Much to Dominic's absolute joy (anyone who reads his blog as well as mine will know what I mean), the stage of the Tour de France in this country is going to be round the Yorkshire Dales. It is actually going to come through our little market town of Leyburn. Yes, I know, it will be whoosh and gone, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that Dominic will be there to see them streak past. Like all these events seeing it in the flesh is so much more exciting than seeing it on television.
There is, for local people, another reason why it is a good thing. In our local weekly paper, The Darlington and Stockton Times (published every Friday) one of our local traders is complaining about how our little town is dying on its feet. Because tourism was so very bad last year (bad weather for a start) businesses are having to close down because they are not making enough to survive. The trouble is that many local shops cater for tourists - in other aspects they cannot compete with the supermarkets anyway - or (in the case of our up-market grocers) for the top end of the population in terms of disposable income. Tourist shops selling knick-knackery to passing trade do very badly in wet weather or when there are no tourists about. Well, the Tour de France will at least give them a week of saturation tourists I would have thought.
So the poor farmer and I have now to suffer six months of waiting for the Tour de France and hearing a lot of commentary about it! Dominic rang last night to tell us and the farmer took the wind out of his sails by telling him that we already knew. Rather cruel of him I thought - he should have expressed surprise. But that is not the way of North Yorkshire farmers I'm afraid.
On another topic entirely, there are about six or seven serious gas leaks along our Lane and most of them have been there for two or three years in spite of constant reminders being telephoned to the appropriate gas authority. In this wet weather you can hear the gas bubbling up and see the bubbles in the puddles. The smell as you walk past is very strong. Friend, S, mentioned them to me in The Golden Lion this morning as she had walked past and that prompted me to telephone once more and report them. If nothing is done this time, on the advice of another friend, N, I shall ring the Health and Safety Executive and report it to them.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears tonight in our local hall - weather permitting. No snow yet although the sky looks full of the stuff. Keep warm.
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