Wooed by the price I booked up for the 0713 from Paris to London. If I’d taken the train an hour later the cost would have effectively doubled. If I’d tried to take a train that arrived shortly before I’m due to start work, then I would in essence be giving all the day’s earnings to Eurostar.
I was useless at science and not that gifted at maths at school, but even I realised that was not a good deal. So the 0713 it was.
I set the alarm for 6.10 – figuring I could be up, up and away by 6.30.
I woke convinced that I’d not heard the alarm. In a surge of commendable agility, I was out of bed without disturbing the missus and into the sitting room to check the alarm.
It was 4.10. Sadly the concoction of chemicals that had just allowed me such speed and silence didn’t subside and 20 minutes later I was still awake.
Rather than the BBC World Service fail-safe, I thought I’d put on the TV and lull myself back into sleep with one of the children’s cartoons.
Obviously the boy got wind of what was going on. I heard his footsteps and switched off the box. In he came and promptly planted himself on the sofa.
What a treat - a hot water bottle all for me. So I lay there waiting for him to go back to sleep before returning him to his bed.
I tried the TV trick again and he was back.
I gave up the struggle and took the headphones out of the TV and stuck them into the radio to listen to World Service perched on the edge of the sofa with my snoring hot water bottle.
After the updates on the bombs in Gaza and gas pipeline disputes between Russia and Ukraine, there was a piece on International Year of Astronomy. They had men from places with big telescopes and they were talking about going into schools and getting pupils to buy little telescopes that could be easily constructed so that a sense of awe and wonder would be fired about the universe.
That’s a good idea I thought as I drifted off into space.