mercredi 25 février 2009

Cirque de soleil


I've been away for a couple of days, working.  It's been a lot of driving and a lot of miles, with a cunning little flight thrown in for good measure, but it hasn't been so bad.

I'd been dreading the return trip to Brest for ages, ever since the last trip out here.  We all know how well that went.

Luckily, after a marathon seven-hour drive, I was greeted by a friendly face (the employee of the vile-guy-who-wants-me-sacked) and a message to 'just get on with it, because the boss won't be coming'.  Class.  I don't know if I scare him or he just hates me - either way, the meeting went so much better without him.

Such was the happy atmosphere of the meeting that we over-ran and I had to mince very quickly indeed in order to get my plane to Marseille.

And that's when my job became worth it.

I woke up this morning, opened the shutters onto the balcony (oh yes, even cheap hotels can be cool sometimes) and stepped out into mediterranean sunshine and blue sky.  I had a view over the old port of Marseille and could see the fort in the distance, resplendent in the early morning sun. 

Dodging the free 'breakfast' on offer at the hotel, I skipped out of the hotel and down to the port.

I sat, at seven thirty this morning, on a terrasse, drinking a café crème, an orange juice (pressé, bien sûr) and tucking into a tartine and pain au choc.  As the sun warmed me through I wondered if life gets any better.  Really, it's the choice between this and a job at Birmingham HQ?  I know which I'll take, thanks.

After breakfast, I jumped in the car for a drive down the coast before my mid morning meeting.  I stood on the beach, I watched the surfers and I breathed sea air.

Meeting over, I headed to Lyon in the car for meeting number two.  Driving through Lyon made me think about my days there, but I didn't get all nostalgic.  How did I manage to live somewhere for two years and not get attached to the place?  Maybe I wasn't really 'living' there...deep, eh?

Once I'd finished in Lyon, I hit the autoroute back to Paris.

Did I mention that Debbie was with me all the way?  She'd turned out to be good company and a pleasure to have along.  For so long I've done this travelling on my own that I'd forgotten how nice it can be to have someone else there.  Especially someone who had never really left the Île de France before.

Debbie drove much of the way back to Paris from Lyon, and I learnt one thing about her.  She drives fast.  Real fast.

I closed my eyes as the clock went past 180 kmh (110 mph-ish).  I feigned sleep when she overtook trucks at this speed.  I very nearly passed out when she raced the Maserati that had been 'annoying' her for the last few kilometres.

The radio started to play Britney 'Circus' as we rolled down the last hill and onto the Peripherique.  Debbie started to sing along...

"There's only two types of people in the world
The ones that entertain and the ones that observe.
Well baby I'm a put-on-a-show kinda girl
Don't like the backseat, gotta be first..."

She's not wrong.

We have so much in common.....

24 commentaires:

A Lewis a dit…

Please promise me, here and now, that I will be with you on the terrace next time for a bit of a breakfast snack. It sounds delightful!

12ontheinside a dit…

Sounds so much better than my crappy day at work!

red a dit…

ah, you're making me miss france..even lyon, which didn't make that much of an impression on me either.

Louise a dit…

How lovely. I can hardly believe it was warm enough to surf. What WERE you doing to not be attached to the place.

I could only laugh at the description of the return trip. I'm glad you have each other!

Daisy a dit…

Finally the pay off of working in France! Sounds amazing, and you're right there are some simple pleasures to be found in France that just don't happen in England- soggy sandwich at a Welcome Break or pain au chocs on the terrasse? No contest.

conortje a dit…

it all sounds so exotic and utterly lovely - I'm mad jealous as always.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lewis, well, sure, but it kind of involves a bit of transatlantic effort on your part...he he

12oti, sounds better than my day today too! Wish I was back there!

Red, it's odd no? A lovely city, but no attachment...

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Louise, it wasn't really warm enough to surf - but there are some brave slash stupid souls out there....

Daisy - no contest at all! I'd go for the Welcome Break tuna sandwich...ha ha. Not.

Conortje, the tables will be turned in september, I fear...

Nico a dit…

Just making sure you're alive, wasn't today's crash at the airport you frequent. Cheers, TBNIL, lovely time at the Mediterranean, although I'd hate to be in the passenger seat passing that Maserati, LOL ;-)

alan a dit…

LOL @ Debbie

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Nico, how awful is that crash? the BBC has a lovely link telling us about all the crashes in the last few years - makes me want to never fly again! And the Maserati moment was truly terrifying!

Alan, she's a scream. Oh no, it's me who was screaming...

cb a dit…

I never would have handled that car ride. Le Scream!!

Oh, and I lived for 9 years in Durham north Carolina and never got attached to it.

And have I mentioned how much you suck lately (and how jealous I am)?

amy a dit…

Love the song quote - synchronicity! And ohhh you're making me miss France...thank you.

Daryl a dit…

What a perfect start to the day ... I am so still there on the terrasse .... hey my imagination can go anywhere it likes!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB - Why do I suck? You're nasty. Not sure if I like you.

(note to self: seek out new 'american boy').

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Amy - I know - how weird is that...we're like girls wh live together, such is our timing, ha ha.

Daryl, it's a wonderful thing that imagination of yours...hubby is a lucky guy, he he.

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

I want breakfast in Marseille too! Beats waiting for the metro in the cold and rain. No hang on, it beats any morning in the Netherlands!

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Marjolein, does it really beat a sunny summers morning, eating breakfast on the terrace of the Hotel New York, watching the river and gradually remembering last night's exploits?

I'm not sure. That sounds pretty great to me too....

aims a dit…

It's been snowing for two days as I type my comment dear heart.

Debbie sounds like my kind of gal. The Man hates it when I drive (drove) like that...life is fast ya gotta live it!

wontletlifedefineme a dit…

I'd still pick Marseille. Hotel NY isn't on my side of the city - I live on the north-east border. Although I would go for Rotterdam evening wise, with an African dinner at the Smaak van Afrika on the Goudsesingel and then cocktails on the open air lounge couches of Soho bar, snuggled under warm blankets with my best friends. Ah yes. I can't wait for summer.

Valleys Mam a dit…

sounds a blast - nah Brumdoesnt really compete does it
The cafe quarter is nice but not chic

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Aims - get yourself back behind the wheel...you'll love it!

Marjolein, sounds great to me...I can't wait for summer either.

VM, Brum does have it's moments, but it's not the med, is it?

Victor a dit…

I skipped out of the hotel

Were you really skipping?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

victor, you bet i was - don't you?