Yesterday, I had to go to Avignon. I didn't need much time there - basically I had to get there chat a little, sign a contract and leave.
I booked TGV tickets for me and Debbie and off we skipped. We had two hours in Avignon - plenty of time for what we needed to achieve. Well, it would have been, had we not missed our train.
We missed our train and so our leisurely two hour meeting became, by the time we arrived inthe south, a rushed twenty minute affair. Craziness. Instead of signing the contract with our new customer in a hotel meeting room, we did it sat on the steps outside the Avignon TGV station. Funny, but not my most professional of moments.
Anyway, the train home, we find ourselves in what appears to be the military carriage.
Me, Debbie, the strange woman opposite with lots of bags - and fifty soldiers. All in uniform. All with guns.
It was kind of unnerving (and not a little exciting - they seem to issue pants that are one size too small in the French army, thus ensuring tightness across the thighs and bottom *swoon*), but everyone soon settled down and me and Debbie fell asleep.
I woke up to see that the woman opposite was clutching a large bag on her lap. She'd been sat in the same position when I nodded off except that now she seemed to be holding on to it like it was the crown jewels.
As we approached Paris and the Gare de Lyon, she unzipped the bag. Debbie shot me a look as if to say 'what on earth?'.
The woman put her head next to the open bag and started talking baby-talk into the bag. Real goo-goo-ga-ga stuff.
And then, in one smooth manouevre, she pulled out of the bag the biggest, fattest, ugliest cat I've ever seen in my life. This cat was fugly. And enormous.
The cat, god bless it, was either asleep, dead, drugged or just lazy. The woman, however, was having none of this lethargy and started to shake the cat.
She shook it like Louise Woodward would shake a toddler, but got absolutely no reaction from the cat.
She caught me and Debbie looking at her.
"He has been on his holidays in the countryside. He is worn out." She said.
"Maybe he just needs to sleep", said I, the non-cat-expert.
"I think you'll find that I know what's best for him!" said the clearly crazy cat lady. She slammed him down on the table between our seats.
The cat woke up, screaming.
"See?" she said. "He just needs to see that he's back in Paris. He's really missed the city."
"Haven't we all?" said I, my eyes wandering to the to the tight-trousered Army boys, all busy manhandling their luggage off the train.
"Haven't we all...."