Thursday found me on the train to Montauban, TGV both ways, for the meeting of the Commission Exécutive Sud-Ouest, or ComExSO as we tend to call it. This little group meets to discuss and encourage the life of the churches of the South-West of France, and it is always a privilege to meet up with the guys. As the regions of the UNEPREF are being abolished for a lighter operation without levels of discussion, we are aware that the clock is ticking for our merry band. But this doesn't stop me resisting their suggestion that I take up the role of secretary for the group, a role vacant since an American brother returned to the States just over a year ago. I'll do mailshots, coordination of documents and people and so on, but I don't think it's a good idea for me to go writing letters to folk. Better a proper French person do that.
The meeting starts at 16h30 and was scheduled to finish at about 19h. My train arrived at 14:30 and was scheduled to leave at 20:47. And the station is a 10 minute walk from the meeting place.
So before the meeting I explored Montauban and bought a sandwich and a drink from a small supermarket. Here are some photos.
First Bordeaux station, currently undergoing maintenance.
The town was quite a centre of Protestant witness in the 16th and 17th centuries, which led Cardinal Richelieu to march on the town in 1621 and put it to siege. The town resisted for 2 months and the army diverted its attention to Montpellier. Montauban did not fall until 1629 when a grand baroque cathedral was constructed to indicate the power of the King.
The meeting duly closed and our treasurer said, "So where are you eating tonight, because your train doesn't leave till 20:47?" and promptly invited me to eat with his family before taking the train home. It made the evening very convivial and I was in plenty of time for my moderately late double-decker TGV back to Bordeaux.
Eleven years ago the Davey adventure in Bordeaux began here, at the Regina, opposite the station.
Then this morning I woke, got up, put on the heating and heard water flowing somewhere. Oh dear - a leak in the heating system somewhere above the ceiling of the empty bedroom. How good that it didn't happen in the middle of the night, or when Pat's sister was sleeping in that room!