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London to Paris

On board the 7:09 Eurostar to Paris. Sitting in Waterloo Station. My laptop bag was searched thoroughly on the way in. I have a USB hard-drive in there that looked a bit suspicious. It has orange padding around its edges. The laptop battery also looked suspicious. And my flask of whisky.

I could do with some food and a coffee but only have £1.25 in English money. I have more in Euros. Should be able to get something on the journey.

I slept for about 5 hours, dreaming about terrorist attacks in the tunnel. Trying not to think about those sorts of things. There’s a passenger blockage in the aisle. A dispute over seat numbers. Someone is in the window seat when she shouldn’t be. The other woman really wants to sit by the window. There’s a bit of tension. Nothing much. Not really worth writing about.

People on the other side of the aisle eating sandwiches and reading the TimeOut guide to Paris. Someone else reading the FT. A child speaks in French. All things not really worth writing about, but I have to write something, otherwise I’d just be sitting here doing nothing except thinking whaatever thoughts come into my head, and that’s dangerous. When you write things down you can decide what thoughts to allow and which ones to censor.

I was trying not to think about my headache last night as I lay awake. I was supposed to be in Paris last night. I wanted to get on the 15:11 but they wouldn’t let me. There was space on the train, but only for people paying full price. I only pay £50 because I have an InterRail pass. I could have got on the train if I’d been willing to pay £155. So I lost the £26 for the hotel room I’d reserved, plus whatever it cost me to phone France on my mobile.

We’re moving. It’s still dark. I’m sitting on the East side off the train. The seat next to me is empty. Announcement: I’m Moncour, your train monitor on this… There are passengers joining the train at Ashford International. Please ensure you only occupy the seat allocated to you. Please ensure you use your mobile phone with consideration to others.

There’s a dull hazy light outside. Just a few street lights around warehouses. Trees. A crescent shaped town in the distance. A chimney. Some suburban houses. Pylons crossing fields.

I bought an orange juice, a coffee and a chocolate croissant.

We’ve slowed down and are running parallel to a road. Roadworks. Flashing lights. Looks like they’re widening the road. Must be the M20.