19th February

Up stupidly early to take Sarah and kids to Kings Cross to catch the 6:15 train to Newcastle. I’m always worried about the journey because traffic into London can be so unpredictable at any time of day but luckily we sail through and we’re there with half an hour to spare so we’ve got time to visit platform 9 3/4 for a photo opportunity!

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As we’re walking from the car to the station Sarah said I bet these people think we’re mad catching a train at this time of the morning. Then she looked at me and said no they think you’re mad because you’re wearing shorts!

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Once the train had gone I went back round to the cashpoint to get some money for a coffee and I found myself looking at the new design of the station and reflecting on how much it had changed since we spent the night on the concourse in 1979 aged 17 after the train we came down from Sunderland to see the Who on arrived at King’s Cross in the early hours and we had to wait till the tubes started!

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I got back home at 7:36 exactly 3 hours after we’d set off. I tried to go back to sleep but failed miserably! Spent the rest of the morning getting things ready for my trip. I had to pack for Paris/Luxembourg and then pack another bag for up north. Then I had to sort out all the camera and editing equipment which was still worrying me regarding excess baggage between Paris and Luxembourg. The baggage was covered on two BA flights but Air France wouldn’t let me do it. So I actually got the bathroom scales out and weighed them. It wasn’t as bad as I thought as the camera bag and my bag weighed 17kg so I then took the scales out to the street and weighed the tripod! That was 7kg so worst case scenario was 4kg excess baggage which would be €60 – I might actually be able to eat after all!

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So I set off for the airport and met up with the client at Heathrow. A cheeky G&T on the flight and I was soon in Paris CdeG airport. The client said she’d booked us into an ibis hotel in the terminal which we walked for miles to find eventually getting to the hotel at terminal 3 via a transit like the one at terminal 5. It wss the wrong ibis and to cut a long story short the one we were booked into was a courtesy bus journey away. By the time we got there the restaurant was about to shut but we decided we couldn’t be bothered anyway so we arranged to meet for breakfast and went to our rooms.

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The client was in the next room and the walls were paper thin so I decided to go downstairs to phone Sarah in case I said anything rude about our exploits tonight. That’s when I discovered the bar and that it did food. I had a cheeseburger and a glass of wine but then decided that the beer looked good too so I had one of those as well! There was a guy in the bar with a splendid moustache! After my beer I headed off to bed.

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