As I embark on week two of my adventures travelling through France on a (now rather squeaky) bicycle called Claude, I have come to realise that everything here changes within moments.

The weather, the terrain, the incline of a track and energy levels and of course this all impacts upon ones mood.

One minute all is well and the weather is good, the sun is shining and there’s a light breeze. This can change before I have time to say, “Which pannier is my darn fleece in?” and before I know it, it’s not a fleece that’s needed, it’s an umbrella, Wellington boots and an oilskin waterproof all-in-one, complete with hat. Although I do sometimes smile to myself as I remember the Colonel telling me how many moons ago in training, they were all barked at with a, “Skin’s waterproof Sir!” Very true and sometimes quite a useful reminder.

The track is peaceful, cycling through the pine forests but lose focus and you lose your way. Within moments the track turns to a road with cars racing past and lorries roaring within a couple of feet and the confidence can be knocked within seconds.

As for getting injured, I’ve got more bruises and scrapes on my legs than when I used to muck about with horses!

And yet, it passes, and it passes quickly. Yes I know I harp on rather irritatingly about the old Persian saying This Too Shall Pass but it’s very true. It does pass, one solves the problem and moves on. No harm done and a little more wisdom gained. Character building one could say.

And as for the good times, the happy moments? Well they are held onto, treasured and clutched close to the heart. Nothing can take them away. Anything from a peach being given as un cadeau from a small French boy to three men saying, “Madame, we commend you” and solemnly and sincerely giving me a round of applause. Frankly I found myself ridiculously moved by both of these moments, and there have been many many more. It’s not really a big deal this cycling trip, (I’m no explorer or great adventurer!) unless perhaps you’re like me, slightly unhinged with a point to prove to nobody else but yourself and a desire to dig deep and find that wonderful quality that for me, was lost for a long time, courage.

Katie x

Have you ever lost your courage, and did you find it again? How?

31 thoughts on “LIVING IN THE MOMENT …”

  1. There is nobody else to prove anything to except you. There is no-one that matters to you more than you. I get into all sorts of unwitting debates when I pronounce my theory that we must at all times be selfish – look after self, relish self, be true to self and if necessary prove to self that we can, we can if we will, we will. Selfish is such a negative word but we do have to do things just for our one true self and you are doing just that. The three old men are absolutely right – you should be commended. It is not a tiny thing you are doing its a great big thing requiring tenacity and focus and willpower and all the things that Betty and her buddies who stalk others want you to lose sight of. So keep pedalling even though Claude is feeling a little ragged round the edges, savour those moments pêchés au pêche and be very very proud of self. Chapeau ma belle amie, tu es vraiment superb!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh thank you – you’re such an inspiration with your kind words. I shall give Claude a little oil tomorrow and prepare for the wet weather that is threatening La Rochelle and battle on. It’s such a rollercoaster of an adventure, and incredible on so many levels. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement my very dear friend. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Katie. I found it just like you by getting out of my comfort zone/environment and pushing myself beyond belief. Pushing through blood, sweat, tears,and fears to the other side. And like you said love is right there cheering us on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am full of admiration. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, its your own personal sense of achievement that counts. Many people will admire you for it. But I think Claude deserves a little oil – you must look after your trusty steed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right – I shall give him a bit of care. A bit of a clean and some oil … although as I type it is very early in the morning, it’s still dark and the rain has just started – is that the same as a clean?!


  4. Hi Katie,
    You say it’s not a big deal, but it’s a huge accomplishment. Many people would have long ago decided that the whole idea was just too much (I count myself in that number). This adventure is proving so much to you about yourself, to undertake it with a friend or group of like minded people would be hard enough. To do it on your own is monumental!
    You are awesome, enjoy every moment and come back stronger, both mentally and physically.
    Karen xx ❤


  5. Hey lady!! You are freaking AWESOME and I am absolutely overcome with admiration for you, what an amazing – and BRAVE! – adventure and what an achievement. And thank you for taking us with you on your journey. Absolutely brilliant! Anna xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thanks Anna … I do feel as confident as when I travelled to Thailand twenty years ago on my own … in fact much more so. It’s been absolutely enlightening this trip about how tough our bodies actually are and how mentally strong we can be when there is no option. Thanks so much for your wonderful support! Xx


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