We went up to London as normal, except some naughty railway person moved the EuroStar terminus from Waterloo - where our local train arrives - to St. Pancras which is two tube trains away. Trundling across London with our bags eliminated any advantage of getting from the London to Paris any quicker from the new terminus...
On Sunday we went up the tall pointy thing in the centre of Paris that looks a bit like Blackpool Tower. It was very windy and cold at the top but the view is quite impressive - better on a clear sunny day no doubt. Our friend's six year old son really enjoyed the visit to the top and by going early in the day and on not such a sunny day we hardly had to wait at all.
In the afternoon we then went to Palais de la découver which is a jolly nice place, lots of nice stuff to do and very interesting - even if you are six.
On Monday we went to "Le Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle" which was also very interesting, much better than the Natural History Museum in London. Again we managed to entertain our six year old guest.
On Tuesday our friends went back to the States and we pottered about in Paris doing a bit of shopping before setting of into the country to see our family not in Paris.
No nasty work for me as I'm off on holiday. It's not the best time to go to Paris but it will be good to have some time off and meet up with old friends.
Today on a bright and cheery winter's day hundreds of people watched a tornado whistle through my sleepy village.
At 11:55 the "LNER Peppercorn Class A1 60163 Tornado" came steaming through to village where she took on water. We went up to David's Wood to get a picture of her on the bend before the village then biked to the station to take a few pictures when she was talking on water and set off again.
To say that the station was crowded was an understatement, it was packed, probably beyond the point of being safe.
Next week is probably going to be as exciting as last week. In the south we have had "Blizzard Conditions", a few millimetres of snow and a light breeze. The "Media" have been talking as is if it was the end of the world. In truth we had a small dusting of snow, not a lot really and while it is true that most people down here are not prepared to deal with it the media have made a ice age out of a snow drift.
The forecast for tomorrow is for more snow and "blizzard conditions" again in the evening - or possibly just wind and rain - they are not sure yet. It is hard to predict exactly what will happen and who will get rain and who will get snow, but that doesn't stop it all seeming very comical.
Where I grew up we had temperatures down to -15°C most winters. The snow routinely fell to above waist height in front of the house, you just gone on with life. When I spent a winter at UMass I saw even more snow, peak day time temperatures of -20°C and snow metres thick that stayed around for days.
I woke up this morning to snow. Not a lot of snow, but more snow that I've seen in my time living in "the south". I got into work okay, no problems to speak off, however everyone else couldn't get in. Some people have long commutes, some were coming from the snowier east, some probably had kids too look after. After an hour those of us at work were advised to go home before the second batch of snow arrived.
Relative to the snow I remember from my childhood, there wasn't really much to worry about. I remember having to wade through snow waist deep to get to school and we were only sent home twice in over a decade. It's true that southerners' aren't use to snow so they don't know what to do and with global warming we haven't even had "southern" snow much in the past two decade as well.
Juts over a decade ago I lived in Massachusetts, that winter was snowy, more than I'd ever seen before and contrary to this southern snow it didn't thaw and turn to mush within a few hours - Massachusetts snow seamed to last for weeks and weeks!
I'm now working from home, at least the VPN works through the snow...