My new Matildas Musings blog book outlines my latest European tandeming adventures!
Excitement reached fever pitch at Matilda’s Rest on Monday when Christmas Day finally arrived! The “old git” – who should really be re-named Santa over the festive period! – made sure everyone had their ‘ho! ho! ho!’ on, whether they wanted to or not!
On Christmas Eve the “old gal” even put on her Christmas jumper to signal she was in the mood for Santa’s arrival! She had whispered to me that I was getting a present or two all for myself so I could hardly contain myself!
And I knew the “old git” had been planning something with my blog as a present for the “old gal” so it was an exciting time! I could hardly sleep and I am sure I heard Santa’s jingle bells as he and Rudolph delivered his presents around rural Perthshire …. presumably in #tandem!
The “old git” was up early on Christmas morning making sure that Santa had arrived – and he certainly delivered … filling the “old gal’s” stockings to overflowing … and he even dropped a few presents in the “old git’s” stockings too! (Yes he does have some …. weird or what!)
Then it was time for my dynamic duo to tear open their presents. The thing the “old git” had been secretly scheming away about was turning all my Musings about our tandeming tour adventures across Europe during September into a beautiful hard-back coffee-table style book.
My Musings of our European trip turned into a glossy coffee table book.
I must say even I was impressed at the what the “old git” had achieved – and you know I’m not easily impressed! … and as for the “old gal” well she thought it was brilliant! There was even a wee tear in her eye as she read the “old git’s” soppy dedication at the front of the book! Awh shucks!
Each page is in glossy colour and the book is essentially a full record of each day of my blog – including all the photos – as they appeared on my on-line blog! A great permanent record of a fabulous trip! And great fun to flick through and bring back those memories of my dynamic duo’s days in my saddles in warm sunshine … oh and not forgetting those amazing picnics and wines and champagnes!
And as a special festive season treat for readers of my blog you can take a look at the complete book (in a pdf version) by clicking on the title of the book here: Le Tour de France et Holland du Tandem
I do hope you enjoy re-reading it all again, as much as me and the “old gal” did!
A bundle of tandeming presents from my good friends John and Jane.
So then it was time to open my presents, and the “old git” and the “old gal” made sure Santa delivered a bundle of presents from my dynamic crew’s tandeming friends – and fellow self-proclaimed founding members of The Nutty Tandemers Club – John and Jane who have their own Travelling in Tandem blog! They have a stable of no less than three tandems – Siggy, Henry and their original Bluebird.
The presents included a fabulous cushion cover which captures the good life my dynamic crew enjoy en France! Perfect! There was also a lovely Matilda sign – ideal for the garage door at Matildas Rest!
The garage at Matildas Rest now proudly bears my nameplate!
The “old git” said that I must have been a “very good girl” as I am reliably informed that only “good girls” get presents from Santa! And there was more in the present from John and Jane! My handlebars now bear a pretty mini vase – especially for bikes!
Tulips from Amsterdam! My new handlebar vase proudly in place!
Regular readers of my blog will remember that Team Matilda enjoyed magnificent hospitality from team Bluebird during Le Tour de New Forest back in July, which followed an equally memorable Le Tour de Perthshire the year before.
So naturally my dynamic crew had organised a present on my behalf for Team Bluebird and designed a personalised Nutty Tandemers Club 2017 calendar – with each month having a great memory from our wonderful week together touring the New Forest.
Calendar time – our European Tour on the left and Le Tour de New Forest on the right.
Now these two tours have been such a success that Team Bluebird and Team Matilda are already planning a joint Le tour de Hebridean Way in June 2018. This will be an attempt at completing the Hebridean Way – a simple matter of 185 mile tandem across 10 islands of the Outer Hebrides. I may need some lucky white heather in my new handlebar vase for this trip!
John and Jane are riding Siggy the tandem on this trip – and it looks like the Outer Hebrides won’t ever have seen anything like the two tandems as we will both be carrying that highly sophisticated must-have accessory for tandems – eye-catching and very French La Bouclée wine carriers.
You see my dynamic crew have long been extolling the virtues of La Bouclée to Team Bluebird – as Scottish ambassadors for the product no less! So they decided that it would make an ideal Christmas present for John and Jane – complete with a bottle of champagne specially selected and brought back from our tour of the Champagne area!
Henry the tandem sporting his new la bouclee wine carrier!
John and Jane were so impressed with the product that they immediately attached it to Henry (Siggy was too dirty it seems!) – well they did after watching the Youtube video how to do it! It’s only easy when you know how!
There were lots of other presents to open with a special one for me from the “old gal”! It was a replacement gel saddle cover for my front saddle as the “old git” had worn thru the previous one!
My new gel saddle cover – a replacement for the “old git” to sit on as Captain!
My dynamic crew even bought each other tandem t-shirts! The “old gal’s” had the wording: “It takes two to tandem” on it while the “old git’s” said: “Complete Tandemonium” They will certainly catch the eye on future trips!
My dynamic crew happily wearing their new tandeming t-shirts!
Now you know that my stoker, the “old gal”, has a bit of a quirky sense of humour … well she excelled herself with one of her presents for my captain – the “old git.” He was delighted to receive tandem cuff links … but not just any tandem cuff links – specially commissioned hand-made silver cuff links … the only ones in existence!
The “old git’s” very exclusive specially commissioned hand-made silver tandem cuff links!
Another present for the “old git” which he loved were a new pair of trainers to match the “old gal’s”! He had secretly coveted her day-glo orange trainers ever since she bought a new pair for our European tour. And when he delved into his stocking a pair was there for him!
So now my dynamic crew will not only be matching but totally unmissable! I guess he must have been a good Captain throughout the year then!
The “old git” got a pair of day-glo orange trainers to be a match with the “old gal”!
Last but not least was some wonderful soft bamboo silk socks from seriouslysillysocks – complete with bicycle patterns.
Great soft bamboo silk socks with cycling patterns.
Matildas Musings Strava
As the year comes to a close my dynamic Matildas Musings crew have had a great time during 2017 in #tandem! Our Strava app recorded every one of our 43 tandem adventures during the year – which incredibly saw us clock up approaching 1,000 miles.
The nice people at Strava have compiled a little video which pulls together all our statistics which is fun to view. Just click on any on the images below to watch – it only takes 60 seconds!
The blog is great fun to write – and I am delighted to report that over the year that according to host WordPress, my Matildas Musings blog has published 35 new posts which has attracted nearly 5,000 views from nearly 60 different countries around the globe.
The most popular countries are the UK, followed by France then the USA. But my worldwide appeal sees my blogs being red as far afield as the Philippines, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
So, to everyone who has read a blog post – a huge thank you!
And thanks for all your messages of support – whether that be a comment on my blog, or on my Matildas Musings Facebook, Twitter or Youtube feeds. If you want to follow me on social media hit any of the images below to access my pages, and then hit follow or subscribe.
Matildas Musings Facebook feed
Matildas Musings Twitter feed
Matildas Musings Youtube feed
Team Matildas Musings sincerely hope you continue to find the adventures of the UK’s only blogging tandem entertaining – and that it makes you smile – while finding something that you (as non-professional non-lycra-clad fun-loving fellow tandemers) can relate to!
Finally for the moment, I hope all readers of my Musings had a lovely Christmas and that Santa brought you and your tandems what you wanted! If not then the only explanation is that you were on the “naughty” list!
And if we don’t speak until after the bells – on behalf of Team Matildas Musings – let me be one of the first to wish you all the best for 2018 … and many happy tandeming miles together for you and your team!
Here’s to more adventures in 2018 for Team Matildas Musings as “it’s always better when we’re tandeming together!”
Here I am at Matildas Rest waiting on the weather to improve to get put on some 2018 adventures!