Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Naked Rambler

So this'll be a bit of a ramble about nothing probably. Normally when I sit down to write something on here I have at least got a semi-formed view of what I'm going to write. But today, nothing. In fact, the only reason I'm writing anything at all is that I didn't blog last weekend, and I certainly won't next weekend. Though I might during the following week.

The reason for next Sunday's blogging absence is that I shall be in France. Me and Mrs M are going across to our house there for the week, to garden, entertain, seek out French antiquities for ebaying back here, eat bread that goes off after 12 hours, and chill. Oh yes, and I'm taking my bicycle for some quality time with Breton tarmac.

There we are, I've got a few threads in my head now. So, thread 1 - we're having to go across to France (make it sound like a chore don't I) because our English neighbours out there have moved back to Blighty, meaning we don't get our lawn mown for us any more. Now, whilst the house is modest the lawn is large, and Bob, bless him, used to sit on his mahoosive mower and do ours when he did his own. When I reconstructed the boundary fence last year I even left a little gap just the right size to drive his mower through. We haven't yet met Arnaud, our new neighbour, so I'm currently pondering the best approach to subtly hinting to him that he might like to take over Bob's cultivation duties. I need to be careful with my French though - I once thanked a Frenchman who helped me mend a puncture halfway up the Ballon d'Alsace by telling him he was very pretty. (I thought 'jolie' meant kind; I'd been on the bike a long time by then, ok).

Thread 2 - we're not going directly to the house next Saturday. To mix our usual routine up, we're crossing to Caen instead of St. Malo, and spending next Sunday 'doing' some Normandy beaches during the day, before we drive down to Plouec-sur-Lie ('our' village), on Sunday evening. I've read something this week about the French tourist authorities not recognising some of the beaches the Brits landed at, so I shall be acquainting myself more fully with that story in the next couple of days, and if necessary, buying a couple of Union flags at an appropriate place to reclaim our history.

As I say, I shall be doing some riding in France. I've not ridden on the road here since the sportive a couple of weeks ago. A bit sadly, I'm quite enjoying the process of getting properly fit through a disciplined turbo trainer routine. I shall keep that up this week, then have a few rides in Brittany going where and doing what I please. I have at least done some exercise outside here - running the local canal towpaths. I managed 21 miles yesterday morning, and nice running it was too, at least till an old war wound flared up. Frustratingly, it was nothing to do with any of my bodily bits that actually do the running bit; it was my stomach. When I was but a lad of 10 I got peritonitis (where the appendix bursts before the medics have had time to whip it out), and so my lower belly is a patchwork of old stitches and drainage holes from the resultant operations. One of those holes is pretty sensitive and flares up from time to time when things rub against it, and yesterday was one of those times, so I had to miss out the last couple of planned miles. The good news, however, is that wearing cycling bibshorts is fine, as there's no waistband involved.

So there we are; as I suspected, this was a bit of a ramble, albeit a short one. And the explanation for the 'naked' bit? Well, I refer you to my previous paragraph - in the interests of comfort and healing, the day is passing without me feeling the need to put any trousers on. And with that image lingering in your mind, that's it from me for 10 days or so.

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