Monday, July 31, 2006

Return to the Heat Zone

It was 29.4°C last night in my bedroom. I have one of those free clock/temperature/date alarm thingies given to me by La Redoute I think, or a freebie from a show. Anyway, it makes scary reading upon returning from Blighty. Not that we had been exactly shivering in London either, present as we were on the hottest day since 1911; the day my mother gave a lunch party for 12. Luckily she had gone for cold salmon and salads. Anything hot and we would have dissolved into the cosily woolly carpet.

I asked my eldest today whether he preferred flying with Ryanair to Stansted or taking the train and Eurostar. "The train," he said, because he had more room. This is an important point. You might be obliged to spend a couple of hours only in an aircraft, but when you are a young boy, this is akin to being tortured. The train allowed them to move, get up, enjoy a bigger table and generally feel more at ease. We got on at Waterloo at 13.36, arrived at Lille at 16.20, and arrived in Montpellier at just after 10pm.

In the Eurostar the boys made friends and played with their Lego, making boats and spaceships, and took the address of the little French boys they had befriended. In the TGV they got out their DVD reader, bought especially for the trip and definitely worth its weight in gold. What with eating, watching Spiderman 2 and playing some of the games, the time passed easily. We were also on the top deck and had an excellent view of the passing countryside. I like to think that SNCF purposely put families on the top deck.

What with no weight restrictions for luggage, the trip was less stressful than flying even though it was longer. I was also able to feel happily smug that we were not adding to environmental destruction which was a huge bonus...

Getting out at Montpellier, of course, we were hit by Heat - the solid sort that encloses you heavily leaving you panting and sweaty. Any effort and you break out into a million tiny showers as your pores work desperately, throwing everything they've got into keeping your body the right side of hyperthermia. Getting to sleep becomes a pretty hit and miss affair, and once asleep, you wake up regularly to replenish the continuous draining of the body's water reserves.

They say that August is going to be even hotter than July. Oh joy...

Still, it's nice to be back. More anon.

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