Travel Horrors: Being In Love

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.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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27 Responses to Travel Horrors: Being In Love

  1. Annecdotist says:

    Congratulations, Geoff, your pearls.
    I like your story which reminds me of the time I went to Nepal with my brother. Guess who had to make a 300 mile trip to Heathrow and to get herself inoculated on the way, and who had simply to hop on the tube? Guess who had the tickets? I was in tears when he arrived, trying to persuade the airline staff to let me on board without a ticket. In the end, the flight was delayed anyway due to the Bangladeshi president/dictator travelling with us. Alas, my brother still hasn’t learned from the experience and continues to be late when we meet up.
    BTW, remember a conversation we had about blogging being addictive? You seem to be showing many of the symptoms – glad you’re enjoying it.


  2. TanGental says:

    Thank you Anne; yes I do. It’s slightly healthier than drink and drugs I suppose.


  3. L.K. Latham says:

    Sounds like a lovely honeymoon – and one from which true marriages are born.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know what your Dad would have called that. Never mind, you have both done incredibly well

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam Lazos says:

    A lovely story, Geoff, and on it goes given that you are still so happily married. It must have been the Tom Selleck mustache that fight the Textiliste’s eye! 👁 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel says:

    I would never let my husband make any travel plans!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Anniversary to you both. That really is an accomplishment. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We had the luxury of Woolacombe for our honeymoon. I drove there in a hire car and we had a close encounter of the bovine kind as Nellie leapt over the field boundary to inspect the front of the car. Cow 1 Car 0.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We went on a British Rail Stardust Minibreak for ours. Rail and ferry. The choice was Paris or Amsterdam – not sure why we chose the latter, it might have been slightly cheaper. Yes, we had the same money issues. I’m very glad we did though: Amsterdam quickly became our “special” place. No disasters on that occasion, but we have more recently (10/11 years ago or so) had to run through the purple tunnel at Heathrow because Someone took us to the wrong gates. The one time I don’t check …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful story!
    I go a little crazy when I mess up like that (several times), but when my kids do, I tend to say to them, ‘Well, now you have a story to tell.’

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Suzanne says:

    Love the bride photo, gorgeous. Travel would be happens not as memorable without the dramas? Enjoyable story as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ah Geoff, you are so funny. At least you made the flight. It’s lovely to see these pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

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