I am on a train. A TGV. Tres Grande Vitesse. (excuse the lack of accents – I’m writing on my phone). Our train is late, like most trains in France nowadays, ever since they were privatised. So much for them being Very Fast. It means I’m going to arrive in Paris at nearly midnight and have to haul my suitcase, bag with (broken) computer in, and huge plastic bag close to breaking point filled with five box sets of Six Feet Under, up and down various metro staircases (over here only one in fifty underground stations have escalators) and across to the 14eme arrondissement, all the while ignoring the creepy late-night male metro riders who tend to pick up on the fact that I’m fresh from the farm.
I’m supposed to be feeling free and light and excited about having two weeks to myself in Paris. No potties to empty, no peas to negotiate into a stubborn little mouth, no 13kg packets of warm toddler to carry to the loo in the middle of the night, no toy explosions to tidy, no meals eaten standing up as I tend to a little person who wants yet another something from the fridge, no tantrums, no being smacked on the leg because someone else has layed down the law (in toddler logic Mummy is ALWAYS responsable), no spilt apple juice to wipe up nor squashed smarties to pick off the sofa. Until yesterday evening I was so looking forward to coming to Paris. And then I put Tommy to bed last night and realised I wouldn’t be doing that again for a whole two weeks, and since that moment I’ve been feeling quite sad inside.
So the excitement has been dulled and it’s impossible to feel light carrying all this baggage. The plastic bag of DVD’s is the rotton cherry on the cake – l’Homme asked me to bring them back to their rightful owner and like a fool I said yes. The bag they’re in is made to carry light pretty packages of gourmet chocolates and is threatening to scatter its contents across the Paris metro. So any potential feelings of freedom have been nipped in the bud. And I didn’t even enjoy the train ride as I had imagined I would. Three hours of sitting down, able to read and listen to music and daydream, without entertaining a little cheeky monkey – I was really looking forward to it. Instead I’ve been quite bored and wishing that cheeky monkey was with me for the ride.
Ooh, the train is slowing down. I can see the bright lights of Paris.