Sadly, that is where the story of Groombles having lunch with all French chums ends. The real story is not pretty. The fact is that, having ordered soup and grande cafe, a quick reference to my watch indicated that there was a shortage of time to get to the station at 13:26 for the trip to Paris. I found the waiting chap and told him of my dilemma, but he shrugged and indicated that it was too late - the order had gone in. Now I have more than a sneaking suspicion that this was something of a porky. Nevertheless, I returned to my seat and waited. Finally I HAD to leave, and this I did. Quickly. I shall return some day and order soup and a grande cafe again. In the meantime the chap is just going to have to suck it up and get on with his life. I know I did the wrong thing. I just know it. But clocks cannot be turned back and I AM sorry. A bit.
The corollary to the story is that the train was a good 20 minutes late leaving Dijon Central. I would have made it easily. The main thing is that I am aboard and hurtling across the sunny, green landscape. Dear Jude had booked a first class seat, do I am in the lap of luxury and just about to head off to the dining car for that coffee I missed out on ...
... We cut now to the Rue Moufetard, where Gen Blanch and I have just finished a a wonderful dinner together. Gen had the cod and I had the calves brains. Both were beautiful, but mine was tastier. Gen has just left to attend to family responsibilities. I am left to ponder what life would be like here in Paris ...
You see, the thing about Paris is that there are SO MANY PEOPLE! Today, Saturday, was the first weekend day when the sun was shining. EVERYBODY (but everybody) was out enjoying the sunshine. The result was chaotic catastrophe! Shoulder to shoulder the Parisiennes took to the streets bustling and bumbling along the boulevards, rues Nd squares. People everywhere! More than just a little bit scary! I am not sure that this is a good place to bring up your kids. Maybe THAT'S why Dear Jude and I chose Wangaratta.
So this is the end of the trip. Tomorrow (Sunday) I head off to Charles de Gaulle airport to hop on an Air China flight for home. It has been great. It has been intriguing. It has been educative. It has been wonderful! Home is great and it is the place to which I must now repair.