Aside from taking the first bus that I saw at five past four, and then not knowing where the entrance to Ilford train station had moved to, the journey to the departure lounge was as smooth as I could have hoped for. It was nice going back to the days of simply having a ticket and a passport. I didn’t even need to take my belt off. Nor did I need take out the Kindle and spare mobile from my bag. I’m not sure if that’s just for flights. But I do know that my makeshift syrop du menthé and water got through as there’s no 100ml closed bottle set-up, erm, set up. So, despite my my initial fear of having to be here 90 minutes before the 7:01 departure, I arrived just over an hour before the train is due to depart. And there I stood for forty minutes, waiting for the platform number to be displayed. Carriage 4, seat 81 and now platform 6. Which is where I currently am. Sitting. Four minutes to go go and my table is now settled.
A young chap is sat beside me. His Prêt sandwich is in its bag and his coffee, resting in front of him whilst he watches Sky Sports on his mobile. The French lady opposite me, moved and is now sitting beside the window. Thankfully the huffing and puffing has stopped. That’s her, not the Eurostar. I’m not sure if that’s because she’s finally sitting down, her bag on the overhead shelf and the Bach’s rescue remedy pretty much chugged like a miniature bottle of JD or because she’s remembered her glasses are on top of her head.
The American dad beside her is part of a party of 5. His wife and daughter are sat behind him, his two sons are beside them on the other half of the train. His youngest, not happy about being refused the powerbank, and realising that his dad isn’t going to hunt for the Nintendo Switch has now decided to look out the window, seeing where he’s been rather than where he’s going. As an aside, the French lady may actually be Spanish as she has just crossed herself as the train slowly pulls away from St. Pancras. I’m not sure if the French do that sort of Catholic thing anymore.
That whole previous section of writing is exactly what I wanted to get back to. Nice, smooth, free writing. Describing my surroundings with minimum fuss and very limited research extending to my own interpretation and knowledge. I’m looking forward to finding that elusive coffee shop to simply sit in and write. After my haircut, that is. I’ll probably stay on the north side of the river for the afternoon and once the rain starts, head down to the Quartier Latin for dinner. I’ve already taken a bus (actually, I took two), a train (the new Elizabeth line), a Tube and now the Eurostar (another train). I figure I’ll use the Metro at some point today. I’ll also pop my Strava on outdoor walk once I’m at Gare du Nord. That’ll be interesting to see. And I’ve done 4,135 steps already today.