St Ybard 2012/3

It’s been a strange last 24 hours back at the ranch. The blokes I’m with definitely watch too much TV. I woke to an argument about whether to boil the kippers for breakfast in the bag or out of the bag or in the microwave, interspersed with bits about how long you should prepare the salad before you eat it (with Worcester sauce on for God’s sake), the slimming programme, the particulars of various of Denis’s bodily functions (in too much detail) and sexual fantasies about the girls presenting the weather forecasts! And it was raining so it didn’t look as though there’d be any bike riding done that day. The kippers were marvellous with lashings of pepper on them, mugs of strong hot tea and finished off with crisp brown toast topped with lime marmalade. The labour was spread around, Trevor caulked in the roof, Norman gardened in the garden, Mick continued the transcription of the club archive DVDs, Denbo was building the bonfire and Martin was cleaning the gates. All waiting for the Tour stage to Foix to come on Tele. Then Trev came downstairs to announce that something had gone wrong with his left eye. It had been bad for 4 days but was now much worse and no, he hadn’t got plaster in it. So there we were all toiling up the Col de Portel on a Sunday afternoon when three of us had to divert to the University Hospital in Limoges for an emergency opthalmology consultation. That apparently presents no difficulty for the French health services and we were allowed to have the TV on in the waiting room to see the final kms of the stage. Which did present us with some diffficulty as some idiots had spread carpet tacks on the route and we could not work out what had gone on. Anyway all was well, everyone accepted the set-back and got on with the job in hand including the young doctor who had been called out to gaze intently into Trevor’s eyes through an array of high powered equipment. “It’s not grave” he concluded, “It (a retinal schisis) happens in old men like you!” and he did look very surprised when Trev asked him could he carry on riding his bike – but at least he didn’t laugh. So it was back to the ranch for Denbo’s sausage, mash, cabbage and carrots and the highlights on TV which explained the afternoon’s strange happenings – and Team Sky still in control. Then it was Warrender until just before midnight and so to bed. The guys I’m with watch too much Tele. Mick has found his fly gun so is out small-game hunting most of the time. This morning we awoke to bright sunshine so the all-stars are out on the treaders for a proper ride at last. Denbo and Mick tried a short ride which turned out even shorter with numerous stops as Mick was in trouble right from the start. He might give up the bike and take up Blog writing!

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