I’d been on the road for, well, quite a long time.

And then at one o’clock in the morning, having driven with a reasonable amount of determination through the evening in order to make the 1.22am train back to Blighty from France, I arrived at the bank of tollbooths at the Eurotunnel. Not one of which contained a human being.

So I pressed the button for attention, and after 30 seconds or so the voice of a human being said “Bonjour.”

“Hello” I said to the human being, which wasn’t really a human being but was, instead, just a big chunk of steel with a screen in it and a speaker system at the bottom. “I don’t have a reservation,” I said. “But I would very much like to catch the 1.22am train if possible so, er, what happens next?”