The Royal Wedding

I really enjoyed that. Only the most hardened of cynics would fail to do so, even the republican ones. The whole thing was beautifully done, especially the music in Westminster Abbey and the bit at the end with the classic Aston Martin. Nice touch. It was the perfect background entertainment as I knocked out a couple more chapters; the day off in Luxembourg and then the dreary cycle to Metz. Today I’m cycling to Strasbourg and then down the Rhine towards Colmar and Switzerland…

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  1. I missed it all too. Took a trip over to France for a cycle down to Cassel then back via Graveline (80 miler). Empty roads, very courteous drivers when we did pass any, nice lunch and crap beer on the ferry home. I even missed the replays as I was in Madrid at the weekend!

    • I’m very envious of your jet-setting lifestyle Iain. I just seem to be reliving past adventures and not having any current ones! Cassel will get a mention in the new book btw. This is what I had to say about it;

      From what Alain had told me about our route, I was expecting a day of tortuous ups and downs but it turned out to be more flat. Climbing out of Boulognais country where Alain lived was hard work but after a few kilometres, we started to descend and descend. It never really seemed to stop. When I consulted the map we were actually heading slightly north as well as east; this was a deliberate decision on Alain’s part as he wanted to make sure that we got the opportunity to climb to the top of the hill upon which the small town of Cassel is built.
      Travelling much lighter than me, we occasionally split up from each other, Alain much further ahead although I wasn’t worried as the route was relatively straight forward and I knew we were heading for Cassel. When I arrived, I assumed that Alain had already done so. I also assumed that he had paused here for lunch – it was, after all, about midday and would seem the most appropriate place to get off the bikes and rest for a while. However, it wasn’t immediately apparent where Alain was. I followed the centre ville signs and eventually found myself in a small park at the very top of the town. There was a windmill, a statue of Maréchal Foch on a horse (we were, after all, now in Flanders and the heart of World War I territory), but no Alain. I pushed Reggie around the perimeter of the park but he certainly wasn’t here. I began to wonder if he had just cycled on and was waiting beyond Cassel at some unknown (to me) location. Had I perhaps said something to offend him – my comment about the donkeys earlier in the day? – and as a result he had decided to leave me to my fate in the midst of the French countryside? Was my paso doble more twist than tango and he had waltzed off on his own as a result?
      Pondering what faux pas could have left me in this situation, I gazed out over the spectacular view looking north and back towards the English Channel. Should I continue to Lille or should I see if there is a more appropriate destination that allows me to make progress southward as well as eastward?
      “Ah! Andrew, tu es là ! J’attendais dans la place au centre ville !”
      I wasn’t sure if Alain was annoyed or not. Clearly my logical place to find my travelling companion – at the very top of the town – was a bit different from his in the main square. However, if he was annoyed, he didn’t show it in his actions and produced from his pannier some home-made sandwiches, a couple of bananas and some yoghurts. My goodness, he really was travelling light as that seemed to be the entire contents of the bag!
      We chatted over our lunch and spent a few moments consulting the detailed table d’orientation which told us what we were looking at. It pointed us to Lille, still some 50 kilometres away in the far distance but at least we were half way there.

  2. Royal Wedding! Nobody told me about that one! Missed it. Was out on the bike on very quiet roads, then very busy roads. Weird.
    Still, the missus told me the result when I got in and I should think there will be a replay of the edited highlights on the telly at some point in time.
    God Save The Queen. (We mean it man)

    2,000,000,000 people.
    2 hours viewing each.
    6,500 average life spans.

    And more than anything I wish them happiness together. And I hope, for their sake, that the press let them be.

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