The Day I’d Rather Forget…

Monday wasn’t the best day for me…

I had to go to Lyon to see my podiatrist as my new inner soles hadn’t really addressed all the problems I’d been having. Mr D was going to come with me and we’d planned to see a film in VO and maybe have something to eat, as my appointment was at 7.00 pm. However, Mr D had a bad cold (which I now have!) and didn’t feel like going out. Change of plan: I’d get the train (it’s cheaper doing this for one, than driving & paying motorway tolls and petrol and parking) do a bit of window shopping, buy some cold care tablets for suffering Mr D, and then see the podiatrist, have something to eat and then return home.

I left the house, a bit later than I should have, which meant I was pressed for time; getting behind slow moving tractors didn’t help, so when I reached Roanne, I only had 15 minutes to get to the station (5 minutes away) park in the multi-storey, race to the station,,(2 minutes minimum race) queue to buy a ticket (usually fairly busy ticket office)  and (hopefully) catch the train. Suddenly I had the brainwave of driving to the next station down the line, with free parking near the station and a quiet ticket office. I arrived with 5 minutes to spare, bought my ticket and was told that the train I’d planned to catch didn’t stop at Le Coteau (where I was) and the next train was in an hour. Oh buggery-pooh. Still, philosophically I went to window shop in the factory shops in Le Coteau instead, catching the train an hour later.

Arrived in Lyon with 40 minutes before my appointment (which had been brought forward to 6.30) so I thought I could take the bus (20 minute ride, one every 5 minutes or so), hop off when I saw a pharmacy, buy Mr D’s tablets, hop on next bus, arrive in time to see podiatrist. I’d forgotten that there is such a thig as a rush hour and the bus fairly crawled along. No matter, I decided, as we passed a 24 hour pharmacy, I can go there after my appointment.

Saw podiatrist (20 minutes later than he’d said, so I could have hopped off and on buses!) and found somewhere to have a very nice, very huge and eaten in a bit of a rush duck salad. Leaving myself 40 minutes to walk to pharmacy (5 minutes) buy tablets (the pharmacy won’t be busy at 8.10 pm) and take bus (10 minute ride) back to station to get the 8.40 train  I was fine. Oh no I wasn’t!! The world and his wife were in the pharmacy with complicated prescriptions to collect. I queued for almost 15 minutes, watching the clock nervously, until I had to abandon the tablets and rush outside to catch the bus. 20 minutes for bus ride – should be okay, I calculated nervously. The bus lingered at every stop, presumably to make sure it was on time, but causing me to panic.

We arived at the station. Seven minutes to go. I rushed (as much as someone with new innersoles and sciatica can rush) into the station. Aaargh, which train?! No train showing with the destination “Roanne” but the Clermont Ferrand train was due to leave at 8.40 – hopefully that one. I rushed up the stairs to the platform, read the departure board and Breathe. Right train, right platform,and 3 minutes to spare.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! I haven’t composted my ticket! (No, this isn’t a new form of recycling. In France you must composter your ticket – date stamp it – before you use the train, or else you face a 25€ fine. The machines for doing this are not on the platform, but on the main concourse.) So, I rush down the stairs again, compost my ticket, rush back up – the train is waiting. I leap on, checking tht it was indeed the Clermont train and yes, it did stop at Roanne. And breathe.

The train starts off and I idly watch the “This train stops at…” LED display board scroll past. “This train stops at Tarare, Roanne, Vichy, Riom and Clermont Ferrand…” AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!! My car is not at Roanne, it’s at Le Coteau! Five minutes by train, but 30 minutes (at least) on foot. AND I’ve got new innersoles and sciatica. Buggery-pooh. There may well be trains from Roanne to Le Coteau, but I won’t be back until 10.00 and things tend to stop early out here in the sticks. I resign myself to walking (though I do shoot a quick prayer upwards that there might (oh, look, flying pigs!) be a taxi at the station)

Then, “tickets please!” – a ticket inspector arrives in the carriage. I get out my ticket. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! It’s for Le Coteau, not for Roanne, which is further down the line.  They could, legally, fine me for not having the correct ticket. In stumbling French I explain my predicament, and, thankfully, I am let off; the very nice inspector writes a note on my ticket and says I don’t need to pay extra.

I forlornly watch Le Coteau station zoom by, and get off the train at Roanne, resigned to walking back to the car. When, look!! Two green “Taxi” lights are in front of the station! I thankfully get one, and on chatting to the driver, find out that they had both been debating giving up for the evening, as they’d been there for an hour without getting a fare. I am so glad that they didn’t. Thank you, God – if you had anything to do with it.

The drive home passed eventlessly, though I was feeling rather bleary eyed, and a tad sick -indigestion from the too-rapidly eaten huge salad – by then. I collapsed thankfully into bed, to be woken at 1.30 by Mr D’s hacking cough. After an hour’s wakefulness I decamped to the spare room.

Not the best day ever!

3 Responses to “The Day I’d Rather Forget…”

  1. carolyn Says:

    Oh Dormouse, not surprised you want to forget that day. You have my every sympathy and I hope you both recover soon.

  2. Pauleen Says:

    whew, what a day but at least some “wins” at the end when you needed it…apart from that well-shared cold and cough.

  3. Dormouse Says:

    Thank you for the sympathy, friends! I’m getting over the cold (slowly) and at least my newly adapted inner soles seem to be addressing the problems, so it wasn’t a wasted journey!!