Snowed under and attempting to dig myself out

I know, few tweets and no blogs. What have I been up to? It’s a good question and one I’m now well equipped to answer having looked back over my completed tasks of the past week. First up, and most important, after the deluge, I have been trying to maximise my time in the saddle. The weather is slowly getting colder, down to 15/16 degrees at midday, and I don’t want to waste a moment before it becomes too cold to climb the hills. I love this time of year when the leaves turn, the sky is a brilliant blue, the Xmas decorations are being put up in all the towns and villages, you can smell wood burning in the air from bonfires and chimneys as we rush headlong towards the festive season.

Secondly, my beloved, the original Mr High Maintenance, has been at home for ten days and it’s been pretty full on and exhausting. Fortunately he left Tuesday evening and I have a few days of respite, before his return on late Saturday evening. He creates an incredible amount of work when he’s home in addition to the cooking, cleaning and ironing. I love having him at home but I love it more when he leaves.

Thirdly, when you’re not in gainful full-time employment, everyone assumes (wrongly) that you’ve time on your hands. Running the cycling club, almost single handedly at the moment, is absorbing a huge amount of time and I realise that I’m doing the work that was previously undertaken by 5 retirees. I spent whole swathes of yesterday redrafting and correcting correspondence to be sent out in the New Year in respect of the Kivilev. I’m trying to get as much ready as possible in advance as I’ll be busy in mid-December preparing the accounts and all the associated paperwork for the AGM in early January.

M Le President bought a second hand laser printer in April but forgot to acquire the lead which connected it to the club PC and the relevant software. It’s been a useful photocopier but I need to make use of its scanning capabilities since my own printer will only scan sporadically. I have been nagging him for months to get the lead. Finally, on Tuesday he handed me the instruction booklet and suggested I deal with it. Tempted though I was to throw it back in his face, I realised that if I wanted the job done, the only person I could count on was moi. Six telephone calls to various offices of the manufacturer, who kept giving me another number to call, usually after I’d been on the line for at least 10 minutes pressing various buttons, and bingo I’ve found someone who can supply the lead tomorrow. Break out the bunting!

I have to come up with a design for the club Xmas card. Generally, I use the current club photo of all the members but we didn’t have one taken this year. So, I’ve decided to use one of the old black and white photos from when the club was established over 40 years ago. I’ll use another one from the same era for the invitations to the AGM and “Galettes des Rois”. Yes, in the interests of economy (money and time) we’re combining the two.

Our pointage at the week end was a success, with over 530 riders showing up to enjoy my cakes. It didn’t go unnoticed that some teams made two visits to the feedzone while certain riders tarried at the table for over 30 minutes. As usual, I collected plenty of compliments but, sadly this time, no marriage proposals.  I tried out a few new recipes which were universally hailed and will be added to the club repertoire. I’m hoping M le President can persuade someone else to do the shopping and preparation for the Telethon in early December. I have dinner guests that week end and will be rustling up something truly delicious in my kitchen.

I’ve also been spending a significant amount of time on planning my English classes. I try as much as possible to dovetail with their school syllabuses so that my teaching compliments what they’re learning at school. It takes time setting up the various exercises as I try to use examples based around their interests and use games and role-playing as reinforcements.

After my recent grand clear out I have been looking for some additions to my wardrobe. This is proving more difficult than anticipated. All the trousers this year seem to have uber-slim legs. I’ve picked up several pairs in my size where frankly I’d have trouble getting my arms into them, let alone my legs. I am not overly fond of shopping. If I find something I like and it fits well, I’ll buy it in a number of colours – problem solved. So far I haven’t found any trousers which fulfill those requirements. I may have to do a spot of shopping on my forthcoming trip to New York.

I have made no mention of shopping for Xmas presents and that’s because I have absolutely none to buy, no not even one for my beloved. Among family and friends we have decided to do away with Xmas (and birthday) presents. Instead, I have reserved the right to buy presents as and when an appropriate occasion occurs or if I see something I think a particular person would enjoy. This absolves everybody from the pressure of wondering what on earth to get and means I will no longer hear those dreaded words “I’ve bought you a present” from my beloved.

There’s a large number of tasks which just have to be completed before I leave next Wednesday for a week’s trip part business, part pleasure, to Paris and New York. These are largely administrative matters for the company. Happily, these are now well in hand. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the housework and ironing. Ah well, there’s always tomorrow.

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