Saturday, July 17, 2010

the Open, Tour

I know, I haven't been around much.
It has been hot. And I don't like the heat.
It makes me crabby. And a bit listless. And a lot sleepy.

But, while lounging on the chesterfield with my bowl of fruit and my pitcher of cucumber water (so incredibly refreshing!) I have been glancing at the television that has been on for hours between the Tour de France and now, The Open.

I know, most of you are not sports fans. Neither am I actually. But I enjoy the World Cup and the Olympics where countries vie for a place of honour.

But I love the Tour and the Open.

The challenges. The thrills and spills. The hills and bunkers.
The brutal conditions of wind and rain. The long, long days of hard slogging.
The British announcers.

Mostly though, I love the aerial views. That sky over St Andrews has been so dramatic at times. The end of the day shot of Tom Watson crossing the old Swilcan Bridge in the sunset brought a tear to my eye. (yeah, well it was 90F, and I also get sappy when I am not crabby). And France... well, I just want to be in that helicopter, flying low over the Pyrenees (tomorrow!)

And, it is a bit late, but have you ever looked at the official Tour de France website?
It has to be the most detailed and instructional site for any sport, ever.
There are stats and photos and local lore. And not just of the cyclists. It also serves as a most informative tourist guide. You can follow along with a detailed map, read about each area they are passing through. There is a bit of a history lesson. There are calendar worthy photos. You can watch the action. Listen to those British announcers. They have hours and hours and hours to fill with talk and surprisingly I find almost all of it interesting.

One day, I will be among the cheering crowds lining the streets of one of these impossibly picturesque villages...


  1. Glad you came by, is it a little cooler? Your header photo is a wonderful capture of that poppy just coming out.

    Thanks for sharing about the Tour de France. I don't follow sports, although I enjoy the ice skating in the Winter Olympics, but it's good to know about websites that provide background not strictly related to the sport.


  2. Dimple: it is breezier, which helps. there is a storm possibly brewing, which may also help.

    I will admit that the my interest in these sports is rather periferal - I get bored unless there is drama! which explains my wandering mind.....

  3. I love the Tour de France and am beginning to understand the tactics, just . . . Those men are so tough - I'm sure I couldn't even stagger up those mountain roads.

  4. Hi, I can see where you are coming from with this post and how you can get hooked on a sporting event. We have just had the World Cup Soccer in South Africa for a month.
    I was never interested in soccer, but watched most of the matches. Now that it is all over there is an emptiness, especially as I live in one of the host cities in close proximity to the stadium and the fan fest.

  5. Jabblog: I don't really have a clue, though the announcers are doing a good job of explaining what is happening. even some of the the commercials have been enlighening!

    Max-e: it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement, isn't it.
    but things will be at least quieter without those d*mn vuvuzelas. (and no, I will not apologize if you are a fan of them!) I'm glad of these two events to fill my television viewing void.

  6. I don't really do sports, so I'm not sure what sport the Open is. I do watch a tiny bit of the Olympics when they roll around. Mostly things like skating, though.

  7. SAW: golf. British style (links instead of a green) and this year it is at the 'home of golf' on the east coast of Scotland.
    did you notice I put the temp in Farenheit? It sounds so much hotter in F degrees than in C degrees.

    but, like I say, this is mostly a travelogue for me at the moment.

  8. Cycling, I know all about the training they have to go through (I think I mentioned it in my post about growing up) In my teens in class I sat next to Katie (assigned seats) who became the first female world champion in cycling.
    When I see cyclists all I can think about is that they give up their life for that Tour!

  9. Jeannette: I remember reading your post about that. I used to think a cycling tour would be a pleasant way to get around the countryside, stopping in villages, pub hopping...
    not very cpompetitive, am I.

  10. Bowl of fruit and pitcher of cucumber water! Oh I love that. And I understand the sheer indulgence of watching athletes battle the elements while I empathize thoroughly from my sofa.

  11. My hubby and son are going through World Cup withdrawal...

  12. Oh joy!! Another Tour fan! And its the Pyrenees next!! I love the helicopter views took, though I wish they wouldn't interrupt them with lists of classifications, etc.! ;)

    And the Open! that cold, windy, grey weather was exactly what we were having! Not ideal golfing weather! Waterproof trousers the order of the day, I think.

    Enjoy your TV sport!

  13. Yes, the countryside is lovely, and so is St Andrews.

  14. My husband loves the Tour de France and the Open. Personally, I like daydreaming to the sound of cricket commentary on Radio 4 long wave. I have no idea what they are talking about and care less, but there is something quintessentially British and summery about those gentle background witterings about blackbirds on the boundary, and cake in the commentary box, and the occasional 'Oh, I say!' when some cricketer does something exciting.

  15. And the bikers being suspended for head butting...

  16. It has been hot but wasn't today great...I mean, in comparison to the weather we've had lately?

    When it's hot I feel listless too. I can usually find just enough energy to read a book. :)

  17. Hope it's cooling off in your world. I'd love to e in one of those quaint little French towns too--minus all the crowds, of course.


  18. I can't imagine Canada being hot. I always remember when I was there, they had a record minus 28 degrees.

  19. LD: a soul-mate!

    Serline: I've moved. I'm fickle that way.

    Gilly: The Open is much more exciting when you don't know who is going to win.

    Evelyn: I feel bad for them going through such gorgeous countryside and basically missing it all!

  20. dancingbeastie: I found a website where you can listen to the shipping forecast - apparently there is quite a fan following for the sonorous tones of the announcer, perhaps not unlike your cricket commentary.
    yes, those BBC announcers...

    Jazz: wasn't that the most petulant, infantile move!

    EG: the temps are making their way back down the scale.

    Ann: that would be our fantastic extremes between winter and summer!

    Joanna: but the crowds are probably only there for those few hours of the race.

  21. Husband turned on the TV yesterday just as the Open was beginning with the intro. I says to him, "Dramatize much?" and went back to my book. The scenery is gorgeous and some of those younger players are pretty eye-catching as well. I had to keep re-reading the same paragraph several times.

    I am going to check out that Tour website. It does sound very informative. And, like you, I plan to go there....someday.

  22. YES!! Cheering them on from our balcony as we enjoy a warm goat cheese salad, fresh crusty bread and a chilled glass of wine. Ahhhh. Sports are great, aren't they?

  23. I have watched a little of the tour and it is amazing! Seeing the scenery is worth it all!!

  24. XUP: we will get along just fine as long as there is warm goat cheese

    SueAnn: and it is getting exciting now ... eight seconds separates the two leaders. 8 seconds!!


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