Stop Look Listen.

To get to town, and to the water beyond town, from where I live, I have to cross the tracks of the branch line of the rail that runs from Exeter down to Exmouth. What I didn't realize until Monday, when my Exeter-bound train was delayed at the platform by the Exmouth-bound train, is that northbound and southbound trains basically must depart from Topsham at the same time, because they're sharing the line everywhere except at the Topsham station. See? You can see where the single track splits into the northbound and southbound tracks, which it does just before the Topsham platforms; the tracks rejoin just beyond the north side of the Topsham platform. I find this completely enthralling.

By the end of the evening, after I'd made many phone calls and set up lots of logistical details, and after I'd had a wonderful Skype-enabled afternoon of conversation with (and birthday singing for!) my beloved classicist friend and his wife--perhaps the two people I most regret not having gotten to say goodbye to in person before I left to come here--it already felt like a full day. And then the sun, which had been obscured by rainclouds all day long, in its setting turned the sky marvelous colors. And there was nothing to do but leave the house again and chase the colors back to the western skies.

And then, at some point, there was a dog who, more than anything, wanted to fetch a stick from the water. Which he got to do. Which set this swan a-hissing and put its wings in attack-ready mode.

Swans' hissing is what inspired Elsa Lanchester to play the Bride of Frankenstein the way she did, don't you know.