Too late - what a horrible term it is. To me it conjures up all those official gate closings and back end of bus disappearings that surely punctuate everyone's life. Here in Charente Maritime it means drought withered sunflowers too far gone to benefit from eventual rain. There is hope that the maize crop can still plump up and perhaps save an extra 10 percent of the expected loss. For certain the rain is not too late to send hordes of campers back home. Camp sites are reporting more departures than arrivals, ice creams and bikinis remain unsold. When I was a happy camper I used to think that rain was an essential part of the holiday. My kids have endless memories of pebble beach picnics wrapped in cagoules and penned in by windbreaks. Wasn't it wonderful to gaze out on an angry grey sea as flurries of rain swirled in the storm. Then we would all return to our half destroyed tent, slip into damp bedding supported by deflated air-beds. Ahead of us lay a fabulous meal of Cornish pasties with instant mashed potato and a torch lit night of holding down the tent. Go home? Dear oh dear - no wonder we won at Trafalgar.
Poor Gilles took a few days off to construct my patio. Poor lad has to sit indoors watching the Tour de France. Genetically they are just not used to day after day of rain. A French guy who knows I'm English, called out to me this morning - "Hey - this is your weather!" as if I were some kind of meteorological witch. Good job I haven't got a cat.
OK, I know I shouldn't keep going on about the Tour de France. However, sport does provide us with so many metaphors and simply demonstrations of truths. Thomas Voeckler is still leading the race. I have just been downstairs to see why Gilles was apparently beside himself with excitement. Now, just to be in the Tour means you are in an elite of the elite. But if you think about all the genetic chances, the number of sperm, the chances of your progenitors meeting at all and the vagaries of the female cycle YOUR CHANCE of being born at all puts you in an elite of the nearly impossible. So, Thomas Voeckler put on the yellow jersey and became it and all that it means. All over the world so many disadvantaged and lost folk under achieve and we just accept it. What would they do in the yellow jersey - whatever race they were in?
Emma thinx: If you have the power- award a yellow jersey. You do have the power.