It’s six am on the 30th and I just came back to my room, but I’ll start at the beginning (apparently a very good place to start!)
The alarm shrilled almost twenty-four hours ago and when it did, I really didn’t want to get up. I hate the feeling you sometimes get at that hour, when it’s time to get up and you know you haven’t had nearly enough sleep.
Fortunately, both sectors, to and from Paris were easy, with the usual amount of amusement I encounter with French passengers, when I ask, “Tea or coffee?” and they respond with a blank stare.
Asking “Du thé ou café?” does the trick and generally meets with a big smile and, “Ah, du café s’il vous plait.”
I thought about going home for the rest of the day but felt too tired to face the drive, so I darkened the room with the shades and crawled into bed. When I woke up hours later, I was gasping for tea and felt annoyed when I realized I didn’t have any teabags left.
I spotted him the second I stepped out of the elevator. He was at reception, talking animatedly to the guy behind the desk, making a joke about something that made them both laugh. My initial thought was to pretend I hadn’t seen him and carry on but he turned before I could make up my mind.
“Oh, hello Graeme,” I said, feigning surprise. “How are you?”
“Much better now,” he replied, smiling widely. “Are you on standby?”
I shook my head, “No, I’m doing the Paris dailies. How about you?”
“Same. I start tomorrow morning. Have you eaten?”
“Not yet, I was on my way out to buy teabags.”
“Teabags?” he said, looking at his watch. “It’s well past five you know,” he said with a smirk. “Let’s go and get a drink.”
“Where?” I asked.
We caught the tube into central London and had dinner in Leicester Square with the tourists. Busying himself buttering bread, he said, “Thanks for ringing me.”
I didn’t know how to respond. “You’re welcome,” I said, avoiding his gaze.
“Was it something I did or didn’t do?” he asked.
“No, not at all,” I stammered and instead of leaving it at that like I should have, guilt made me continue. “I’ve just been really busy.”
“Oh ok,” he laughed.
We came back on the drunk tube (aka the late one) and caught a taxi from Hatton Cross.
Graeme’s room is on the same floor as mine but I have no idea how I know that!