Blazin' Saddles

A day in the life of Pat McQuaid

Blazin' Saddles

As imagined by Blazin' Saddles

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I get up early to go for a walk in my flip-flops and clear my head. I live in a house beside Lac Leman, close to my office in the nearby town of Aigle.

Me and the wife used to have a boat moored on the water but since the kids grew up we use it less and less. My daughter decided to call the boat "LUCIE" but the paintwork on the 'L' and 'E' has almost entirely disappeared. In fact, the wood is rotting and the water is getting in. Some say it's a rotten sinking ship. But I just laugh it off and say that I'm the captain and that it's not going down on my Festina watch!

It's Saturday today and although it's the weekend, I have to do some work in the morning. First up, I write an article for my business's website. There are 50 articles up online but I'm keen to write an exclusive 51st article and make some amendments. It may not go down too well with the overseas representatives or the people back home in Ireland, but it's in the company's best interests.

After I finish the article, I put some music on the iPod and put the feet up for a while. 'Status Quo' are my favourite band at the moment. 'Rockin' All Over The World' is how I like to think I roll.

Next up, I've put an hour aside for some charity work for the local hospital. So far we have raised considerable funds for vital biological testing equipment. We had some major donors from the US and in particular Texas, although recently funds have dried up somewhat.

Farah, our Malaysian maid, arrives shortly after 11am. She does a wonderful job and we're so happy with her work. In fact, the feeling seems to be mutual: she voted me as "best boss" in a recent charity function, which was nice.

I take Farah's arrival as a cue to go and do some chores. First up, the haberdashery shop to pick up my trousers. I had a problem with holes in the pockets last week and asked them to replace them with larger ones. It's an old McQuaid saying - you can never have big enough pockets!

Then it's off to the supermarket to do some grocery shopping. We're having a lamb tagine tonight for dinner. I've been a big fan of Moroccan cuisine since 2009.

The wife and I are lucky - we get to travel a lot with work. In fact, I travel so much that sometimes I joke that it's me who invented the passport! That one doesn't go down so well at home. Me and my old mate Paul have fallen out over it - but I think he's just bitter. Besides, the Kimmage and McQuaid families have never seen eye to eye.

Some of our favourite holiday destinations include China, Ivory Coast, Denmark, the Caribbean and Langkawi. The jury's out for the USA. We went there on a bicycling holiday recently and were disappointed by the Californian coast, despite hearing so much about it. In my eyes, L.A. has no place in cycling and deserves to be forgotten.

Back home and the phone rings straight away. It's Greg LeMond wanting to have a chat about some work awards ceremony taking place in September in Tuscany. Greg's an odd one and always seems to dress in black polo shirts. He asked me to turn up in casual wear too. I threaten a suit, laugh, then hang up.

Above my desk there's a picture of me in a Viking hat from my brief career as a professional rider back in the 70s. You know, I was the Irish road race champion in 1974. Not many people know that.

My family is something of a cycling dynasty. Me and my six brothers all rode and there are three 'McQuaid Cycles' shops in Dublin. Some say they are closed shops with frosted glass windows, but I assure you they are all still very much open and transparent.

My daughter drops by with my grandson, who wants me to set up a treasure hunt for him. I assure him I have nothing to hide.

The game is interrupted because the doorbell rings. It's Sakunda. She's here to give me a Thai massage. I love Thai massages. Don't you just love getting your back scratched? It always makes me feel better and strengthens my position and posture.

Although not everyone in the McQuaid household is too enamoured with my love of a Thai massage. Brian, the cook's son, has recently got all uppity. He says my uses of Thai masseuses smacks of attempted dictatorship, which is an odd thing to say.

I tell him that his views on men who have Thai massages are out-dated and, frankly, insulting. I'm 100 per cent democratic with Sakunda and I'm clearly part of the 'new guard' when it comes to massages. The way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised if me and Brian, the cook's son, come to a head soon.

Tonight's plan wasn't always to have a Moroccan. There was talk about joining Jonathan Vaughters for a meal in Berne but that's fallen through. He has some Russian friends in town and we've also had a falling out over various work-related projects.

I do like it here in Switzerland and I can't see us moving back to Ireland. In fact, I'll do anything to ensure we can stay around in Switzerland for a little while longer. I'm hoping to extend my work placement over here. If successful then it'll mean more Toblerone for the next eight years!

Some old colleagues back in Ireland are trying to undermine me but I seem to have the support of my adopted countrymen out here in Suisse. Oh, and my loyal friends Sean and Stephen.

Right, on that note, I'd better be off. There's a basketball game on the TV and my team are 94-71 down with not long to go. Come on boys - there's still time to turn things round!

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