Friday, 15 July 2011

A Timely Guide

Sitting under an umbrella waiting for Ziggy Marley to brighten and eventually set alight a damp night (here) I realised that although some of their compatriots are unable to organise a ready supply of water (here) the French, when they put their minds to it can organise a lot more things than a good croissant (here).

Three links in the opening paragraph – not bad eh!

Wikipedia could learn something! (here)

And I could learn from them (the French)!

I would have taken one look at the drips falling from the malevolent sky, another at the lead for the electric guitar and said a hearty –“No way Jose!”

Or maybe, in this Rastafarian situation – “No reggae tonight man.

Love, rastafari.”

They can also organise the road for the Tour de France.

Now, a lot of people are not interested in the annual – or should I say anal - bums on bike event here in France, but a lot are.

And a lot of Germans and Dutch and Spanish and etc etc, come in camping cars and follow the race around the country camping at convenient lay-bys each day before trundling off at their own pace to the next leafy corner.

Then there are the sponsors, and the sponsor’s sponsors and the sponsor’s support cars and the sponsor’s support car’s support cars and of course the sponsor’s sponsors support car’s support cars.

And some cyclists of course.

And their support cars.

And the media cars.

And the media’s support cars.

And the medics.

And the medic’s support car’s support cars.

And their granny.

And someone has to organise this and somehow keep the other half of France that want to go to the shops and buy croissants instead happy and moving.

And a lot of this work falls onto the shoulders of the police whose job it is to close and open roads as this jamboree trundles by.

And if you are someone who is at work and wants to get home in time to lie in a ditch and take a picture of bike wheels going past then you need what follows – The Bitsnbobs Timely (for next year) Guide To Beating Police Cordons around your Village.

1. Will the person whose lesson is programmed from 10.30 to 12 to phone and cancel.
2. Kiss the secretary when she tells you he has phoned and cancelled.
3. Say goodbye to the guy whose lesson is programmed from 9 to 10.30 at 10.25.
4. Get him to sign the attendance sheet in the corridor.
5. Kiss the secretary again (any excuse).
6. Leave car park at 10.31.
7. Drive fast, but safely.
8. Arrive at local market town and slip into the back of a line of police cars heading up the official route.
9. At roundabout when they stop to offload first team, drive wrong way round the roundabout hoping the tree obscures your number plate and continue alone.
10. As you approach your village, slow down at T-junction that is blocked by mechanical digger and look confident as Policeman approaches.
11. Open window.
12. Listen politely as he explains that the road is closed because of Le Tour.
13. Express surprise, you didn’t know this, and explain that you live in the village, which is 800 meters behind him.
14. Listen politely as he says he is very sorry but the road is closed and that you have to turn around and go back.
15. Explain that you are diabetic, haven’t eaten and need to get home for lunch, in the village, 8oo meters behind the blocking mechanical digger.
16. Turn round and go back.
17. Beyond his line of vision turn up dirt track that leads to Sean’s house.
18. Continue past Sean’s house onto farm track where once you destroyed a friend’s car when you hit the oil sump on heavy ruts.
19. Slow down at the ruts.
20. Reappear on road 200 meters down wind of the blocking mechanical digger.
21. Ignore village “garagiste” and all-round do-gooder who lives at end of farm track and is frantically waving you to stop and saying something about “Impossible, le Tour.”
22. Realise you have committed cultural hari-kari and will never be able to buy petrol from him again.
23. See Policewoman standing in middle of road.
24. Observe her intimidating, non-negotiable finger pointing instruction to pull over.
25. Consider options.
26. Pull over.
27. Realise she is not going to negotiate and turn away from village down lane behind her and continue as if you intend to leave the area.
28. Turn right at next crossroad, along unmarked access road that leads to the centre of village.
29. Avoid centre of village.
30. Turn into Gerard’s drive, he will be in the village, exit by his rear garden onto lane.
31. Descend valley.
32. Turn into farm access lane that leads to Nicola’s farm.
33. Cross meadow at Nicola’s farm – he will be in the village.
34. Open farm gate.
35. Close farm gate.
36. Swerve through the sheep.
37. Open farm gate, enter lane.
38. Close gate.
39. Open gate again, chase sheep back into meadow.
40. Close gate.
41. Drive up lane to Dolmen.
42. Observe approaching policeman and turn into track that leads to your house.
43. Giggle with self-satisfaction.
44. Make sandwich.
45. Drive to top of track, park; walk past Policeman, say Bonjour and lie in ditch with camera.


Mary said...

Fab Foto!

Worth the effort to get that shot.


Anne Hodgson said...

Yeah, but I like the happy people in pink best. Then, I'm also the one who likes the hotdogs better than the baseball game itself.

popps said...

I'm not sure Anne, but i think those pink people are German - can you confirm?

Anne Hodgson said...

Really? Oh, because of Deutsche Telekom, maybe? But that wasn't what made me notice them, I just thought doing pink things in the rain was a very good idea.

popps said...

Doing Pink Things In The Rain should become a new social movement!

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