The circle game

A couple of days ago, I walked into town to do some shopping.  Nothing unusual in that, as it’s not far, and I do it quite often.  It was very hot, and I was keen to do my shopping quickly, and get back home.  I walked around the supermarket, and made my way to the checkout.  As it got to be my turn, I realised that I didn’t have any money to pay.  I had left my purse on the kitchen table, so I apologised sheepishly and profusely to the very young man at the till.  He was lovely, and assured me that it happened ‘all the time’.  All the time?  I wondered what he actually thought of a middle aged woman going shopping without any money, but he simply got someone to take my shopping back to the shelves, and I made my way home to get my purse.  His mum should be proud of him.

But, I had a flashback.  You see, it wasn’t that long ago that I was that young cashier (well, it was actually over forty years ago, but certainly doesn’t feel like it), in the haberdashery section at Woolworth’s, assisting ‘old’ women with the new fangled monetary system.  Oh, well.

Listen to the words of this song , written by a brilliantly wise very young woman.  If you’re middle aged, you’ll listen to it more than once.  It sums it all up.

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Mon anniversaire – et le Grand Départ

C’était mon anniversaire, et je suis allée voir ma fille. Elle habite dans le Yorkshire, et elle a organisé une grand fête pour célébrer mes soixante ans.

She had bunting,

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And cake and champagne

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But, wait, was this all for me?  Well, actually, no, there happened to be a little cycle race going on at the same time. It was the Grand Départ for the Tour de France!

These were the scenes in Skipton on Saturday, although to be fair, this was also the scene across towns and villages all over Yorkshire.  Yorkshire was Tour mad!

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And to start it all off, (and they followed behind the riders too) the Fabulous New York Brass Band.  They were fresh from Glastonbury, don’t-you-know, and are not from New York, but are from York, and they’re new, so well, there you go. Well worth watching.  I must tweet them, to tell them how much I liked them.

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What a fabulous time it was.  Notice I didn’t take any pictures of the cyclists, well there’s a reason for that – there was no point, they were so fast, and it felt like an intrusion.  It’s okay to take pictures of this, someone bungee jumping on a float:

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because it’s easy, but those cyclists go by so fast and they put in so much effort, that it’s all about cheering these efforts, and not recording them.

On Sunday, we went to view the second Stage on a by-pass which is normally teeming with cars.  According to the locals, it felt like ‘apocolypse’  Children were allowed to chalk images on the road:

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British Policemen did what they did best, and high fived everyone as they passed, and let small children sit on their motorbikes:

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What a time we had.  Yorkshire was amazing; I would not have missed the experience for the world.

Oh, and the beer was good too!

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Vive le Tour!