I have in my hand a piece of paper, which shows a satellite map of the south of Glasgow. On it are several orange glowing areas, which I take to be alien crash-landing sites. I lead a large search party to the largest of the sites. It is above a shop on Victoria Road. Unfortunately, the shop transpires to be an all-night massage parlour, and there is no access to the roof, except through a laundry chute. "No chance," I say, and we all return to school. We seem to have English in a Music classroom, and it also appears to be the last day before Christmas. I feel self-conscious about the fact that I have given far fewer presents than I have received. One of my gifts is an Electronic guitar tuner, which comes with a box of chocolates.
The school has been closed for a day, and it is now the next. The absent school population has descended en masse on the Three-in-One for its lunch, and is about to head to Overlee Park, before someone reasons that the school might actually be open. We walk down to Spar, and make another stop on our gastronomic tour of Clarkston. Outside, in the car park, I spot a curiously-thin, dial telephone. I decide to phone the school, in order to find out if school is on. A man in the office replies that it is indeed, and asks sternly where the whole fifth year has been. We return to the school downheartedly, for a period of vectors in Maths. In the following period of English, I am asked to read aloud from the back of a piece of packaging. The writing is styled like a dictionary entry, but I cannot make head or tail of it.
My family have visited a small, old-fashioned café, for some dinner. When we go to this place, I always have the same thing. In order to get me to have a sandwich (I have a pathological dislike of sandwiches, for some reason), we return the next day. The café is very mid-20th century. The furnishings are dark wood and vinyl. You enter through a door, past the cash-desk and a glass cabinet of sweets, and into a single-aisled room with booth-tables on either side. (In this respect, it reminds me of the Grosvenor Café on Ashton Lane, in the West End. As I remember it, and it has been over ten years, you went into it through a door in a glass-panelled wall, and then it had very similar furnishings, with the sweet-containing glass cabinet at the far end, before the cash desk. I used to have a sugar donut and Coke when I went there as a small child, and I'll never forget the Murray Mints in the cabinet. I believe it is still in business, opposite the cinema.) We go in, and sit down, before returning to the cash desk to make our order. I look out the door, and notice that there is a fierce snowstorm outside. Furthermore, the café has run out of many key ingredients. My Dad orders two cheese sandwiches for me. (I also dislike cheddar cheese. A cheese sandwich is, therefore, anathema to me.) We are later driving home along the Kingsway, from East Kilbride. Each roundabout bears a sign that points only to a small building, like a school. The road then plunges into an underpass. I don't recognise this, and ask my parents about it. They tell me that it is about ten years old, and it does look it. We scoot along the road, until it ends at a red-brick building in Rutherglen. Suddenly, it all makes sense.