Somewhere before Ardgay, we cross a causeway. On both sides of the carriage, meadowsweet froths the embankment, and the water of a loch shines blackly. The woman opposite me, who has taken the night train up from London, taps the screen of her phone. I watch the way the loch soaks up the light — lets some of it back — and into view glides a swan. The water is so close to the tracks, it feels like we are gliding too.

The woman thumbs her phone and I wonder if journeying home, she might be luckier, and have a more talkative companion, or an open carriage window where some thick waft of water might draw her eyes upward.