Friday, 21 November 2014

Bye Bye Beautiful Beach

That's it.  I return to Blighty today and get my boy back. My time as a Breton coastal inhabitant has gone way quicker than I ever could have imagined a week on my own. It's been absolutely superb and will definitely be a way that I'll recharge my batteries in the future.  Maybe without an essay looming over me it will be even more restful.  There's some beachcombed shells in my jacket pocket that I'll keep there for a few weeks to extend those holiday feelings.

I'll set off in a few hours time after a final stroll along the sand, say goodbye to my friend, the egret if he's there,  and head for the supermarket at St Pol de Leon.  I've promised Louis that I'll do a weekly shop there so the fridge will be full of all his favourite continental food and drink - fish soup, religieuses, scallop pate, dinosaur shaped chocolate biscuits,  some interesting cheese and a couple of bottles of that lovely local vanilla tinged Breizh cola that we're both rather partial to.

I'll get a puncture repair kit there as well as the bike has developed a flat tyre that  refuses to stay up for the duration of a ride even after the type of  good hard pump that been doing the trick for the last few months.   Sometime over the weekend I'll work out how to use those little patches, the sandpaper and glue. And there's chalk in the tin I think as well.  I'm blowed if I know what's that for.  Playing hangman or noughts and crosses on the pavement whilst you get the nearest passing blokey to fix your bike I reckon! Not sure how I've managed to squirm out of this for a lifetime of cycling. There's was always a really grumpy Dad or husband around making snidey comments about how I should really learn to do it myself.   Now seems to be the time.  Then again it might be a job  I could delegate to the little man.  I'm sure he's nearly old enough to take on  Mama's cycle maintenance mantle.  He's got to do something to earn all those treats after all.

This afternoon I'll get the ferry for the six hour trip back to Plymouth.  The routine on board is very familiar as I do it three or four times a year.  I'll have a drink and a meal in the restaurant, catch a movie if there's one that takes my fancy, have a little snooze in my cabin, relish a shower that doesn't involve an outside dash and have a mooch around the shops.  There's nothing I want to buy but, like the staff member, I saw on the way out availing herself of a perk of the job that I'd like myself, I'll pop into the perfume section and  have a free squirt.  It'll be a different Chanel to the one I'm using at the moment.  I reckon that, at the current time, 'Chance' seems to be the most apt!

7 comments:

  1. You sound very relaxed! Holiday sounds lovely.

    Maybe the chalk is to mark where the puncture is on the tyre? I confess at 31 I've never learned either..

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  2. I remember my Dad blowing up the inner tube and immersing it in a bowl of water to find where the bubbles came from! Safe journey.

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  3. I never learnt either but then I'm the dame who freecycled her bike last year as I finally realised that I would prefer to walk these days- the roads are not very safe here these days. Let us know if you add this to your skill set!
    Arilx

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  4. Have been told on Facebook that Louis learnt to mend a puncture at Beavers. That would have made him about seven. Knew there were vital bits and pieces missing from a 1970s Essex education x

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  5. Take the tube out and pump it up, you may be able to find the hole by holding the tube close to your face (this is what cyclists have to do when caught by the side of the road!), the advantage is the tube will stay dry and patch will stick better. When you have found the hole, sandpaper the area lightly and apply a thin slick of the glue, slightly larger than the area of the patch. After about 2 minutes, the glue will be touch dry. Peel the backing off the patch and press it onto the glue. Using the sandpaper again, grate a little of the chalk over the area, so that any excess glue will not stick to your tyre! Before replacing, allow to dry thoroughly (I have had to stuff it back in immediately and it still works!) and feel all round the inside of your tyre, especially in the area of the puncture. Remove any bits of glass, flints or thorns (how I hate thorns and the smell of hedgecuttings!) Could also be that after long use, the edge of the rim tape may have worn through your inner tube, making it porous; in which case you will need a new rim tape and new inner tube. The other possible cause is the end of a spoke which hasn't been filed flush with the inside of the rim, so have a quick check for any which might be more obvious through the rim tape and file it down a bit before replacing your tube. If you have a choice of patches, the ones with feathered edges are easier to use than the bits of rubber with hard edges (like bits of inner tube). I can do it...so can you!

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  6. Very comprehensive Charlotte. Thanks! Still like the lazy bonez solution of someone doing it for me. xxx

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  7. So do I...my husband always does them now! (But it's good to know, just in case!)

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