All in all, I had somewhat of a frustrating day yesterday. First off, the weather was fantastic and the road was definitely calling. But Monday’s a rest day on my training programme and I’ve learnt to appreciate that rest is as important as training. It’s also the day I set aside to deal with administration and I skip it at my peril.
The morning passed reasonably well. I had sorted, analyzed and prepared everything to drop off at my accountants for the 4th quarter and, all important, year end. So far so good, I rewarded myself with a coffee and a quick read of L’Equipe.
When I got back home I discovered the postman had left a gi-normous box at the front door. I say postman, it must have been postmen. It was my delivery from Amazon with numerous cookery books: all very heavy tomes. Of course, I wanted to tear open the box and dive in. I resisted temptation. Postman Pat had also left me a parcel of chocolates: a belated Xmas/birthday present from my German friend who lives in the UK. It was lots of little squares of chocolate, lots of different delicious flavours, with which to give myself a little reward, from time to time. Ok, so there’s no chocolate allowed on the regime but if I don’t put it in my food diary, she’s not going to know, is she?
I packed my briefcase and headed into Nice. One of the club members kindly prints the brochures for the Kivilev, for free. I had everything I needed, or so I’d been assured at last week’s meeting of the Kivilev Committee. It was just a case of making the changes to last year’s brochure and rolling the printing presses.
I was planning a wee overhaul of the typefaces. My predecessor had used seventeen different ones, in a variety of sizes and colours. He’s a bit like a kid let loose in a sweetie shop, he doesn’t know when to stop. Since I’m of the “Less is More” school, I planned to unify the fonts and colours to make the brochure less of an eyesore.
I finally found the printers but couldn’t find a parking spot, even with the Smart. Eventually, I parked about 500m away and walked over. The reception was unmanned but there was a lady shuffling papers in the room behind. She studiously ignored me. Obviously, not the receptionist who had gone AWOL. Ok, I get it she was trying to make a point. I rang my clubmate to let him know I was in reception and he said he’d be down in a (French) minute.
Because I’d seemingly waited patiently, the paper shuffler came out of the office to ask me what I wanted. I explained that I had a meeting with my clubmate. She informed me that he wasn’t there. Furthermore, she’d not seen him for some time. Unperturbed, I replied that I’d spoken to him and he’d be here soon and so he was.
We went upstairs where he introduced me to one of his colleagues who was going to assist me. I gave them the key with the new documents and started to explain about the changes. They enquired where was the “Master Document”? They didn’t have it, it had been retained by my predecessor. We tried to contact him but he was playing boules and couldn’t be disturbed. I left him a pithy message on his mobile phone.
In the event that the “Master Document” couldn’t be located, we hatched Plan B. I left and promised to return later in the week, either with the MD or Plan B completed. I had assumed that I’d be at the printers until 7pm. I was planning to have dinner in Nice and then pop along to the F.S.G.T. meeting to pick up some licences. My plans had now been scuppered. I returned home: 300 minutes of my precious time having seemingly been wasted. I was not a happy bunny.
I worked all afternoon on plan B, casting lingering glances at the box of goodies: the books not the chocolate. I then returned to Nice to find the HQ of F.S.G.T. one of the three federations to which the cycling club belongs and the main organiser of races. Again, a parking place was hard to come by so I left it in a cycle lane.
I had just hoped to slip in, pick up the licences, pay and leave. I should have known better. These are meetings to be relished, spun out and endured. Everyone was seated around an enormous U-shaped table. On the one side were guys with the physiques of tight-head props, on the other the skinny cyclists. Clubs without a representative were named and shamed. I was easily identified as the “woman who makes delicious cakes” and, I could tell, they were most disappointed that I’d not bought any with me. Note to myself to remember to take some with me next time.
Despite the lack of cake, they kindly dispensed with my club’s business first so that I could go and retrieve the car. I then drove over the other side of Nice to the restaurant of one of the members where I had promised to drop off his licence so that he could race this week end. The restaurant was closed. Fortunately, I had his mobile number. I called and left (another) pithy message. I returned to the car and prepared to drive off.
He rang me back and, as he lived opposite the restaurant, popped down to retrieve his licence. I drove home, opened both boxes of goodies and indulged. They were delicious.