My seventeenth Frejus post sees Nick and I packing up our last few belongings to prepare for our train journey north to Paris and northwest to Valognes. We have mixed feelings about returning which centre around the Leave vote in the EU referendum and sense of disengagement with what has been going on at home in England. It has turned me into a more political animal than I was before. And we really want to see our young families and the first weekend in July will be that occasion, when we have a chance to reconnect with them.off
So three weeks of posting myself into my letterbox draws near as we wait for Patrick to come to the marina to pick us up for a lift to the rail station. I have managed a swim off the beach at Frejus after which I took a shower and ate a bacon omelette. Once at the station fond farewells were made. We had plenty of time to buy some healthy snacks for the journey. Nick is a lone figure as he stands on the platform waiting for the train to arrive.
We find our seats on the upper deck of the TGV and settle down. We have a four-hour ride ahead during which the train will reach amazing speeds. At one point Nick places his mobile to the window and records a speed of 188mph. I pass the journey reading and playing BridgeBaron. Occasionally I look up and see how the landscape is changing. There is a progressive greening as we have moved from semi-parched vegetation of the sound, around Marseille, northwards across the middle of France towards Paris.
In Paris we need to change mainline stations, from Gare de Lyon to Gare St. Lazare. This is less fraught on the homeward journey because firstly we are retracing steaps and we do not have the anxiety of wondering whether we will be able to board a later train because our schedule train has been cancelled for strike reasons, as it was back at the beginning of June.
We arrive at Gare St. Lazare in plenty of time to sit on the gallery backing the main concourse and have a coffee and sandwich. Once settled into our seats on the Valognes train we wait for departure, which turns out to be twenty minutes late. We can relax in the knowledge that our friend Alain will be waiting at the other end to give us a lift. On the drive back he suddenly asks if we have food at home. Well we do have stuff in the freezer, but his offer of an impromptu meal at Le Vast is hard to refuse. Martine is very gracious about our descending on her and cooks up some pasta. We stay fairly late as Nick becomes engrossed in a Euro football match and when we get home I quizz the internet and learn that Boris has ruled himself out as a future PM, having been stabbed in the back by the deadly Gove 🙂 We don’t know it then but the ghastly Gove will get his come-uppance too.