Thursday, October 25, 2007

#190 Reunion 2008

I've been trying to organise a reunion, together with two of my mates, at a cycle race in Guérande, France which we three all rode 45 years ago. I'm hoping to get permission to turn up at the same event next year and have a bit of a knees-up.

I've dispatched several letters with no response - so now I've written to Madame Annick Mahé (the mayoress of the ville) hoping for some action! After much sweating over French dictionaries I came up with the missive (below).
Zut Alors!

Chère Madame Mahé
Je m'appelle John Lillie, je suis l'un de trois coureurs cyclistes britanniques qui courions la course cycliste de guérande en 1963. Les autres sont Brian Wilkins et David Lancaster (qui a gagné la course).

Comme nous sommes toujours amateurs du velo, nous voudrions arranger une réunion en mai 2008 au même fois que la course cycliste en guérande.

Je vous écris pour demander si vous pouvez m'aider?

Je veux contacter le président ou la secrétaire de l'us guérandraise cyclisme pour demander le date de la course l'annee prochaine. J'ai déjà écris à M. Y Piquet, 18 bd de la Fraternité 44420 La Turballe et aussi us guérandraise cyclisme a la marie de guérande, et aussi j'ai envoyer e.mail a mais malheureusement j'ai pas reçu une seule réponse.

Si vous avez le temps de découvrir le contact et il ne vous déragerez trop je espére d'avoir bientôt une lettre de vous (ou, si vous le trouvez plus facile, e.mail a Merci en avance.

Ci-inclus une photo prise à guérande en 1963. Pensez-vous que la fille et le jeune garçon sont toujours dans la région? Il ferait beau de recréer cette image.

Avec tous mes sentiments distingués.
John Lillie

Thursday, October 11, 2007

#189 :::::::::::::

I have added book reviews to #178.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

#188 Merlin Titanium Newsboy

For Sale £2000 or 3000 euros or $4000.

Merlin titanium Newsboy mountain bike.
Built, I believe, in 2002.
Number 99 of only 100 ever made.
Medium size.
I've cut down the carbon fibre bars and added Specialized bar ends.

I bought the bike new in England in 2003, I've not used it much:
2003 Tour of Spain's Vias Verdes (Greeways) 350km
2004 2 separate weekends following Valencia Greenways 200km
2005 Ruta del Cid - Burgos to Valencia 650km
2007 Parc Natural de Els Ports 100km
. . . . . various other rides, not more than 200km
About 1500km on the clock (940 miles).

Click on the pic for a super big image,
and for more info mail me: johnlillie at
More pics at

Thursday, October 04, 2007

#187 Ma bouillabaisse (recette)

Stage 1
(60 minutes)
Make a fish stock by boiling bits of fish (heads, tails, shells, etc) for an hour, keep the liquid, throw away the bits - or buy ready-made fish stock.

Stage 2 (15 minutes)
Sweat vegetables: In a frying pan with a lid, gently cook in olive oil; carrots, red peppers, onions, celery. Add salt and pepper, crushed coriander seeds and paprika. Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes and a spoon or two of orange juice. Cook a few more minutes.

Stage 3 (5 minutes)
Whizz the stock from Stage 1 with the cooked vegetables from Stage 2 to make a soup. Then add a bottle cap full of Pernod - this is important!

Add a big slug of olive oil, and more salt and pepper and paprika if required. If you make twice as much as you need, now is the time to freeze half for another day.

Stage 4 (10 minutes)
Re-heat the soup and in it gently cook bits of fish. I used cubed Monkfish, big Prawns and some Mussels. Also, I added some cubed boiled potatoes that I had cooked earlier. Then serve sprinkled with fresh coriander or parsley.

In France they sometimes serve croutons on the side - cubes of fried bread together with garlicky mayo.

Bon Appétit.

Monday, October 01, 2007

#186 Bouillabaisse

Sunday lunch - Salad and Bouillabaisse.
Tom refills wine glasses. I'm standing on a chair and Sally is . . . . . ?