Well, time has now flown past, the internet address is now formally linked to these pages and it is definitely time to put pen to paper again. Am currently two weeks before the end of current job with three weeks of overtime time after that, so the end is nigh, it still feels like the right decision but I have a slightly empty feeling in the pit of my stomach and feel rather sad about not seeing many people at work any time soon. I really like a lot of people at the hospital I currently work in, we´ve had many experiences, both good and difficult, over the last eight years and many work relationships have a very friendly feel, I shall miss a lot of them with few exceptions.
So what´s the plan? I have decided to take two weeks of the three out, to put my camping stuff and minimal things on the motorbike and see how far I get. It will be mid-September by the time I leave, I shall head for the Pyrenees (have always wanted to go there but not managed it yet) and then play it from there by ear. Thus I have been thinking about actually making a proper packing list as have been a dreadful “pack in last ten minutes and leave” type of person and was often irritated by myself as had forgotten things like a towel or the gas stove or a corkscrew in the past which are small but irksome things to leave behind. I have also done more route planning and reading than ever before, the route itself I don´t like to plan entirely as I like to leave some room for eventualities and surprises but have bought a guide book for the “Midi-Pyrenee” AND actually read most of it, it´s a fascinating area with a long history and plenty of interesting places to see, both natural and historical. Apart from Lourdes there are two other well-known pilgrimage sites (Rocamadour and Conques), the way of St. James starts there, the Pyrenees themselves of course and one small place called Beaudean. Why Beaudean you might well think, well I found Beaudean or Beudian via the Wikipedia article of the same name, a small village of approximately 400 people at the base of the mountains. The most famous “son” of the village was Dominique Jean Larrey (wiki link) , who became Napoleon´s personal physician and is known as one of the founders of modern traumatology and is credited with, amongst other things, the concept of triage. For his boundless devotion to the injured of Napoleon´s armies he was almost worshipped by the soldiers and was widely respected otherwise, I´ve always found him fascinating as a historical figure and tried to include him amongst some others when doing student teaching (making history of medicine great again!). I would like to spend some time in Beaudean and muse about my time in trauma. I´ve also made contact with various old friends and arranged to meet-up with two of them, one in the Pyrenees somewhere (he is hoping to come over from the balearic islands with an ancient land rover so the meet-up could be anywhere en route) and an old friend from England who I shall visit on the way back in Provence at the end.
I was wondering whether to post my camping lists and route plans here, well, why not? Oh yes, I was also going to try to set up a weather and info page for motorcyclists or cyclists ie those who get wet when it rains, I shall hunt around for some useful wordpress plugins and try to get them set up and working.