Sunday, 11 August 2019

Tour de France tales




Our first Tour de France seems like a long time ago. Then, as Tour novices, it was exciting, colourful, loud, hot, fun...exactly as it was this year. And judging from the ages, stages and antics of those around us, we are not the only ones to feel like this.

It is as much the rhythm of the season, the return of a good friend, the thrill of the catch and the allure of a day out as it is the cycling. Roadside and pre-arrival of the cyclists, the holiday vibe is as taut as the faded lavender still swaying sporadically in the Provençal fields, and the jingles, carried poorly through the loudspeakers on the floats in the advertising caravane, work just as magically as any smooth, slinky nightclub sound. In tune with the mood, we dance, wave, cheer and dive manically for the must-have sachets of laundry liquid and mustard sauce or the key-rings, pens, hats and, crowd-favourite, Haribo lollies thrown at us by young, pretty and pretty resilient Tour girls and boys.




Just a smidgen of competitiveness infiltrates the good-natured event:

"Ils sont à vous, Madame?" I was queried after Monsieur-across-the-road scurried to join me and my advantageous position, and eye off my pile of goodies.

But no fear of fashion faux-pas. We all slip on the oversized t-shirts and slap on the one-size-fits-all polka-dot caps, unconcerned that they make of us a giant, manipulable, cost-effective advertisement. Excepting perhaps the hot-but-not-bothered policemen and the two suave individuals who draped their t-shirts elegantly over their shoulders after having carefully undone and checked the top button of their shirts...after all, the television cameras were everywhere.

For more little excerpts and images of our French life, you can find me on Instagram @butyouareinfrancemadame or here on Amazon (print or ebook available for purchase)













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