It seemed a bitter irony that, having gone to all the effort – not to mention spent a fair bit of money – booking our trip to the South of France by train, we still ended up delayed for over an hour at Charles de Gaulle airport. It was just that the delay was on a train under the airport rather than in it – as the TGV succumbed to what appeared to be, from my uncertain translation of the announcement, the ‘wrong kind of rain.’
In fairness to SNCF (and I type this with gritted teeth) there was a fairly epic storm brewing over the flatlands of northern France. Ragged Thread had, rather optimistically as it turned out, suggested that the French Weather Gods would see off our puny British ones. Sadly, ours were just on their way and once they had caught up with us, the Dordogne found itself experiencing a whole week of classic Galloway weather, for which I hope its farmers are grateful. I can only surmise that the storm which delayed our train long enough for us to miss not one but two Eurostars at Lille was some sort of final showdown, a battle royale between the two sets of minor deities. Whoever won, when we finally got to the UK, the clouds seem to have parted and by the time we got up here, we were treated to a glorious long light late summer evening with not a cloud sullying the sky.
Unfortunately we were also rather lighter in the pocket for we had missed our Glasgow train and, in a bit of a false economy, I’d bought advance tickets which were useless on any other trian and meant we had to pay the full price, walk-up fare. There’s nothing like unexpectedly having to put £193 on your credit card just to make it home to put the tin lid on that post-holiday glow, is there? Apparently had it been the Eurostar that had been late we might have been all right but as it was our French connecting service that was at fault, well – and here, the Euston ticket clerk demonstrated his mastery of the Gallic shrug.
But anyway, we made it, which is the main thing. And for our holiday next year – well, if there are any drought-stricken farmers or worried reservoir managers out there who’d like a guaranteed week of steady rain next summer, just put your best offer in the comments box and we’ll see what we can do. Or maybe, for a small sum, we can guaranted not to visit whatever holiday spot or resort you were planning on booking yourselves. Or maybe we’ll just stay put next year and get rained on at home.