It's three weeks into May but it might as well be November. All across Northern France, a thick dark cold wet windy dark murky fog covers everything.
We have left a balmy 24 degrees in Kent (with all the attendant flower-pot-watering problems now in the care of a diligent neighbour), but here in the Hexagon it might was well be the Falkland Islands, or Wales.
Still, P&O obligingly gave us passage on an earlier crossing, the motorways were empty, and we reached Tours in enough time to bag the last empty room in Etap. Supper was an Italian/French melange - anchovy, salad, olives, osso bucco, filet de bar....
Our room overlooks the railway lines just outside the terminus. We called into the station on our wet way back to the hotel. The building is undergoing extensive modernisation, in the best possible taste, as Kenny Everett used to say. The town is also installing a tram system. Gaston and his wheelbarrow still have a lot to do, but it's shaping up nicely.
Outside, a late train clanks into the station.
The TV has the ubiquitous, horrible BBC World on... a rushing, frothy, urgent, sham-glam, meaningless, violence-addicted vomit of rubbish, but all in perfect accent.
Tomorrow, we head south to Poitiers and eventually, the comforts of my sister's house in the rural NW of Toulouse.
I am too tired to write. More later.