Sunny Montauban

We needed a couple of things - sheets of plastic, paper for school, so I hit the bus 4 and popped into Auchan, then inspected the Christmas Crackers at Hema - They're OK - they come with hats, mottos and a game of "Who am I" where each has a sticker with a name on it. Then to Bradley's bookshop for Remembrance Day poppies (none were in evidence) then Desigual for a spot of colour therapy (Bordeaux gets grey and depressing in the winter) then to the bookshop to transfer the paper etc. to Mrs Davey. Quick cup of coffee and "Ton père va comment?" at the bookshop, then hightail it to the station for a quick MacDonalds before catching the 12:47 to Montauban.

My order was placed in the electronic booth thing at 12:27. That'll be fine. So I was surprised to find myself hurtling along the platform at 12:45 without my Chicken McSandwich. There were HORDES of people, talking to the staff was impossible, it was carnage, carnage I tell you.

Oh well, I'd have time to eat at Montauban. The train was on time, I found my seat, I read and prepared and read and napped.

Montauban was sunny and bright ! As blue and colourful as Bordeaux was grey. I hunted for the kind of place where you can eat lunch at 2:45. In the town centre of Montauban there were restaurants and bistros (you'll be lucky!), kebab places (... um... I'd have to be a LOT more hungry) and boulangeries/patisseries. So it was that I found myself eating a very nice onion quiche followed by a slice of red fruits crumble. A quick visit to Monoprix to find comestibles for the return journey then off to the meeting. I was still pretty early when I spotted a tea room. Oh go on. I was the only punter so over my pot of Ceylon I talked with the owner, a lady from Brittany who had visited Huddersfield in the past.

The meeting of the Commission Executive Sud-Ouest was a happy time discussing the harsh realities of the day together. Then I got a lift to the station.

I got to the station at 19:25 and my train was at 20:40. Hmmm. The Marseille-Bordeaux train was just about to arrive almost an hour late. I asked the ticket office if I could get on that train. "In principle, no, but ask the guard." I asked the guard. "Oh yes!", he said. He was a very cool guard. The train was an InterCity and I occupied a family room - 12 seats, 2 child seats and a play area. I had it to myself.

On my arrival at Bordeaux I went to McDonalds and explained what had happened. "Did you phone ?" "I thought about it but they were already swamped with people." "We'll refund you but next time phone anyway." Bus 11, Bus 4 and restored to the bosom of my family.


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