Today marks the start of the Tour De France in my fair county.
I am a Yorkshire lass, born and bred. No-one, and I mean no-one takes the mickey out of my home (except me – but that’s allowed right?) I am proud of the fact that I consider anywhere south of Sheffield ‘The South’. I am proud that I would NEVER consider Manchester to be ‘the North’ (sure, it is geographically the North, but culturally, spiritually, a Manc to me will never be ‘Northern’.) I am proud that the North has provided us with legends like Sean Bean, a true Northern lad. However, (and whisper this) I HATE that the Tour De France has come to Yorkshire.
‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity’ said one of my friends last night when asking if I was going to watch any of it. I mean, it’s starting in my own city. It’s almost at the end of my road for goodness sake. But I just don’t see the appeal.
If I’m honest, it’s not just the Tour De France. All sport leaves me cold. I don’t watch the tennis (I enjoy the comedy grunts for about 5 minutes, and sometimes I like to look at the fantastic arm muscles on the male players – biceps are an excellent marketing tool). I don’t watch the cricket (sure, with a pint and a picnic I imagine if you’re there it’s a pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon, but otherwise why bother?) I don’t even watch the football (this has more of a valid reason to it – I object hugely to the vastly inflated salary footballers get paid in comparison to nurses, firemen and teacher).
Now, the Tour De France. My Facebook feed is chocka with photos of my friends’ campsites, or beaming faces at the side of a barriered road. And I feel – annoyance.
Look at it from my point of view – the Tour De France will wizz past in the blink of an eye. You won’t even see much. I know I know, you could argue that the atmosphere and spirit will be amazing as they race past our beautiful countryside, blah blah. But honestly – admit it. You would be a bit disappointed if you’d got up at ridiculous o’clock (a genuine time), queued for hours in the cold and drizzle (scorching all week until yesterday – gutted) only to see a blur for about 30 seconds as they cycle past, right? Also, don’t even get me started on the road closures (oh all right, you twisted my arm!) The roads in Leeds have been dire for YEARS (I can say it). It’s pot-hole central. All of a sudden they are filled in, but only on the route the cyclists will be taking. ALSO, the council have decided that no-one in Leeds will be able to travel anywhere from midnight last night til Sunday morning. (This is a great excuse to be shacked up all Saturday in pjs with DVDs and malteasers).
On the plus side, at least they haven’t cancelled Saturday Kitchen this morning.
Are you a sport fan?