My teeny tiny greehouse is bulging with pots and the windowsills are groaning under the weight of the seed trays. Any day now, they are going to burst into life as four different kinds of sunflowers start their journey to giantism. The enyellowing of our house, our village, our city and our county has begun as we prepare to welcome Le Tour de France to God’s Own County.
We had quite a giggle when the South of Watford lot threw a hissy fit into their tepid beer following the award of the prestigious start of the biggest sporting spectacular in the world to Yorkshire. There’s always been north/south rivalries, and we up here in the north, feel the south gets all the gain and none of the pain, but let’s not get political, we can sort that out next year at the ballot box.
When it comes to lung-busting English hills, spectacular scenery, a thriving cycle club network and Betty’s Yorkshire Fat Rascals, the flat, fairy-cake south has no answer. On July 5, the Tour de France starts here, the world will be watching and so will we, though we’re not quite sure where our vantage point will be yet!
Noel and I have been accepted as Tourmakers, for Le Grand Départ, We’ve no idea what we’ll be doing, but can be sure we’ll be surrounded by a lot of yellow, lots of cycling-related activities a 100-day Yorkshire Festival, There is a fantastic choice of arty stuff on offer too, including a Ghost Peleton of dancers, cyclists and LED lights, Tour de Cinema, a cycling answer to drive-in movies and starting with The Grand Departs, cyclists pulling a grand piano up Cragg Vale, one of our longer, steeper Yorkshire hills on Saturday.
In the meantime, the sunflowers are growing and Grand Départ Yellow is starting to appear everywhere. There’s even talk of changing the colour of Yorkshire rose from white, But some things are just too sacred.