may well ask, am I doing in St. Andrews? I shall be spending the next six days participating in a summer school dedicated to the study of the choral music of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. That, and catching up on my sleep.