In London a few weeks ago, I was greatly impressed by the splendid transformation of the old St Pancras station, which will soon replace Waterloo [after 14 November] as the terminus of the Eurostar link with the Continent.
The modern rail section between the English Channel and London is referred to as High Speed 1, because it is Britain's first line capable of supporting high-speed trains of the kind that have been crisscrossing France regularly for years. This morning, a train pulverized the speed record between Paris and London. Two hours and three minutes! These two great cities are so totally different in ambience and style that it will be an amazing thrill to be able to leave one and set foot in the other a couple of hours later.
PS When I reread that last sentence I've written, I find it so trite and obvious that it almost deserves to be classed as what the French call a lapalissade. Monsieur de la Palice used to make declarations of the following kind: "No more than an hour before she died, the poor lady was perfectly alive!" A good modern example, from John Howard's Texan mate: "I think we agree: the past is over."