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This morning I tried to figure out where the racing man starts racing the trains. Until now, I’ve only really seen him by mistake when I’ve glanced out of the train window and inadvertently spotted him sprinting along, trackside, full of intent for one thing or another. Whether it’s scaring ducks, being chased by lions or just expressing the joys of spring I don’t know, but whatever the reason for doing it, one thing you can say is that it’s racing with intent.

So today I thought I would join his intentful mission and look out for him with a purposeful gaze.

The journey out of Nottingham started uneventfully enough apart from a cluster of police cars gathered around the canal as we slowly meandered out of the city. What might that mean? I wondered. Any correlation with the absence so far of racing man?

The scrap tip at Beeston, the Boots factory, swathes of industrial land earmarked for some kind of logistics centre, and then out past the reed beds at Attenborough. This is where I have usually caught sight of him but not this morning. It struck me that perhaps spotting him might be related to something akin to the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle: the harder you look, the less likely you are to spot him.

So by the time we got to East Midlands Parkway, I took the Saturday evening news advice prior to announcing the football scores and ‘looked away now’ whilst trying to use my peripheral vision to spot him.

But before too long, my head turned outwards to follow the oilseed fields laying their paths to Loughborough. All that yellow can’t be good for a balanced country ecosystem I mused until the children next to me startled me with a ‘look mummy, look at that funny man, what’s he doing?‘ And sure enough, there was racing man on the opposite side of the train from usual, racing in the opposite direction, Nottingham bound, and clearly racing with the full level of intent he’d shown previously.

Thank goodness for that I thought. He may be related to Heisenberg but at least he’s got the decency to show up when you least expect him. I settled back for the rest of the journey, pleased to see that he was apparently unscarred by his episode with the lions of Nottingham. The working week could begin.