Midnight in Calais

C’est inévitable, je suis en Fontainebleau encore. Well, i’m not right now, i’m in the port of Calais, (after a cheeky, “oh, are we not on the ferry till tomorrow morning?” with the guy at the check in desk) but i was when that phrase went through my head first thing this morning. It does seem i can’t successfully avoid the place, this time using it as a convenient stop-off on the way North again, but i did get a wonderful sense of being half-home last night when we arrived in the familiar town and i was able to order a pizza from a pizzeria i knew well, in near-fluent French. (Okay, near-fluent may be a gross over exaggeration, but no English was spoken, and compared to floundering with 13 year old, poor at best German all week, i’d say that was close enough to classify!)

So, after eventually running off South for the day on Friday in search of sun, we’d said our goodbyes at the edelweiss and such and awoke to only feint rain and mild delight at such. It was forecast to rain all day, so we’d designated Saturday as “travelling day” with the added bonus we could stop en route with time to spare. As it turned out, there wasn’t much time to spare as we turned up at the campsite with half an hour to spare before they locked the gate, but you get the point.

In hindsight, Magic Wood hadn’t turned out to be that magic in terms of climbing, so a quick days bouldering at Curvier was quite appealing, only to wake this morning to more wetness. On to the town, and la Taverne, my latest Font hotspot, thanks to good food, good atmosphere and mostly, free WiFi… After an hour and a half, we figured we might as well see if the rock was dry, and much to my surprise, Bas Curvier was not only bone dry but quite busy too.

Regular readers (or “strange people” as they should probably be known) won’t be surprised to find that after a token warm up i left Jim to continue his fight with Marie Rose and headed for Carnage. Three hours later, i’d come to the conclusion i’m just not strong enough right now, and some actual training may be needed before a possible three-day weekend with flight, gîte and hire car. Watch this space for yet another Font blog post…

So here i am, homeward bound as Paul Simon might say, after another foreign foray. Midnight in Calais is possibly becoming a good way of describing me these last few years and that looks in no danger of subsiding next year. While 2012 hasn’t been quite as exciting as it’s immediate predecessor, it’s still been an interesting one. We’ll see what next year has store in due course i guess!


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