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.