We arrived in Troyes, a medieval French town, surounded by more timbered buildings than you can shake a mace at, looking forward to New Year's Day haute cuisine in one of the many fine eateries. Except that all the fine eateries were closed.
Before we discovered this, we'd walked past Le James Joyce, Le Irish Pub offering an Irish menu, in so much as it had potatoes and Guinness, I announced pointedly I hadn't driven 500 miles to eat in an Irish pub. Well, actually, it turns out that's exactly what I'd done.
And why James Joyce, for heaven's sake? He wasn't exactly Mr Chuckle Trousers, I never finished Ulysees and only read A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man because I had to for A-level. They could have chosen a chirpier Irish man – there's plenty of them about, if they're short of one, my dad would do it. Chez Anne's Dad, Begorrah. Anyway, the food was OK, but the music was fabulous, Santana and Pink Floyd. It was like we'd never left Angleterre.Or the Seventies.
The trip under the Channel was a fascinating experience, driving on to a train, then just hanging around beside the car for 35 minutes or so. No flash photography was allowed, so I just wacked up the ISO!