Sunday, 12 February 2012

Croc'd m'sieur

Croc monsieur is a grilled sandwich, the filling typically being ham and cheese (Gruyere or Emmental), which unsurprisingly given its name, originated in France. Crocked monsieur, on the other hand, is an injured bloke looking forward to going to France for 10 days. The link between them is that the gentleman in the second definition is going to be home alone in Brittany for a few days before his better half joins him, meaning that a few of the former might get consumed in the absence of being bothered to cook properly for one. I'm getting dangerously close to referring to myself in the third person in that last sentence, a sure sign of the unhinged and the super-egotistical, so let's switch back to first person....

So yes, for the first time since I started this blog (I think), there is absolutely no physical exercise to report on. Last weekend's running on iffy surfaces didn't do good things to my right leg. I originally got into cycling after rupturing my right calf muscle and Achilles in a footballing accident in 2001. Whilst they obviously repaired themselves to the point where I could be reasonably fit and active, as with broken bones a residual weakness remains, which in my case manifests itself in not being able to push off from the front half of my right foot very effectively. This week, however, I haven't been able to do that pushing off at all, making walking a bit uncomfortable, stairs a challenge, and running impossible. I'm hoping that it's no more than a simple strain, and rest will put it right. It's blown a hole in my marathon training schedule though, and as soon as I've done this I'm off to set up the bike on the indoor trainer, just in case it persists.

I'm also going to set up my road bike ready to take to France.  I'm off to the house in Brittany for a few reasons, mainly to do some house maintenance-type jobs. The main one is to do some fencing round the border of the garden, but I plan to also do some painting and gardening. I suspect a lot of people find it odd that I'm happy taking holiday to do that, but it's such a contrast to the day job it'll be a pleasure. I'll be able to work at my own pace, I won't have anything to "run by my stakeholders", I won't have to talk all day long, and there'll be a completely objective way of working out if I've done a good job (i.e. is the fence standing up ok and is it in the right place?), none of which applies for the old paid employ.

And besides, there are mitigants, including 1) as mentioned I'll be on my own out there for the first 4 days. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm glad the present Mrs K is joining me for the second half of the break, but a bit of solitary will be lovely; I've never had a problem with periods on my own; and 2) even if the calf doesn't clear up completely, it shouldn't stop me getting out on my bike to enjoy those glorious French roads. And during the week; what a treat. So, my French daily timetable looks something like: rise, strong coffee, bowl of porridge, work in the garden till late lunchtime, croc m'sieur (ah oui!), on the bike for a couple of hours of bimbling round l'interieur de Cotes d'Armor, hot bath, red wine whilst book reviewing (I've been asked to review the latest Economist publication on project management, as the author is a friend), repose. Formidable.

I'll be away for the next two weekends doing all that, but will see if I can steal some wifi out there to blog from abroad for the first time. A bientot, mes amis.

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