12 July 2021

Staycation Thrills

Posted by the Cake Shop

Terry’s been off enjoying more staycation thrills. Long train journeys, a little rain, a good sandwich – not much more is needed for a satisfying adventure.

Terry says:

The five hours to Scotland on the socially-distanced train is delightful. Pack a lunch bag at home, or slip into Pret or M&S before the train leaves – you need something to rip into as soon as your seat is found, and there’s no way you can rely on the train trolley. Train snacks are a profound pleasure, rightfully elevated to an artform in many countries; faced with the sad array of Carlsberg and KitKats, I think of the awesome train trolleys in Japan and ask: British Rail, what happened here?

Train books are just a big a thrill. This trip, I cozy up with a copy of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s cultural history of moss – a deep dive into an overlooked plant nation which keeps me happily engaged until we arrive in Glasgow Central.

The city spreads gently out before me: it’s built on a grid, making it nice and easy for a girl who struggles with Google Maps. Glasgow is a magnificent old dame, a real Nana of a city – a sharp elbow in a good cardie. Grounded and artsy, with a beautiful colour palette of slate and sandstone, green and grey. I feel at home immediately. Cycling around on those wide potholed streets, you can experience four seasons in an hour – but even in the rain, a Nana hug is welcome.

With a bike, it’s easy to take day trips – rides out to country parks, or along the old railways to the coast for some wild swimming. The skies at this time of year are high and dramatic; the midsummer moon is reaching fullness and there’s a northern brightness that’s so pure it seems like it could crack open your skull. Maybe that’s just me, though there are a lot of druids out at this time of year who’d probably agree with me.

I cycle over the Clyde and stop in Govanhill to stock up on baked goods: the most buttery, nutty fig cookies and an egg and nasturtium sandwich on oat bread from two.eight.seven bakery that brings me such authentic joy that I’m planning to recreate it at home – funked up, naturally, with some curry tofu, and why not make that nasturtium a pickle? Lia Leendertz shares a Romany recipe for pickled nasturtium seeds in the July entry for her seasonal almanac that I’m dying to try. This is how you know a trip has done you good – when you arrive back buzzing with ideas, seeking little ways to bring the place you just visited back with you into your old life. You’ll see our take on trying to recreate those cookies on the Cake Shop counter over the coming weeks.

Books mentioned in this blog post