Tour de France and Piu-Piu

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July 8th 2008
Published: July 8th 2008
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Advance notice....Advance notice....Advance notice....

....Lavelanet will be closed while the Tour de France is there
Here in France, you can’t escape the fact that The Tour de France has started. Double page spreads as a minimum in every paper and publicity everywhere. Well, for myself, I could take it or leave it, but actually we’re getting quite excited, because on Thursday 17th July, IT PASSES OUR HOUSE!

Lavelanet, our neighbouring town, is where the Tour spends the night before and then sets off in the morning. We’ll spend the evening of the 16th there too, because there will be parties galore, street festivals, general mayhem. The whole town will be closed to traffic. Notices in today’s paper tell us that on the 17th, Laroque will be too.

Did you think the cyclists would get an early start to get a few kilometers in before the heat of the day built up? So did I. But no - a leisurely (but ‘official’) breakfast, then a vast publicity machine distributing freebies sets off, then the peleton, then all the rest, streaming out of Lavelanet at around 11.00 a.m., and surging past our house, some 5 km away apparently fewer than 5 minutes later….. Nobody will go to work - they won’t be able to get there: shops will remain closed: normal life will be suspended for one day only (Maybe - it will have been July 14th on Monday. Perhaps it won’t be worth turning up at all that week).

And we thought you might like to hear about Piu-Piu. There’s now another English family in town, and their neighbours asked them to baby sit their orphaned chicken while they were away. This chicken is going to need therapy of the most challenging kind. She was hatched by a duck, spent a few days with a French family before moving to an English one. She clearly thinks that our English friend, pregnant with her second child, is HER mum too. Her best friends are the family dog, whom she pecks if it ever dares try for forty winks (‘Bored now. Come and play’), and four year old Lydia. She roamed round the house causing mayhem and pooing on all the furniture, until at last she had to go. Latest news is that she is living with a young family of turkeys, and has no idea that she will be a hen when she grows up.

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