Monday, September 04, 2006

Back to the Front Line

8am line 1, approaching Châtelet. The humid intense heat of the métro only briefly marrs my enjoyment of Ben Elton's new release The First Casualty but a sense of impending horror is settling around me as I approach my stop. Jostling myself out of the train with my thumb wedged in page 25, I try to whisk through the corridor at my normal pace and realise that my knee and back are throbbing more than is strictly desirable at this early hour. Being a newly recovered invalid is unnerving because I'm fine now, almost totally recovered, but the very first day back to work is not a time for skipping down public transport halls at 8am.

Line 4 is no better and if you know Paris you'll know it's even hotter; a damp quilt of hot air pressing down on all the unfortunate passengers. I try to imagine how Elton's semi-fictional characters must have felt during the First World War, as they, coughing like hags, knock-kneed, cursed through sludge. Obviously I'm a 29 year-old English girl living in the 21st Century on her way to her decent job and not a nineteen year-old Tommie with lice-ridden fatigues and a future of gas attacks and bullets. What I'm trying to say is that the métro was damn hot this morning.

The first rehearsal of my choir after our summer recess followed my first day back to work today, which was a double whammy of effort. I hadn't realised how easy it was to get used to relaxation. So now it's back to the old routine and there are hundreds of things I now realise I could have been doing instead of feeding my 24 habit, but sometimes you need to stop turning and get off the merry-go-round.

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