The two-and-a-half hour train trip from Marseille to Nice seemed a lot longer with a car full of Poms savouring their team's quarter final win over the Wallabies. One older English gentleman was particularly amusing and particularly obnoxious. As he knocked back bottle after bottle of celebratory Beaujolais, and the news came in via text message that France had triumphed over New Zealand, he more and more loudly declared that this had been "the best maldicion day of my life" and that "the Kiwis don't know maldicion about rugby".
While the first call was purely subjective and had to be accepted at face value, the second raised a few eyebrows. He then proceeded to speculate on the manner in which England would thoroughly rout France in the semi-finals. Grumpy, who was a little emotionally overwrought himself, could take no more and called out, "Remember Waterloo!"
I nudged him and said in the quietest voice I could manage, ""Er, I think you'll find they won that one."
Indeed, with the final imminent, one can almost see Avalon emerging from the mists.