1984 and the Textiliste and I married. That’s officially long ago. We’ve done the 30 years – pearls apparently – and rubies beckon.
They’ll be cake and stuff and hopefully no travel. Big events and travel don’t combine well when I’m involved.
The wedding went well; she mostly planned it. The honeymoon? That was me. A few days in Paris. We couldn’t afford a lot, having just forked out on a flat and in need of stuff like a bed, we were doing the thing on the cheap. I booked everything, as the bloke is traditionally meant to do (lesson soon learned for the newly crowned Mrs Le Pard, you would think but she’s always been big on continuous learning). We were to fly from Gatwick to Beauvais which I was assured was Paris’ second airport but is actually in Wales or something, given how far the bus journey into the centre was.
That, however, wasn’t the real problem. No, it was the time. We arrived at Victoria Station with loads of the time stuff to spare (back then, of course, security was a relative breeze; be at the check-in thirty minutes before the flight and you would still be allowed on). We had a coffee. We caught a slow train, not wanting to fork out on the ultra expensive Gatwick Express. We watched the Sussex countryside slide past and I checked my watch. I then checked the tickets. And rechecked them. No, that wasn’t right. We had given ourselves plenty of leeway.
You know those moments, I’m sure, when a nagging doubt in the gut explodes into a sphincter-loosening certainty? It hit me with the inevitability and ferocity of January’s credit card bill. I had read 14.20 as 4.20. That little ‘1’ had the impact of a well-timed middle finger.
I ‘fessed up. She laughed. She always laughs at my admin cockups, of which there have been legion. You know it is a common theme, if you’ve read this blog for long enough.
We ran from the train. The lady at the check-in looked at her watch. ‘You’ve ten minutes. Just run.’
We even carried our own bags to the plane which waited for us. We weren’t cheered on board but we did make it.
It had to get better. Surely? Well, all you need to know about the hotel was that the shower cubicle doubled up as the toilet and if you forgot to remove the toilet roll you were using papier mache as your cleaning material.
But we were in Paris, it was our honeymoon. What more did we need? Money, actually. It was effing expensive. But hey, we coped. We even got back home in one piece.
I browsed, if you must know. The Place Du Tertre was the Place Des Riporfs back then.