Well first of all, I taught all morning then dashed to the station, then sat on a train to Marseille for six hours in one of those old fashioned carriages where three strangers sit facing three other strangers trying to avoid direct eye contact. I was in the middle seat and spent most of the journey balancing my PowerBook on my knees writing the end of my paper and preparing a FANTASTIC KICK-ASS powerpoint presentation.
I arrived in Marseille some time after eight and was held up for ages because of what the SNCF euphemistically calls "un accident de personne" and which actually means that there was a body on the track. I took advantage of this hitch to ingurgitate a dry tuna sandwich and listen to others complain about the inefficiency of the train service which, for once, seemed a little unfair. After a couple of hours, my train to Toulon was cancelled so I hopped onto the fist TGV going in that direction and sank into one of the plush armchairs of a first class carriage complete with electrical socket to recharge my beloved Powerbookbuddy.
From the station in Toulon, I dragged my bag through deserted streets to my hotel. By this time I was exhausted and perhaps it wasn't a very good idea to go out for "a quick drink" after that, but I did, and had a very nice time. The next morning, however, I didn't feel quite so great. Was it a tummy bug, was it some sort of punishment (for mixing my drinks, for eating a tuna sandwich, for being vaguely irritated a careless body was holding me up)? I will never know, I will never tell, but the result was that I missed the whole of the first day of the conference, including my own slot, and nobody got to see my FANTASTIC KICK-ASS powerpoint presentation.
All too soon it was time to get back onto that train and trundle back to Bordeaux. And then it was off to Hendaye in the Basque Country which was the answer to yesterday's question. More on that tomorrow perhaps.