Trainspotting

5:30am: Alarm goes off
5:30-5:45am: Talk myself into getting out of bed
5:45-6:45am: Dress, hair, make up, get ready to face the day
6:58am: Train from Chippenham to Swindon

This has been my weekday schedule for the past year or so. I am fortunate to have the flexibility to choose my own starting time at work, so these early hours are a deliberate choice. The first hour or two in the office are incredibly quiet, which I find a nice way to ease into the hustle and bustle of a busy day (and they are all busy). An early start also means I have the opportunity to leave early, giving me the time needed to tackle various side projects.

However, I find this a very difficult schedule to keep in the winter. It’s dark when I wake up. It’s dark when I leave the house. It’s dark when I get to the office. Yet light is needed to regulate the sleep/wake cycle and has the power to impact moods; it’s also just nice to be able to see more of the world around me.

For example, I enjoy watching wildlife and taking in nature (although not in the “Let’s hike 10 miles in the rain!” type of way). This is something that my schedule, at present, precludes. However, the change of time and added daylight in the morning has served to not only to boost my mood, but has also given me the opportunity to watch the passing scenery from the train rather than bury my head in a Metro or my Kindle.

Sunrise over fields, Wiltshire, UK.

It’s hard to take a picture from a speeding train with a phone, but trust me, it was a beautiful morning.

The scenery between Chippenham and Swindon is really quite picturesque, and a surprising amount of wildlife can be spotted from the train. Just a few days ago I caught sight of several deer, I occasionally see a heron, and crows and raptors can often be seen around the fields. And I recently was able to have a wildlife encounter before even leaving the station when a pair of mallards decided to join the queue for the 6:58. Apparently I’m not the only one who likes an early start!

Ducks at Chippenham Train Station

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