Hard work, this retirement lark!

It’s been a busy weekend. It started on Thursday , setting up the patchwork exhibition; I was the only person tall enough to reach the hooks near the ceiling, to hang the quilts from, so spent most of the afternoon standing on tiptoes on tables. There were dozens of quilts to hang, but it looked good by the time we finished. Then a quick bite to eat and off to Qi gong, then band practice.

Friday was a shopping trip to Auch; new fridge ordered, walking boots bought and Kieran’s and my official paperwork taken in to the appropriate offices, amongst other things.

On Saturday the local wine cave and armagnac distillery had its annual open day, so we went along; this year is their 50th anniversary and they’re making a special “Nogaro” wine. There were three different wines to taste and to vote for a favourite, and two different labels to vote on. Everyone who voted will receive a bottle of the chosen wine next year, as a thank you. Nick stayed for the lunch with a fellow cyclist we met there, while I spent the afternoon helping man a stall at the patchwork expo.

Today was the cycle club AGM, an event only made bearable by the lunch afterwards. I will never understand why they have to read out how many riders there were on every ride of the year, as well as who they were! The treasurer also reads out the entire financial report, down to how much is spent on beer for the after-the-Sunday-ride-aperos! After that and various other reports, by the safety representative, the president and a few others, the maire of Nogaro has his turn. Extremely tedious! But the lunch, heavily subsidised by the club. makes it worth while!

The meal didn’t finish till 5pm, just giving us time to get home and feed the cat, before heading back into Nogaro to attend a theatrical evening at the cinema. It was a sort of live biopic of Yves Montand, a French singer and actor who lived from 1921 to 1991. The singer, and main man, told the story of Montand’s life, interspersed with many of his best known songs, accompanied by three very talented musicians; we didn’t recognise many of the songs and struggled to understand much of the dialogue, but it was an enjoyable evening nevertheless. There were only about 50 people in the audience; the cinema is very poorly attended, so we go as often as we can, to support it. I was shocked to learn recently that the average attendance is only 34 people per film; they get new films, sometimes show them in 3-D and the seating is SO comfortable, with acres of leg room. In addition to that, it only costs €5.90, or €2.50 if you have a pizza at the Progres bar beforehand! We went to our first entirely French film last week; there were seven in the audience; we didn’t understand all of it, but enough to enjoy it, and it’s all good practice!

Tomorrow I’ll be helping to dismantle the quilt show, then it’s back to work as normal; it will be good to have a rest!