One from the Vaults: Handed over and out

Last week I talked about some of the trials and tribulations of being the Cycling Club Secretary and Treasurer. This week, I’ve resuscitated a post about my handover of duties to the new management team after my three years in the role ( 2010 – 2013).

I popped into the club yesterday evening to complete my three-stage handover to the new Club Secretary and her adjoint – why did I not have one of these? As I entered, the pair of them along with the new M Le President, were gazing uncomprehendingly at the club computer. They told me it didn’t work. I switched it on and “Lo and Behold”, it functioned. Wonders will never cease.  They then asked me how the  large printer next to the computer worked. This is a bit of a shaggy dog story, so bear with me.

Some years ago, having discussed the possibility of acquiring a computer for the clubhouse, M Le President was seduced by an offer in a local supermarket. He bought the computer without authorisation from the rest of the management team. The computer runs on its own slightly compatible Microsoft-like software. M Le President acquired the large professional printer in a similar fashion ie without authorisation, though this time from a bankruptcy sale.

At this point I should perhaps remind you that M Le President was Head Honcho at the local fire station, and used to having his own way, but technology wasn’t one of his competencies! Sadly he failed to acquire the all important lead linking the printer to the computer which I finally managed to track down some 18 months later. At the same time I learnt we needed a Microsoft operating system on the computer in order to use the printer. Microsoft doesn’t and cannot run on this particular computer. Not a problem as I just used to attach my laptop to it to run off the printing.

Yes, a classic example of non-conjoined thinking! The new secretarial combo looked aghast, clearly they’d anticipated being able to use the club’s facilities to carry out their new roles.

They wanted to know what I had used. I gently explained that I made use of my own laptop for the club’s business. The new M Le President demanded to know what had happened to the technology acquired by our predecessors who had run the club for 10 years prior to us. I explained that I had absolutely no idea but I could confirm that anything and everything we had acquired was in the clubhouse and available for everyone to use.

Luckily we had a licence renewal so I was able to show them once more the steps and paperwork to record the transaction. I had left the new Secretary a couple of envelopes but explained they would need to acquire some stationery as again the old management team had used their own supplies for the benefit of the club.

I then advised that there were cheques to be paid including the insurance on the club’s cars. The new M Le President didn’t seem to think it mattered that the invoice hadn’t been settled, he had after all a copy of the insurance renewal. Good luck with that if anything happens to the car. I know exactly how much you’re going to receive from the insurers. It’s a big fat zero. But he wouldn’t be told.

My conscious is now clear. I have handed over all the documents, notes, checklists and idiot’s guides but, as they say over here:

on ne peut faire boire un âne qui n’a pas soif.

Cee’s Flower of the Day #11

Because I photographed so many flowers last year, this is yet another challenge I’ve decided to embrace, although only on week days.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Thursday doors #99

I’ve been in Antibes this week, albeit at the port, so it’s only appropriate that my doors this week come from there too.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Dan’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Cee’s Flower of the Day #10

Largely because I photographed so many flowers last year, this is yet another challenge I’ve decided to embrace this year, although only on week days.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Challenge Your Camera: #2 red

Yet another new challenge for me and easier than most because I appear to have taken plenty of photos featuring red stuff.

As a way to brighten our weeks, each week Dr B from Buddha Walks into a Wine Bar is selecting a single theme to point our cameras at or to encourage us to display a few photos from our collections.

If you would like to join Dr B in #challengeyourcamera then here’s what to do:

1. Follow Dr B (link above) to discover the chosen weekly theme.
2. Select or take a few photos related to the week’s theme
3. Post your own photos that week, on any day you like.
4. Include a caption with each photo so we all know what/where it is
5. Include a ping back/link to Dr B’s blog in your post so that he’s notified, can follow you back and can appreciate and comment on your choices.
6. Include the tag #challengeyourcamera

In addition:

1. Dr B will follow you back
2. He will encourage other posters to follow you
3. He will list each blogger in my weekly post

It’ll be fun, why not join in?

Latest on Covid from France

Christmas data, the ‘English variant’ of Covid-19 and the vaccination latest – health experts say that this week is key in determining whether France will need to enact stricter health measures.

Since lockdown in France was lifted on 15 December, health restrictions here in France have remained broadly unchanged. A much-hoped-for reopening of bars, restaurants, gyms and cultural centres later in January has been ruled out and the only extra restriction put in place has been the introduction of an earlier curfew (06:00pm) in 23 of France’s 96 mainland départements, including here on the French Riviera.

But there are two factors that could change this – a post-Christmas spike and the variant anglais, the new and seemingly more contagious variant of the virus first identified in the UK. Health experts have said that key data on both of these things will be arriving on the health minister’s desk this week, influencing what the government does next as we’re still in an extremely unstable epidemiological situation which could turn into exponential growth.

Festive Season

French health officials have been worried about what they call the ‘Thanksgiving effect’ – the big spike in cases seen in the USA after people travelled to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. In France the lockdown was lifted just before Christmas and people were allowed to travel over the holidays, although restrictions including an 8pm curfew remained in place and people were advised to limit private gatherings to six people. Nonetheless, there is concern that increased travel and socialising will lead to a spike in cases.

Statistics from over the holiday period fluctuated with lower reporting on weekends and public holidays and cumulative case numbers reported on several days. Testing saw a big increase in the week before Christmas – three million people were tested in a single week, the highest number of tests done so far – but fell over the holiday period, leading to variations in the positivity rate.

French schools reopened last Monday (4 January), and most people went back to work on the same date so the Health Ministry now has a week’s worth of ‘normal’ data that will establish what, if any, effect Christmas has had on case numbers. Overall, the weekly average for case numbers last week was 15,859 new cases per day, compared to 13,258 the previous week, although this hides big regional variations and an increasingly concerning situation in some parts of eastern France.

The ‘English mutation’

A new and potentially more contagious variant of the Covid-19 virus first identified across the channel is also causing concern across Europe. France has identified several clusters of the mutation, including in Paris, Brittany and a group in Marseille reported to be an extended family.

Laboratories have stepped up genetic sequencing of PCR tests to get a clearer picture of how many cases there are in France and the country’s UK border remains closed to non-essential travel ‘until further notice’.

Anyone entering France from the UK needs a negative Covid test, but there are concerns that the new variant was already spreading in the country before extra testing requirements were introduced.

A study by the National Reference Centre for Respiratory Viruses in Lyon, expected at the beginning of the week, will make it possible to estimate the number of cases in France.

The mutation does not seem to produce more serious symptoms, but is said to be more infectious, potentially leading to more cases and the saturation of health services.

Vaccines

After a widely-criticized sluggish start, France will continue to speed up its vaccination programme. From tomorrow, people aged over 70 will be able to make appointments by phone or online at sante.fr, with appointments starting on 18 January.

The first deliveries of the Moderna vaccine arrived in France on Monday andfrom today will available in clinics in the eastern parts of the country that have been hardest hit by the virus. However, the vaccination programme will not have a direct effect on case numbers over the next few weeks, so will not play a major part in decisions on extra restrictions.

What next?

The French government is holding several meetings this week to analyse the latest data and weigh up its options.

Also expected this week is the latest report from the advisory Scientific Council, dealing with proposed measures over the next three months. An announcement from the PM M Castex is expected towards the end of this week where all options – from closing shops and schools to a reintroduction of lockdown – will be on the table.

I’m making the most of what might be my last week of freedom by going out for a long walk or ride every day, just in case!

Cee’s Flower of the Day #9

Largely because I photographed so many flowers last year, this is yet another challenge I’ve decided to embrace this year, although only on week days.

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers

Trip to Antibes: Part IV

On one of the sunny days between Christmas and New Year, we walked fully around Port Vauban in Antibes. I’m generally not one for yacht porn, but if I were, there are plenty to drool over here. Antibes is a natural harbour in use since before the Roman Empire, the port was fortified by Sébastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban, later Marquis de Vauban, King Louis XIV’s military engineer. It also serves as the home of the Yacht Club d’Antibes and is the largest marina (in terms of total tonnage of the boats and yachts moored there) in the Mediterranean and is home to some of the world’s largest and most lavishly appointed yachts.

It is currently undergoing a massive transformation and redevelopment funded by a joint venture company called Artemis whose members are CCI Nice Côte d’Azur (Chamber of Commerce), Caisse d’Epargne and Caisse des Depots (two savings banks) and which collectively will also manage the redevelopment of Port Vauban over the next 25 years, and nearby Port Gallice (Juan-les-Pins) for the next 15.

The plan is to turn Port Vauban into the Mediterranean yachting capital and to build on the solid reputation of Antibes’ Quai des Milliardaires to provide the highest levels of service for yacht owners and crew. When you see the price of berths here, you can understand why!

The Vauban 21 project will go far beyond simple renovation and improvements to port services. It involves the total restructuing of the marina and the creation of an efficient ecosystem to unite and connect all stakeholders – industry professionals, local businesses and the wider community. In essence, Vauban 21 aims to restore the prestige of Port Vauban within 10 years.

Included in the project are a Yachting Campus to facilitate the very best in crew training and maritime research, and a Yachting Technology Hub in collaboration with Sophia Antipolis (our Sillicon Valley) to foster innovation. The concept is already attracting interest from businesses and associations beyond the project itself.

To promote the yachting industry, there are plans to optimise the economic appeal of Port Vauban and to promote the vision of a modern marina for a modern era, a vibrant community which is also environmentally and socially aware. Port Vauban will be a connected and technologically advanced marina set to hold its position on the world stage.

Unsurprisingly, security is also paramount and, drawing on their extensive experience in managing high-profile events – including G20 in Cannes and the Cannes Film Festival – there are plans to implement strict protocols for risk management and resolution and a programme of fire, pollution and safety drills.

The Port Vauban 21 project has two distinct phases:

  • The upgrading of services, technology, resources and organisation which is already underway.
  • An ambitious €135 million project which started this year to revolutionise the ecosystem and bring Port Vauban fully into 21st century

Developments include the construction of new capitaineries, renovation of the shipyard and maintenance areas, the creation of a Yacht Club with a luxury restaurant, restructuring and expansion of more, much-needed car parking facilities (including a new 600-space underground car park), a landscaped 7km promenade around the port and renovation of the Fort Carré.

For yacht owners, Vauban 21 represents a commitment to providing an exceptional level of service. It also brings recogniton for the many stakeholders who have invested physically and emotionally in a shared vision to put Antibes back on the map. I for one can’t wait to see it continue to unfold.

Cee’s Flower of the Day #8

Another challenge I’ve decided to embrace this year, although only on week days and largely because I took photos of so many flowers last year!

Cee’s challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and colour into our daily lives. Who wouldn’t be in favour of that?

Challenge rules, why not join in?

1.Feel free to post every day or whenever you you feel like it.  You can either post new flower photos or dig back into your archives.

2. Depending on the time of year, you can post any of these types of things for your FOTD.

  • Single flowers
  • Buds
  • Multiple flowers
  • Bouquet
  • Flower fields
  • Wildflowers
  • Tree or bush blossoms
  • Autumn leaves
  • Spring leaves
  • Decorative Cabbage
  • Berries
  • Still life
  • Fake or Silk Flowers