Monday 11th July 2016 – I’M BACK …

… in the Auvergne, would you believe. And at Liz and Terry’s too (well, Terry’s, actually because Liz is stuck in Normandy right now).

What has happened is that there is some urgent sorting out that needs to be done and I’m the only person who can do it. and it has to be done before July 28th. And seeing as how I don’t have Caliburn’s new insurance documents (these are essential of course) and there are a few other bits and pieces required, then the sooner I reacted the better.

Hence, at 10:03 this morning I was on a train in Leuven station.

That’s not all, of course. I was awake at 06:20, packed and sorted shortly afterwards, and upstairs having breakfast when the alarm went off at 07:00. I had a beautiful shower too in my new en-suite shower room (must take advantage of the benefits) and then I was off to the hospital.

I took no chances and went on the bus. The back door of the hospital was actually open this morning so I quickly nipped through onto the car park and over to Caliburn to grab my passport; Then I was back down to the front entrance and back on another bus to the station.

My train was at 10:03 as I said, and I was there for 08:45.It hadn’t taken long and there was plenty of time to sit and read a book.

They even have beggars on the trains now, so it seems, and as you know, that’s something that annoys me intensely.

At Bruxelles-Midi I didn’t have time to hang about. I found my train, found my seat and we piddled off almost immediately. The booking people had cut it that fine.

And it was a good job that I had gone to pick up my passport because (as I expected) there was a police control on board and someone unable to produce her passport had a very hard time of it.

The train was packed out too – hardly an empty seat anywhere.

At Paris gare du Nord I had to wait ages in a queue for a Metro ticket but the person at the counter put me right and finding the Paris-Austerlitz station for the next leg of my journey was quite straightforward (it’s about 10 stops directly down the Porte d’Italie line). We had another beggar on the metro who was going on about how hard it was to find a place to live and a job to do so I gave him a right royal piece of my mind, to a round of applause from the other passengers, and he piddled off elsewhere too.

At Austerlitz I needed to buy the ticket for my return. And there was a huge queue. 15 desks in the travel office, 8 of them manned … "PERSONNED" – ed …personned and only two of those people working. There’s a Subway sandwich place around the corner which was where I was planning to go for lunch, but badger that seeing as how the situation was in the ticket office. I was lucky to catch my train.

This train was packed too – with a mere handful of empty seats. I crammed myself in and attacked the packet of biscuits that I had brought with me for an emergency (such as this one).

Terry met me at Chateauroux as he was passing by on his way from Normandy back home. He was early at the station and so the rain was, as you might expect, late. And now I’m back here.

I’m having an early night here too because I have a lot to do tomorrow so I need an early start. But it’s all “go” right here at the moment, isn’t it?

And on Wednesday morning, at Silly o’clock, I’m back on the road (or should I say “the rails”) to head back to Leuven.

I’ll be meeting myself coming back if I keep going like this. And I’m supposed to be ill too!

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