Is this an age thing?

5 December 2010

It was only yesterday, when I was out for the first time on the bike since the beginning of the week, that I realized that I seem to be changing my habits and preferences. Let me explain… We still have some snow, and only the major roads are completely cleared. Smaller roads, a lot of pavements and cycle paths are very dangerous at present, because the snow has thawed superficially and then frozen over during the night. It’s a slippery slope into town! And while I thought ‘dangerous!’ and pushed my bike, there were numerous people on their bikes just zooming past. I was thinking thoughts such as “How are they going to stop if they need to? How are they going to keep control of the bike if there is a really slushy stretch of pavement?” I was thinking broken wrists and sore hips…. and kept on pushing my bike until the surface looked safe and non-slippery. Now I ask you: Isn’t this attitude and safety consciousness pretty middle-aged? I hate this term, but maybe, just maybe I have arrived there now and I am turning more and more conservative and less risk seeking? But maybe I can also frame this more positively and say that I am finally arriving at a point where I enjoy the good things in life? Because along with this new safety-conscious attitude there has grown another preference… and this I would have found absolutely SHOCKING in my 20s! I have only recently started to appreciate it when men hold the door open for me, pay for the coffee we’ve had (I am thinking here about my tandem partner, he is always very polite and a young guy held the door open for me at the post office AND let me join the long queue in front of him. Ah, I was smitten….), and are generally just very gentleman-like. Does this make me old??? I thought about it, and I have come to the conclusion that this is not so. It’s just that I have probably by now completely shed my 1980’s view that women have to manage life themselves under all circumstances (which includes fixing things like, ehm, toilets? 🙂  ) , to dress and behave like guys. Maybe it’s also that I read too many books by Rita Mae Brown and Simone de Beauvoir during my early twenties, but I think I can safely say that I harnessed that influence now :).  So maybe this is not an age thing, but rather a matter of a broader horizon. That sounds much better, doesn’t it? Thanks for listening, it’s been therapeutic…! Now back to what’s happening in the four walls of our appartement. I have been in the kitchen again on a pre-Christmas food production mission. It  was mince pies again, as our children don’t seem to get enough of them. Only this time, I have produced the mince meat myself. I decided that it is too expensive to buy in Lyon, so I gave a vegetarian recipe from the BBC a go. Obviously, I don’t just copy recipes. I made a few modifications and I can now safely say that I will not buy ready-made mince meat again. It is easy to make, the spices you mix in smell wonderful, it is much cheaper and, above all, the taste is FANTASTIC.

Hoorah, we're no more reliant on this (also very yummy) product...

... because this is the real thing and it is so much nicer. I have so much now I will be making mince pies until February 🙂

I have just left the kitchen to blog after producing another 31 mince pies. The children want to take some to their English classes in school, so I will be having a little mince pie production line going until Christmas, I think.

Anyway, after all these strenuous activities, one might be in need for a bit of relaxation to better manage the pre-Christmas stress. Today Rolf and I detected THE place to go in Lyon for this kind of requirement:

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