It seems like an age since I had been on a train. Apart from a short trip to Newcastle, I hadn’t been anywhere since COVID and I used to be such a regular traveller on the permanent way.
Even before my involvement with the new UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration I have been thinking about what the other clusters are up to. What do they do that we don’t in CyberNorth and what could I learn from them? It has always been a failing in me to think that everyone else is doing much better than I am and it is no different with my work in cyber.
They say that it is never good to compare yourself with others but perhaps at times it is a strength in me. My feelings of inadequacy drive me forward to do better.
The gradual return to something like normality presented an opportunity to get to know my neighbouring clusters better. I could of course have asked for a video call but it is not the same. Getting to know someone is so much easier when you sit face to face, over a coffee or even lunch.
This is how I came to be on a train to Linlithgow, to meet up with Ciara, who leads ScotlandIS Cyber. I decided to go north first. The trip was fairly uneventful, the train manager was very kind on the way up to Edniburgh, even offering me a free cup of tea, while the change at Edinburgh went without a hitch. Even the return trip went like a dream though the London-bound train was noticeably busier than on the way up.
What then did I learn? That ScotlandIS Cyber is doing some great stuff and there are a few learning points I could take away. I also learned that much of what it does is exactly what we are trying to do at CyberNorth.
I also learned that it was so good to be able to meet up face to face and to travel again.