The Day Before Departure Day…

There I was, sitting at my desk, ticking my list of things that needed doing on this last day before departure… my email beeps. It’s Lester in London, “What time will you be arriving tomorrow morning?” “I need to arrange some meeting times…” Poor chap, he’s getting old and forgets things. “It’s not tomorrow (as I reach for the tickets) – it’s… Oh shit!”

Now here’s the problem… It’s 10:00 am and I’m on the Gold Coast, 90 Km from where QF51 was due to depart Brisbane at 1:40 pm. And I’m not packed – at all! The next 30 minutes were a little hazy. Daughter assumed the role of crisis control (which she does often – and well), found her mother in the park walking the dogs, and sent her round to help me pack, and drive me to the airport.

So, The Old Blue Truck rolls out for trip 3…

Perhaps not The Old Blue Truck exactly… but certainly those who once ‘sailed’ in her. All together again for just the 3rd time in 46 years – not counting a few solo visits. As always, we go back to France, head for Bordeaux, then turn left…

The plan, this time, is to meet up at Florence’s home in the little village of Castelnau-d’Aude, in the Southern France Region of Langedoc-Rousillon. Keith will fly from Toronto to Paris, then to Montpellier and a gentle drive up the Aude Valley. For me it’s the long schlepp through Singapore to London, a quick lunch with Lester in Chelsea, then a train from Victoria to Canterbury. David meets me there and we drive to Ickham – with a traditional stop at the Duke Willie. One of Patricia’s epic feasts with Trish and Sienna, part of which I may have slept through… Next morning, a brisk walk through my beloved Kent countryside – before we head off to a channel tunnel somewhere…

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More on The Third Trip – 2012…

1. Brisbane to Bordeaux
2. A Chateau somewhere
3. Together again… Aude, Pays Cathare
4. John & Keith, Unsupervised

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