… loooooooooooooooooooong day today.
14 hours I was on the road in total, give or take a few minutes. I left my home at about 07:10 and arrived in Leuven at just about 21:00.
Yes, I’m in Leuven. I’ve heard nothing from the heart people and nothing from the people who are dealing with my cancer, but regardless, the kidney people contacted me for an appointment.
Not that I’m all that bothered, because as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, after the events of October and November I’m pretty-much resigned to the inevitable, but I was interested in seeing, as well as I could, how I could cope with the travelling.
And so having gone to bed rather early last night, I was up with the lark at 06:00 and made some sandwiches and so on, and did a little organising.
Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone last night. My mother was a policewoman last night. She was interrogating a suspect or witness or something similar but was doing it at home. This was dragging on into the night and we as kids couldn’t go to sleep. In the end there was no real point going to bed so we were just sitting up waiting for her to finish. But it just went on and on. We’d go in regularly to ask how she was doing. She said that she wasn’t ready yet. We’d go in to pick a banana or something to eat. In the end one of my sisters went in. My mother said quite sharply that it wasn’t going to be finished before 05:00. This was the final straw as far as we were concerned. That was a ridiculous time for children to be still up and about waiting for their mother to finish her work.
This dream continued later on. We were crying out for toilet paper or tissues etc. Some guy came into the apartment where we were living with his arms full of rolls of toilet paper and just dumped it on the floor in one of the rooms and then left. We kids had to go in there to sort out what he’s just brought and check what we had then organise the bathroom with it.
Plus tard nous avons eu l’idée de reintégrer le chasson dans la famille qu’on a du faire alors le chef s’est adapté assez rapidement et le chat de la famille est poussé en dehos du groupe alors celà a provoqué une investigation comment on a fait commencer et c’est à ce moment-là qu’on a eu la série de la pied d’entre nous
So, a dream in French yet again. And I haven’t translated it because it’s total nonsense that makes no sense whatsoever.
Just after 07:00 I headed for the hills and Caliburn and we drove to the station where I was lucky enough to find a parking space almost right outside the door.
When the train came in, I headed off in the direction of Rennes, but only as far as Avranches where I alighted. Public transport is so messed up here that you end up going all round the Wrekin to get anywhere.
The bus came in at 08:55 and we drove through the snow (yes, the snow!) and ended up in Caen where we had a half-hour wait for the next bus. This was packed to the gunwhales but I found a seat eventually and we roared off to the big underground bus station at Bercy in Paris.
This time a wait of 45 minutes before the next bus came in. This was likewise packed but the driver made sure that I had a comfortable place by the door. We called at the airport and then all the way to Brussels, making a stop at a service station where I grabbed a coffee.
Stuck in the traffic for ages, we eventually arrived in Brussels rather later than planned so I’d missed the train that I wanted and had to catch a later train. The escalator up to the platform wasn’t working so I had a long walk to find the lift.
The train was a push-me-pull-you double-decker and climbing into these proved to be quite difficult as the steps in are quite high. I had quite a bit of difficulty and it was extremely awkward.
Having eaten my sandwiches on the way to Paris, I tucked into my potatoes and lentils on the train and that was a really good plan because they went down a treat.
Leaving the train at Leuven was difficult too but I managed in the end.
The hotel where I’m staying must have been wonderful 100 years ago. It’s certainly seen better days. It’s not one of my usual haunts but it’s right outside the railway station so I don’t have far to stagger. It’s expensive too, hence I’m only staying for two nights and coming home on Friday.
And the verdict?
It’s quite difficult and I’m glad that I did bring two crutches, not just one. When things are on the level I’m fine and I could in theory go for miles but carrying a backpack up hills and steps is quite complicated and I have real difficulty trying to carry a coffee cup too.
At one point I was thinking that I might be ready for another adventure with backpack and airline ticket but having done all this today, maybe I’ll leave it a while before making more plans.
But I got here, and that’s a miracle in itself