Surprisingly popular

Yesterday’s presentation of the club’s national junior and espoir teams passed  without a hitch. I like to think that this was entirely due to the amount of forward planning and preparation. All the club’s sponsors were in attendance along with the local dignitaries and the teams’ “Godfather”. We chose a locally based rider with an impressive palmares and an exemplary work ethic which we hope will rub-off on our youngsters who, not unnaturally, are thrilled to enjoy the patronage of a Grand Tour and Classics winner.

Sadly, the designated club photographer, my beloved, was marooned in London by the extreme weather conditions. Another club member kindly took some photographs for me but I cannot extract them until my beloved returns. At the moment, I’m not sure when that might be: hopefully, prior to Christmas. So, for the time being, here’s our first newspaper report featuring a photograph of M Le President and the Team’s Godfather holding a maillot jaune from this year’s Tour de France. Obviously, we’re hoping that one day, one of our riders might grace this jersey.

The Teams' Godfather and M Le President

The afternoon tea was well received and everyone was most appreciative of my modest efforts, fondly imagining I had spent hours in the kitchen. Most fail to understand that it takes pretty much the same time to prepare tea for 5 as it does for 50, plus, I love cooking. There’s nothing nicer than the fug of home baking permeating the apartment.

As anticipated, a number of the young riders did inhale their bodyweights in cookies and cake, others showed more restraint, including those in attendance from the professional peloton. But I did spot Alex enjoying a piece of fruit cake. I should have enquired whether Astana would need an additional chef for next year’s Tour.

We did not thankfully run out of food, although they did eat my edible table decorations! Interestingly, the egg mayonnaise sandwiches fell on stoney ground. The ham ones proved to be the most popular while there was about a third left of both the herbed cream cheese and the smoked salmon ones. I took these along to the nearest shelter for the homeless where they were all gratefully received.  I also garnered brownie points with the Domaine’s duck population as I fed them the crusts.

On the cake front, the chocolate cookies and brownies proved as popular as the fruit and lemon cakes: the coconut macaroons, less so. However, these will keep and be enjoyed at club night this Tuesday and at my English class on Wednesday. 

Although the forecast was for rain today, and it was indeed overcast, the rain stayed away and it was warmer than it had been for the last few days. I enjoyed pottering over to Menton for the pointage, taking in all the Xmas lights and festivities along the route and exchanging seasonal good wishes with all the cyclist whose paths I crossed. Imbued with the spirit of the season, I returned home, slipped into my jimjams and settled down with the Sunday newspapers – bliss.

Postscript: In the absence of any positive news from BA ,and unable to get a seat on Eurostar  before Wednesday, my beloved has taken affirmative action. He took a train to Dover and hopped on a ferry to Calais, from where he’ll take a train to Paris via Lille. He has an overnight booked in Paris, close to the Gare de Lyon, and will leave tomorrow morning on the TGV to Nice, via Marseille. If all goes to plan, he’ll be at Antibes station by 14:15 tomorrow. Thank heavens for 3G+.

Postpostscript: Just had a text from my beloved, he’s due to arrive 2 minutes early into Antibes. Yes, despite Northern France and Paris receiving just as much snow as southern England, the French have managed to keep everything moving as per timetable.

Yet another Postscript: Further newspaper article!

Is there a future Tour winner here?