If I were not acquainted with irony – and I am, we are good friends of long standing – what has been going on today would have been a good introduction.
This was my fourth, possibly even my fifth, stay in Illats accompanying my elderly step-aunt to various concerts held in chateaux hereabouts and departing and flying home has always followed the same routine: train from Cerons, a few miles from where she lives, then the Navette bus from the Gare de St Jean to Bordeaux airport, then the flight home with Easyjet.
Today’s journey should have been no different except that when I checked the rail timetable to make sure I hadn’t ‘misremembered’ (©Hillary Rodham Clinton) what time my train was and checked the timetable of the Navette, I realised that if I caught the 9.50 from Cerons as planned, I would get to the airport to make my way through security just in time to miss the plane by about ten minutes. And the rail timetable listed no earlier train except one leaving Cerons at 6.50 (far, far to early for anyone to do anyting remotely useful).
When I told my aunt, she said she would drive me to the airport. As she has, in the past nine months, had a knee operation and surgery to cure ‘a woman’s problem’, I was reluctant but could see no alternative. Then it struck me that I might be able to catch a train from Lango, several miles further away than Cerons, but a far better option of my aunt.
There a train departed for Bordeaux at 8.44.
We set off on the 20 minute journey to Langon from Illats just before 8pm and arrived with ample time to spare and I caught the train (which was a little late) and that should have been that. But I was very surprised when the very next stop, barely five minutes down the line to Bordeaux was bloody Cerons. So I could have caught the same train and spared my aunt a little hassle.
I have since re-checked the timetable I originally looked at and that departure is not listed. But I have also checked the official SNCF timetable and it is.
Not much of an irony, you might now be telling yourselves, and what is this crud banging on about? Well, it is this: not only did I, unlike previously when ‘security’ was jam-packed with Brits in shorts with red legs and their breeds and the whole experience took what seemed like hours – not, only did I breeze through this time, but the bloody flight, due to leave at 12.05 is fucking ‘delayed’. And no one knows until when. So I could have stuck to the original plan with ease.