Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Hey-ho for a life under the ocean wave

Our Languedoc holiday will begin shortly with a technological moment I never tire of: sitting in the car, eyes closed, trying to detect the exact moment when the Eurotunnel train pulls away from Cheriton.

Because our French house was near the west coast we were tied to the Portsmouth - Caen ferry. It had its good points. Booking an overnight cabin removed some of the stress. And Brittany Ferries played Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto as an elegant wake-up call. But it cost £450 and - because I don't enjoy going to sea as part of a crowd - I felt compelled to return via the Cherbourg - Portsmouth catamaran to halve the travel time.

The great thing about the train is it's so boring! Some ferry crossings were far too memorable. Watching the boat's storm-driven stern bang repeatedly against the pier at Folkestone until the captain gave up and headed for Dover. Chatting to grevistes manning the barriers at Cherbourg, insincerely wishing them good luck with their industrial strife then driving off to a car-park and dozing away the rest of the night. Good to dine out on, hell on earth to experience.

The Chunnel is a marvel. The day it opened should be a bank holiday.

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