Roses on a trellis in Melrose, Scotland.



I met Claire at a Harry Potter party, where she was dressed as a phoenix. Her feathery head-dress kept molting everywhere, because she danced with complete abandon, and I knew I just had to be friends with her. 

There is something about making friends when one is traveling, something so spectacular and fizzing and bright - like a sparkler. It is almost exactly the same, because I know I will eventually lose this person; the sparkler will die. In fact, I could relate these concepts even further by pointing out how, if you twirl them around, sparklers make lasting impressions on one's vision, and so do temporary close friendships, but you get my point. 

Claire was awesome! She had this smile that seemed to take over her whole face. We would meet up and then hop on a bus together, and just go somewhere. This one time, we went to Melrose Abbey - a crumbling monastery in a tiny village in the south of Scotland. The bus dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, and we ended up walking through fields and backroads with only half-an-idea of where we were, but we didn't care. I was too caught up in the conversations. I was spilling my soul into Claire, telling her my life story, and every random thought. I like to relish this part of a friendship: the very beginnings, when one is more adventurous, and there is so much to be learnt about each other. Then again, it is also incredibly beautiful when we reach that stage of complete security, when we are familiar, and when there are those inside jokes we laugh at till we almost cry. 

I think that, when you know you have a limited time with someone, your relationship with that person can speed up, in order to fit everything into that smaller time. Also, by attaching ourselves to one another in an unfamiliar location, we can temporarily detach from the real world and focus on the person entirely. Thus, we become more spontaneous, and our time together may be more intense.

Old arched bridge over a river, Scotland.
A dreary walk on a countryside lane in Scotland, in the morning rain.
Small cottage in Melrose village, Scotlands countryside.
Claire hiding in a red telephone box, in the tiny Scottish village of Melrose.


Walking through fields sodden with dew, to find a signposted archaeological site - once a Roman fort, now a series of ruts grown over with grass.
Stopping mid-conversation to say hello to each dog-walking stranger on a path lined by tall stone walls.
Laughing so much I almost peed, when we tried to get inside a musty old telephone box that was blocked by somebodies car.
Two little Scottish boys yelling something very crude at us.
Talking about all the important things, from love to politics to religion to food. 
Measuring each-others height against a short wooden door marked: Brier Cottage.
Reaching the Abbey in late afternoon and finding it shut. Shrugging it off, and eating raspberries instead. 
Waiting for the bus in some unknown town, and killing two hours with walking and beer. 
The jangling of the bus lulling us both to sleep.

Melrose Abbey in the half light of evening.
Melrose Abbey window out of focus, berries in front.
Melrose Abbey window tracery
Light shining through a window in Melrose village, Scotland.
I want you to know what I think,
dont want you to guess anymore,
you have no idea where I came from,
we have no idea where we’re going,
launched in life,
like branches in the river,
flowing downstream,
caught in the current,
I’ll carry you, you’ll carry me,
that’s how it could be,
don’t you know me?
don’t you know me by now?