We are in Marseilles.   Bad hotel in the port but very welcome after our long journey from Calais.

Our trip?  A spontaneous event.  Bought a ticket and jumped on a train.  The train was packed and we were moved around a lot.  The dog was in good spirits. The coffee was delicious.  In Lille I ran to Monoprix and bought ham and cheese forgetting that Jake doesn’t eat cheese.

We sat next to very good looking man and his gf who I befriended.

The last part of my stay in London was irritatingly dramatic.  A largely drama free vacation morphed into the worst kind of melodrama.

Firstly, the iPod turned up.   Whether it was in fact stolen or not is another matter.  It was not my iPod.    Yes, you heard me.  It wasn’t even my iPod.  Yet, I felt incredibly responsible.  It was Jake’s iPod – and critically, if not found, would jeopardize my relationship with whomever the fucking iPod belonged to…Jake.   Pride before a fall.   My pride before my fall.

I have only myself to blame.

A little more information about the incident:

The cast of characters I mentioned yesterday included a tall spotty boy who was recently expelled from school for stealing a girl’s virginity in the school toilets.  Ruby, a small, fat girl with bright red hair with a nasty mouth and attitude – until she wants something of course, like a fag then she sweetens up pretty damned fast.  The ugly gay friend and his pretty Greek ‘best friend’ were perhaps the worst of the lot.

Paul, Phil’s long-term man friend explained to us how rude and impossible he found them all.   He told me that Ruby was a thief.  Actually he really fanned the flames once the iPod went missing.   It seemed like there was no other reasonable explanation.

Sure I over reacted but nobody tried to help.   Yet, it was none of my damned business.  The moment it went missing I offered to pay for it as if I were somehow responsible.  Why?

I had no reason to feel responsible for somebody else’s stuff.  Especially as they were drunk and had lost the damned thing.  I was sober and didn’t lose anything.    When I left my sunglasses in Whitstable I didn’t expect anyone to pay for them yet for some extraordinary reason the moment someone else loses something I feel as if it were my fault.

As I was sitting in the cell I had a series of catastrophic thoughts.  The dog was dead, my friend was dead, my stuff had been ransacked.  I sat on the edge of the bed blaming myself for introducing someone essentially blameless into a den of thieves.

As it turned out the kids had not stolen the fucking iPod and it was LOST.   I was angry with myself that I had brought a sweet, kind, good person into a den of thieves but as it turned out I brought a forgetful person and my temper into a largely innocent adolescent smoking den.

As much as I loathed them for their promiscuity, their smoking and rudeness I had no reason to jump to conclusions.

Fuck, fuck, fuck.

There is an Indian woman taking very loud telephone calls on her very large phone with a very loud alarm that goes off with appalling regularity.   I think every train should have a mobile/cell free zone where other travelers can escape.

Delightful dinner with Charlie Parsons at Dean Street Town House.  Just me Jake, Charlie and delicious food.  Calves liver.  Bumped into at least twenty old friends on the streets of Soho including Tania who was in Clancy’s Kitchen.  Ended up at Soho House with Richard and his friend.

Today we are going to rent a car and aim toward Monte Carlo.  The streets at night around the port are transformed this morning.  I am wearing a brightly patterned Etro shirt and my black sandals.   I am tired but eager to get on the road.