Friday night and after a suspected flat tyre on the M25 and a long wait for the RAC - Biff's hairy black face looking terrified in the darkness - I arrive at the small port in Newhaven twenty minutes too late for the night ferry.
There are several other people bedded down for the night in their vehicles, so I can see that I'm not the only one to have missed the ferry. But with a 500km drive at the other end, it doesn't seem like a good idea to spend the night in the the car, so I check into the purple coldness of the nearby Premier Inn. (Poor old Biff meanwhile, spends the night shivering in the car as it's made very clear that he is not welcome. It immediately occurs to me to smuggle him and his doughnut into my room later but the receptionist, as if reading my devious thoughts, tells me that there will be someone on the front desk all night.)
Luis calls and I tell him I've missed the ferry. On Saturday afternoon, he calls several times to check on my progress, once while I am at the services near Alencon drinking Diet Coke to stay awake.
'Where are you?' he asks.
'Two hours away,' I reply.
'Depeche-toi chérie,' he says. 'Je t'attends.'
Having done the drive from the ferry ports many times with no-one waiting at the other end, I think how nice it is that finally, someone is waiting for me.