I got up obscenely early today. So early I’m pretty sure it was in fact really late.

I’m in Saint Ouen for a couple of days work with the folk at Blackout. I arrived almost three hours early, at about ten past seven, so I walked down the road from where I parked in front of Blackout to ask about parking at my hotel, the Ibis. I thought I’d get a coffee and maybe some breakfast but unfortunately the desk clerk is a moron. He checked my reservation and said, “Ah oui, Monsieur Marron”. It’s quite extraordinary how complete strangers think that it’s okay to mess with your name. I wonder if he makes up little jokes for everyone?

I left home at 4.30am. If I had left thirty minutes later I would probably have arrived at about 8.30 and if I had left at 5.30 I would probably have just got there in time for the ten o’clock start. The joys of driving into Paris!

I checked out the toilet facilities in the hotel lobby but they weren’t up to standard and, importantly, there were no locks on the cubicles.

I decided to go for a walk along the Seine.

After my walk I found excellent coffee at the Pavillon café and the toilets were spotless and lockable.

Checked out the food market. Nearly everything is cheaper than in Amboise. It’s not really a surprise but it’s still annoying.

I don’t know if it’s the sunshine but Saint Ouen really seems on the cusp of gentrification. On further investigation at Blackout they confirmed this trend. The drug dealers are being pushed out and the hipsters are moving in.

Pylons near the river

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