Sunday, 4 January 2009

The Return

Well a sabbatical is over and the life between Paris and London is back on. Sunday queues at Gare du Nord and travails with my ontology.

There were masses at the Gare du Nord and I ended up behind the person who had passport issues. I’ve always found it odd that we have to go through French and British immigration in Paris while in London you only have French immigration to clear.

What do they care about in Paris that they don’t care about it in London or is it the other way round?

But the nature of travel is people. And Patience. Experience has taught me not to panic at times like this. They’re being scrupulous for a reason. The train will not leave without me.

And sure enough it didn’t. In fact it failed to depart on time and with problems in the Channel Tunnel dating back from last year’s fire – we were rescheduled to arrive at 11.47 rather than 11.19am.

Since the Guardian now sports shiny new offices at King’s Cross what difference does that make?

I’ll still be on time for my 12.30pm start. But I had hoped to get there really early to browse around the new high spec superstructure and recalibrate.

No such fortune.

As the train sped through northern France it does appear that we’ve been lucky in Paris to have escaped the brunt of the cold. The fields have a slaver of snow and lakes and ponds were partially frozen.

Because of the huge demand for train 9019 I ended up in one of the more expensive seats.

This is good for racking up the points to maintain my Carte Blanche status – and access to the lounges in London and Paris – but a lavish breakfast isn’t as good as a slap up supper which you obviously get on the evening trains.

But since that isn’t an option, you have to run with the reality.

And the truth is the Guardian has moved to within a 10 minute walk of St Pancras International.

O lucky man.