Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honiton, in S.W. England
My report on my day-trip to Paris. Am I mad or what? Read on...
I was out of bed at 0345, so as to be ready to leave my house at 0430, allowing plenty of time to drive to Ashford International in time to get the first Eurostar of the day to Paris. However, I wasn't even sure if the trains would be running, as previous freezing weather had disrupted them yesterday.
It was raining when I left home, but I knew the forecast contained a threat of snow. Within an hour, sure enough, I was driving through thick falling snow, which was beginning to accumulate on the road surface; traffic speeds slowed to about 60 km/h and only one lane was safely negotiable on the motorway. I was barely on target to reach Ashford in time to check in for my train, even before an accident (two or three lorries seemed to have jack-knifed) put a stop to progress for fifteen minutes. However, I finally parked my car twenty-five minutes before the train was due - check-in supposedly has to be done half an hour before the train!
No problem, I got checked in okay, only to learn that the train would be half an hour late. Speed restrictions en route meant we were over an hour late into Paris. I was further held up waiting for a Metro (ligne 5) for nearly half an hour, after which things were okay if slow. I reached the stadium at 1300.
I wondered if in fact Boogie would be playing today, because on the chat boards I had picked up on the fact that her first-round opponent in qualifying was still involved in a challenger tournament. Indeed the order of play showed Boogie v Vierin "to be arranged". (Boogie has has a lucky draw; not only is she the lowest-ranked direct entry into quallies, but her opponent isn't much higher.) I also wanted to see Sandra Kleinova, and I was lucky that her match was third on the schedule for Centre Court, and just about to start when I arrived.
Indeed Sandra Kleinova v Camille Pin was to be the highlight of the day. Kleinova lost the first set 5-7, on a disputed line-call at set point which she was convinced was wrong and had cost her the set. Her inconsistency was reduced in the second set, which she won 6-1 quite quickly, but the final set could have gone either way. In the end, the French crowd were disappointed, Sandra winning it 7-5 after two and a quarter hours.
Shortly before the end of that match, I spotted a certain Dutch girl enter the players' section of the viewing arena. Yes, I think you know who I mean. Someone I'm quite fond of, you know! Looking as good as ever, her face having a glowing radiant tan following her recent visit to Australia.
Later I saw the match Foretz v Perebiynis, the winner of which will hopefully have to face Boogie tomorrow. Neither of them played well, so if Boogie plays Foretz tomorrow she should have an easy time of it, says me!
I had to leave at 1900 to make sure I was back at Gare Du Nord in time for the last Eurostar home (allowing for more possible Metro delays on the way). Two matches had just started at that time, one on each court, but no Boogie. It seemed unlikely that she would be playing today after all.
Naturally the train was the best part of an hour late getting me back to England, and I lost more time when I had to divert off the M25 motorway on the way home because of an accident (and then I got lost in Guildford!). I finally got home more than twenty hours after I had left. Are there any other Boogie fans as mad as me???
So today should have been my day of rest, well it has been a bit, but I've been busy because I'm moving house tomorrow! The world never stops...