Plus ça change...

By SooB


Up ludicrously (for a Saturday) early today for a blipmeet in Toulouse. Despite having the shortest distance to travel by far, the train times meant either being very very early or a bit late. So, in a break from the norm, I opted for the early end of the scale. The last time I was on a French train it was 1988 and our French assistant handled all the technical details - so though I was aware of having to have your ticket validated before travel, I didn't actually do it. And I imagined - seeing no machines on the platform at Lavaur to do that, and not seeing anyone else worry about it, that that had gone out with the ark. Turns out that "A composter" on my ticker was nothing to do with disposing of my ticket in the correct recycling receptacle... So I was sternly told off on the train and had to produce my driving licence before being allowed to stay on the train. No, I don't understand how that helped either, but I didn't fancy walking to Toulouse from Saint Sulpice, so I just smiled, apologised and grovelled a bit.

Anyway, all that got me to Toulouse in easily enough time to explore the city a bit before the blipmeet. The light was beautiful, the streets were empty and it was a lovely stroll. Soon though my neck and shoulder were aching from the heavy camera bag, all the gazing upwards at the rather gorgeous buildings and the lack of super-strong painkillers this morning, so I adjourned to a cafe for a restorative coffee. The others arrived while I was lost in a New Yorker, but I eventually spotted them and we had a lovely chat about lost or fading languages, blip and unicycling bagpipers (no, really - if only I had my camera out of my bag quicker... I'm not sure anyone really believed I'd seen it, and if I had taken those strong painkillers this morning then I too might have believed that it was a figment of an overly medicated brain....)

A quick stroll took us to lunch and Lo Jardinier (sp?) 's "tea" - actually cider. More wandering, including several times around the same church, and it was all too soon time to leave.

At least I managed to 'compost' my train ticket this time. So, I think we'll be back to Toulouse - lots of fine shops (including a cookware shop that can basically have my credit card as soon as I have any money to spend!) and I was even propositioned on the way to the station (though in such a polite way that I may have misheard and he may have been asking for the time).

A lovely, sunny, blipmeet with - as ever - folk who I'd never met before but feel as though I knew already.

Sign in or get an account to comment.