Continuing the series of passport portraits from my collection. Peruse and wonder.
Alfred Maximilian Perray, a 58 year old organist from France. It is 26 October 1918 and the end of the Great War is expected any day now. M. Perray is particularly impatient. Because of the war he has been unable to visithis son who is in prison in Kandersteg, Switzerland. This is M. Perray's photograph on the French passport which has just been issued to him, 'valid for fifteen days to count from crossing the Swiss frontier, once it has been re-opened.' He is waiting in his garden. Waiting to 'see' the son he has not seen for more than the four years of the conflict, for Monsieur Perray is blind.
See my post of 14 April. Just for a laugh I decided to claim compensation as recommended to us passengers by the driver of the train who announced, just before dumping us all at Croydon East, short of our destination, that, 'this service is now running more than forty minutes late'. To remind you of the incident: the train from Gatwick Airport to Victoria was ten minutes late arriving at Gatwick, 30 minutes late departing and stopped short of the destination. I missed my connection at St. Pancras and had to wait for the next train, one hour later. Southern Railways use a different arithmetical model. Their response: Having checked our records for the details of the delay you provided to us, our systems show that delay was 1 minute, which is below the minimum threshold for which you are entitled to Delay Repay compensation.
So that is all right then, isn't it? I know I cannot argue because I never managed to pass my 'O' level maths exam in 1965.
Sitting quietly in the Derby Bar in Sauze d'Oulx, Italy, on Saturday night awaiting the arrival of the rush, I fell into conversation with Martin who lived across the square. When appraised of my occupation he declared that he had read one of my books and it had surprised him and amused him. Oh what it is like to be famous!
The Derby Bar in Sauze d'Oulx on Saturday night. The calm before the storm. You should have seen it thirty minutes later. It was heaving.
Q: If a train is due to leave Gatwick Airport at 19.41 on a Sunday night to arrive at London Victoria 25 minutes later, how fast must it travel? A: It will arrive late at Gatwick Airport, stand at the platform for twenty minutes and then crawl at 20 mph as far as Croydon East where the service will terminate because it has lost its timetable slot at Victoria Station. Q: If a train composed of ten coaches, each coach containing 100 passengers sitting and standing nose to nose crammed up to the doors and all with suitcases, is emptied onto platform 4 at Croydon East to await another train which will already have its own passengers on board, to carry everybody to Victoria, what proportion of the passengers of the first train will be able to board the second train? A: see below:
This is the headboard of my bed in the Hotel Assietta in Sauze d'Oulx, Italy. Can you imagine gently resting your weary head against that construction? Or stirring suddenly in the night and knocking yourself unconscious on one of those timber medallions? It could serve duty as an indoor climbing wall. But the hotel is well situated and serves a brilliant breakfast.