I skipped a week away from Charlie

I have had a full week off Charlie. This was forced due to a holiday in Brittany France.

I am always a little worried about these holiday in terms of my training. I had just reached a new level and started the next period for me to disappear to France with no training and a bit of indulgence from the odd vino calapso, gin and tonic and Jack Daniels fire never mind the abundance of fresh bread and Brittany butter !

I am typing this whilst on the ferry from Guernsey to Poole watching the sun disappear below the horizon. Ok you got me I was making it up as its cloudy as we are in the middle of the English Channel. Just sounded so much nicer and in fact romantic.

Jo my Kidney Donor wife has previously suffered from sea sickness so this time she is prepared with bands and tablets and I must say on the way out and so far back she has been absolutely fine. In-fact she has just eaten her last Croque Monsieur and glass of white wine for a few months.

Going back to cycling, doing nothing for a week is a little problematic to my mind as no doubt it will take at least a week to get back to the point I was at before leaving the UK. That technically puts me somewhat backwards in my fitness plan for my challenge of London to Paris.

I have taken it easy in France this time, we decided we would do a little bit of non-essential painting to the window shutters.

They were a brown varnished colour and we decided we would paint them a shade of Grey. So upon arrival the preparation began using the following method.

Day 1 – Jet washing the shutters to get rid of any loose varnish and algae which had built up over a few years.

Day 1 —  Sanding all the old vanish off that was remaining to get it down to clean ready to go timber.

Day 2 — getting two coats of preservative and a few repairs of rotten tongue and groove timber.

Day 3 – 1st coat of under coat

Day 4 – 2nd coat of under coat

Day 5 – 1st coat of gloss

Day 6 – 2nd Coat of gloss

Then at the end of the day re-hanging the shutters and re-greasing the hinges

All done, as you can tell I don’t like to lounge around for any amount of time, I am as bad as my wife Jo.

Hold on just got a piece of Dairy milk popping candy coming my way followed by a couple of units of insulin………

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Moving on during all this fun I saw some amazing night-time sights. I witnessed the best show on earth, it is amazing what you can see with just the naked eye. The longer you stop watching the more you can see. I am no expert star-gazer, but I can sit there all night watching stars, planets and the odd weather satellite nipping across the sky.

Friday night was my Birthday (we pretended as my real birthday is in February and if its good enough for the Queen to have two then its good enough for me).

Jo had booked us in a hotel in St Malo and a restaurant called L’Absinthe. OMG we had what I would say is the best dinner in France. It was a French restaurant with excellent service, good food and good wine. As you would expect we did not leave stuffed (typical English to want to be stuffed), but the food and service were at its highest. If only some of the local restaurants near us could follow something similar like this.

The food had plenty of individual flavours and texture, some of the “fluffy” bits were just tongue tingling. It just amazing what can be done when you know how !

If you are ever in St Malo make sure you get yourself booked in for dinner, you will not be disappointed.

Thank you Jo for my Birthday treat.

On our way back, we called into Jersey for a few hours, topped up our stomachs with a fantastic breakfast at Gorey Pier, called at St Brelade bay for a walk and then back on the trimaran ferry to Poole and drive back to Sheffield.

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Al I have to do is get my act together and undo all these nasty things I have eaten and get on “mi bike”.

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