‘I’ll see you there a little after 3pm,’ My friend texts me. We are popping over to Paris to visit my little sister. (She has moved there for a month, we are completely in the dark as to why, but taking a trip is always fun, so off we go). The tube is late, and I arrive at St Pancras at 3.15pm.
I call my friend. ‘I’m so sorry,’ I begin. ‘But I’ve got my ticket and euros, let’s hurry through.’ ‘On my way,’ My friend replies cheerily. The Eurostar leaves at 3.30pm, and we haven’t been through passport control or security checks. I wait anxiously by the gate.
‘Where are you?’ I call my friend. ‘The gate’s closed already.’ ‘Oh,’ My friend replies in surprise. ‘I was just getting some peppermint tea.’ I am astonished, but have no time to reprimand her. She runs up to the gate at 3.25pm. I plead with the guard. (I do not wish to reveal what form this pleading takes). ‘OK,’ He says, relenting. (Yes, it was that form. Please move on). ‘But you can’t take that through.’ He points at my friend’s peppermint tea.
‘What?’ She says in dismay. ‘But I just bought it!’ I perfunctorily remove the blasted tea from her and shove it into the bin. ‘We all have to make sacrifices,’ I mutter darkly as the guard fast-tracks us through security, winking broadly at his colleagues.