Bonjour Monsieur Secretary

A few weeks before the cycle club AGM, Maurice announced that he’d be standing down from the post of secretary; no one could say he hadn’t done his bit for the club, he’s held the post since 1978! The search was on for someone to replace him and several people approached Nick, who was very flattered and happy for his name to be put forward.

The AGM is hardly the most exciting event in the calendar, but as it’s held in a smart hotel in Nogaro and is followed by a slap up lunch, heavily subsidised by the club, most members turn up.

Reports from the president, the treasurer, the secretary, the guy in charge of health and safety, the mayor of Nogaro and a representative of the group who ran the European Cycling week in Auch in the summer were all read, then we were woken up for Maurice’s presentation.

Maurice collects knives, the folding variety that no self respecting Frenchman leaves home without; he has about 700 of them, but hadn’t got an English one, so while we were in Harrogate recently, Nick spent a day in Sheffield choosing two, one whose handle is of stag horn, the other of buffalo horn inset with turquoise. Maurice was delighted with them.

One of Nick’s tasks as secretary is to plan the routes for each Sunday’s club run, something he’s more than happy to do; he’s collected the inevitable stack of paperwork (this is France, where officialdom reigns supreme) and is gradually learning what else will be expected of him. Meetings are never easy here, as everybody talks over each other, but it’s got to help improve his French.

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Harrogate and Bruges

Between building the house, throwing a mega party, planning and landscaping the garden, growing most of our own fruit and veg and other various activities in which we’re involved, I suppose it’s not surprising that we’ve been feeling more than a little tired recently. So when Alex asked if we’d like to visit, to see the house she and Graham have bought, it seemed a good opportunity to have a break.

It was great to see Alex’s new home, to meet up with all Nick’s family and mine, as well as friends from our past life and to catch up with everybody’s news; but as relaxing breaks go, it was a non starter as we squeezed in visits to uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters, friends from all over. A day in York with our granddaughter, spent largely in the Fudge Kitchen; a day walking in the Dales with friends, when the sun showed up the glorious autumn colours; a curry evening with as many friends as could join us; our younger granddaughter’s birthday party; our books remained unread and “chilling time” a dream, though we did enjoy it.

We took the ferry to Zeebrugge on the return journey, watching the film “Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children” in the onboard cinema, I thought it was brilliant, though I think Nick was less impressed; then had a day sightseeing in Bruges, beautiful at this time of year.

And now it’s back to reality; there’s still loads of work to do and we’re no less tired than we were before we left. Perhaps we need a holiday!

Après un été très occupé, on était tellement fatigué qu’on a décidé aller à Harrogate récemment, voir la nouvelle maison de notre fille, rejoindre avec de la famille et des amis qu’on n’a pas vu depuis des années et aussi on espérait de se reposer.

On a passé un très agréable séjour; un jour à York avec notre petite fille; un jour faisant la rando dans les Yorkshire dales; on a fait la fête d’anniversaire de notre plus jeune petite fille; mais entre les visites ici et là-bas, avec la famille et les amis, nos livres sont restés fermé et le repos est resté un rêve.

En rentrant nous sommes allés à Bruges où on était des touristes pour la journée, c’était très beau. Mais maintenant on est même plus fatigué qu’avant et on a toujours besoin des vacances!