Closing in on D-day

The countdown to Saturday and La Laurentine Andrei Kivilev has started. I’m slowly ticking off all the things to do on my list. It’s another lovely morning and I’m going to ride over to my appointment with my nutritionist. The weight is continuing to disappear, more slowly than I might like, but what’s important is that both my weight and body fat percentages keep heading south. The other week, my cycling coach said he could see the weight loss in my face. At my age, this was not good news. I need that bit of fat to plump out the wrinkles laughter lines and resist the tug of gravity. Where did I put the address of that plastic surgeon? My rings keep sliding off, so I know my fingers are also getting thinner. No, I jest, I can tell from my clothes (the only reliable test) that I’m losing weight all over.

It takes me 3 hours to ride to my nutritionist’s office and back, for a 30 minute consultation. I’ll then be off hunting for large quantities of garden twine. We use it to fix the numbers to the bike frames. Each bike needs 2 x 20cm = 40cm. We’re anticipating 500 riders (max) so I need 200m of twine. I’ve been able to find it in 10m lengths, but that works out rather expensive, hence I’m off to a couple of the larger garden centres. I also need some more plants for my balcony tart-up, thereby killing two birds with one stone. Next on my crowded agenda is a meeting with the company who’s responsible for the Kivilev cyclosportive timing and on-line inscriptions. I have a number of queries and have to collect the frame numbers to stuff into my pre-prepared envelopes along with discount voucher, twine, tombola ticket, message from the club about heeding the regulations and a few bits of publicity.

After my meeting, I’m calling in at the florist to confirm our order: bouquets for the winners of each category, a larger bouquet for Kivilev’s widow and a wreath to lay on his grave in Carros. It’ll then be time for our usual Tuesday get together down at the club where we can iron out any outstanding issues ahead of Thursday afternoon’s meeting when we’ll be preparing the goodie bags for all of the entrants. Hopefully, I’ll get back home in time to watch the highlights of today’s time-trial on the television during which I’ll be making another two of my (in)famous pain d’epice and some brownies for my Wednesday English class. Actually, I’ll make two trays. Another one for the volunteers to enjoy on Thursday. Got to keep their strength up, it’ll be a long and tiring few days! One of my pupils father’s asked me whether the boys came for the English tuition or the goodies. I told him it was neither, they come because they enjoy themselves. I know because they told me so.

This Wednesday will be our last class together before summer recess. Although they don’t break up from school until the end of June, I’m away for the next three consecutive Wednesdays. However, I have set up project books for the two younger ones to complete during the month of June which will be a revision of everything we’ve learned over the three terms. My older pupils have their first BAC exams at the end of June and can use the additional revision time.

I have calculated that with a bit of careful planning, and continued fine weather, I might be able to squeeze in a quick ride tomorrow. Thereafter, it’ll be the home trainer in between finishing off the cakes for Saturday’s participants and preparing the desserts for Saturday evening’s BBQ. I’m also preparing a couple of desserts for Friday. Last year M le President ordered pizzas which took 2 hours to deliver. It would have been quicker if I’d gone home and made them from scratch. They’d have tasted a lot  better too. Remembering that old but very true adage, an army marches on its stomach, I’ll be preparing a few things for Friday’s lunch down at the departure village.

I have a slight logistical issue. On Saturday morning, bright and early, I’ll have to load up the car with all the cakes and desserts, plus my beloved who’s doing a “Graham Watson” on the back of a motor bike. There’s not enough room for everything and everyone. So, I’m going to take the desserts for Saturday evenings BBQ down to my sister’s flat in St Laurent du Var and pop them in the fridge on Friday evening. After proceedings on Saturday, I can go round and pop the chocolate bread and butter pudding into the oven to cook while I dress the pavlovas which may yet end up as Eaton Mess, I’m still weighing up the pros and cons.

Postscript: Huge amount of traffic in Cannes, particularly lorries, as they dismantle the paraphenalia of the film festival. The glitterati have returned to their luxury yachts and provencal estates only to reappear at this week end’s Monaco Grand Prix. I did leave some brochures for the Kivilev at the Cannes tourist office but none of those bike loving stars appears to have signed up. Maybe on Saturday?