04.12.2003 - 05.12.2003 4 °C
Thurs 4 December 2003
TGV to London - Waterloo (change at Lille) and then local trains to Reigate Resp Ctre.
Greeted with surprise at the speed of my journey. I was introduced around and set to asking questions of how things were done there and spent some time discussing matters of a job in Australia with a former engineer from our Melbourne office.
After work we had drinks at pub and Indian dinner – still trying to staff new Resp Centre. Stay at local hotel. Two young men discussing an upcoming rock concert which quite unbelievably it seemed was going to cover, “all styles really. Grunge, Thrash AND Death.” I was put in mind of the Sherlock Holmes mystery, “A Reigate Squire” and was happy to be traversing this land.
Fri 5 December 2003
Back to Reigate Resp Ctre then via first taxi, then again local trains and TGV to Lyons (change at Lille and walk around for one hour. Find out it is the European Capital of Culture for 2003!) back in Le Richelieu by about 9PM have two beers in hotel. Sitting in the train reading the section in my new book relating to RLS and his trek I resolve to recommit myself to “immersion” and to never request for English to be spoken. “Je ne pas parley anglais!”
In contrast to yesterdays connections I met delay and obstacle at every junction. There was a delay with the next train and we waited on a grey windswept and quite freezing platform for about half and hour. As cold as I was I could not help notice that school girls wearing ridiculous short skirts suffering in the near freezing temperature because they were confusing wantonness with sexiness in their own teenage beauty myth.
Once back in the hotel I work at reducing the size of the maps I will take and trace RLS’s route in highlighter.