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a visit with Isabel

At the Montpellier Sud train station on a dark, chilly, wet day – a good day to travel. Here’s how travellers end up with heart attacks: Lynn and Denis live five minutes from the main and I thought only Montpellier train station. When we were booking my ticket to Marseilles, the train I wanted, the cheapest and most direct, left at 12.50. It was only when we were partway through booking that Lynn noticed – it left from the brand new station on the edge of town, to which there is no transit. I would never have noticed, would have gone to the old station, would have had a heart-stopping and probably unsuccessful attempt to get to the other on time.

Instead, I had a ride from M. et Mme. Blin, got here nice and early, to find that the train is an hour delayed. This might mean another heart attack – I need to get a bus from the train station in Marseilles at least half an hour to the airport for my flight to Milan – but luckily, again, I left lots of time. At least, I hope so. Nerves quiver.

As I said to Lynn this morning, I am not a relaxed traveller. Luckily my friend Bruce is not either. When we travel in Italy, we always arrive really early at the station. And Lynn too. I much prefer to kill time waiting than to have a frantic rush. Which happens anyway, of course.

A lovely last day in Montpellier yesterday, a gorgeous sunny day, and we drove an hour and a half north to Isabel Huggan’s beautiful house, Le Mas Blanc near Tornac, where she offers a writing retreat and editing services for lucky writers who go there. We had a long walk through her property while she and Mme. Blin discussed writers they like and do not, and I listened to birdsong and smelled the sweet air of spring.

Have not downloaded my own shots yet – this is Isabel’s, the usual hideous shot of me. Some people smile, I grimace.

We had strawberry shortcake while admiring her artworks from around the world, and set off home in the early evening. After a simple supper, we watched an animated film, Dililly à Paris, that Lynn bought that morning – absolutely gorgeous, funny, moving, tender, with stunning art – real views of Paris in the 19th century with the characters transposed in front.

And then a night on the very comfortable sofa. Now – in the gloom and rain – onward. To BROOZ and Italy!

PS/ We finally had an announcement – the train is now 1 hour 10 minutes late. I think he said it hit an animal. A big groan in the waiting room. My feet are freezing. Life is always interesting. Glad to share it all with you.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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