Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Feeling like a frog in a blender.

It was C.S Lewis who once wrote something to the effect that “The happiness now is the price we pay for the pain that is to come” and while he wasn’t talking about the experience of boarding a large airliner, he may as well have been.

A midnight departure is never terrific, because it means a two a.m. dinner and then ten or twelve hours of fitful dozing interspersed by leg cramps, back ache and perhaps a movie and the odd trip to the loo.  I only write about it because I am aware that it’s not exactly riveting stuff to read, and that is exactly my point.

Eventually we emerged after what felt like a day in a tumble dryer with the heat turned off, found our bags and wandered to the car hire counter, seamlessly getting sucked into the upgrade vortex for only another twelve Euros a day, and headed out into peak hour Paris, concentrating too hard on being alert enough to drive to notice that the GPS had been left on the “shortest route” alternative.    

Having stretched a two hour drive into a three and a half hour one on wet roads that were as miserable as we were tired, it should have come as no surprise to find that none of our credit cards would be acceptable to the automatic lane in the motorway toll booth machine when came time to bid it farewell.   

To signal our journey’s end, the sky cleared dramatically within a few kilometres of Celine and Dume’s house and arrived to be welcomed by the sun giving us a fair impression of summer.

As we sat basking in it, hatless and without UV block like true Europeans, eating baguette and tomato from Jackie’s garden with a little goat’s cheese washed down by some rich black coffee it was as if we had left all the pain of the journey behind somewhere in the motorway fog.

We were simply at home, feeling quite disconcerted that we felt no novelty about our being here, once again it is as though we haven't left.

Now if only we could remember our names and a little about ourselves, I’d deem us to have escaped the journey entirely unscathed!

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