My blog will soon pass three thousand (!) hits, and I would like to thank everyone who reads regularly for making me feel like the most important person on the internet. I'm 99.9% sure I'm not, but it feels pretty good to believe so. Therefore - thank you.
I arrived back in France yesterday after a very odd Eurostar journey. We were well into France, perhaps an hour away from Paris, when the most awful din started up. It sounded like the noise that occurs when you drive your car over a newly gritted road, but since I was on a train I could not for the life of me work out what the noise was. It was seriously unsettling, and the baby seated on its father's lap evidently agreed and began bawling its lungs out.
I was struggling to get back into French mode and was hesitating a little at the ticket window when a chap stepped so close to me that I could feel his beard and asked in French if I was going to take much longer. In French, but with a British accent. A British person who had clearly been away for so long that he had forgotten common courtesies. I confess I was a little sharp with the man, who huffed and told me that he was in a hurry.
Had I then dawdled and passed the time conversing with the man behind the window about the unknowable nature of God I daresay karma would have forgiven me but I resisted. I completed my transaction with appropriate haste and made my way down to the station, standing to one side on the escalator for this be-whiskered oik pass at some speed. Despite his alacrity he was,
sadly - so sadly! - just a little too late for the train. There was another along in three minutes, and he twitched and paced for 180 seconds. I would have liked to know what the terrible hurry was, but like many of the mysteries we glance in the lives of others it shall always remain so - a mystery.
It is pleasant, in any case, to be back.