I can't help thinking how much I love driving a newly serviced car as I turn out of the garage forecourt and onto the main road. The engine is silky smooth and purrs quietly as the accelerator is pressed and the car surges eagerly forward and picks up speed. The steering feels tighter too, altogether more satisfying, comfortable and more responsive to my hand on the wheel. This year, for the first time, I've invested in a full set of winter tyres – a direct result of my experiences in last year's horrific winter driving. The expense is something I could well do without so close to Christmas, especially the combination of tyres and service, but somehow that thought is far from my mind as I approach the first roundabout and appreciate the better grip on the cold roads surface. Confidence plays a large part in my enjoyment of winter driving, realistic confidence in my own abilities and confidence in whatever I am driving. The car feels in tiptop condition and that breeds confidence. I can't help but smile at the feeling.
Stopped at the roundabout I wait for the traffic to pass by and my eyes are drawn to the scene across the road and fields in front of me where the slope of the escarpment overlooking Dunbar and the surrounding area rises steeply from the flat farmland. I follow the slope upwards in the late afternoon light, appreciating a beautiful but subtle green that’s somehow clear yet barely showing in the fading light. On the crest of the hill there is a line of evenly spaced, low trees silhouetted perfectly against the petrol blue sky that you sometimes get here in the earliest part of an encroaching winter evening. The sky is pristine in its clarity and my eyes continue to be drawn upwards through the imperceptible changes to the inky blue that shows at high altitude - this evening seemingly lit from behind. The view is breathtaking in its simplicity and heart stopping in its purity and it captures my attention for a long moment where thankfully no other cars come up behind me. To set the scene off there is one single star hanging an inch above the tree line. I look left to right across my view but there is nothing else in this perfect sky.
See you later.