Considered going to IFLA 89 in Paris, but as noted in leading article in August, the fee of 2,200 francs would pay for a first class run around the Hexagon with SNCF for nine days with all sorts of extras and still leave enough for five good dinners. Expostulating thus to NLW's Favourite Overseas Librarian, Frances Salinié of the British Council in Paris, led her to make enquiry. Transpired, as they say, that belatedly and all unannounced one‐day registration at 300 francs was allowed. This possibility, the fact that I hadn't been to Paris this year, the near certainty that one day of IFLA would be an “elegant sufficiency” and a curiosity to see if “they order this matter… better in France” led me to the Gare du Nord clutching my 300 dirty oncers. Warning: lengthy chunk of political bias coming up. Don't bother to take reading matter on the London Dover/Folkestone railway. The swaying, clattering, noisome line makes reading, conversation or walkman listening virtually impossible. This chunk of Network Southeast is not a worthy descendant of the South‐Eastern and Chatham railway on which long dead father once drove beautiful locomotives. A pride in railways is one of the Victorian values not preached from the Downing Street pulpit. The new line promised for the Tunnel may sometime let you read in comfort, but that seems a rather drastic and expensive remedy.
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