Sunday, July 6, 2014

Le Tour Toujours

July in our house doesn't just mean the Fourth of July and fireworks and the dreaded 3 H's of summer (hazy, hot, humid weather).  July arrives and we watch the Tour de France, that month-long (more or less) bicycle race through gorgeous French countryside,  culminating in the last stage along the Champs-Elysees and the bestowal of the coveted maillot jaune (yellow jersey).  This year's race began yesterday in Yorkshire, England and will reach London tomorrow.  Who will win that stage?

In 2006, DH and I were fortunate enough to see the Tour de France in Paris.  It was an amazing experience, like Fourth of July, Bastille Day, and New Year's Eve in Times Square all rolled into one.  That was the first race after Lance Armstrong retired, marred by a doping scandal that broke in the days following the race's end, but nonetheless a once in a lifetime trip for us.

While in Paris, DH and I did some sightseeing which included a couple of needlework stores.  At one, Des Fils et une Aiguille, I found the perfect cross stitch souvenir, a kit of a vintage Tour de France poster.  Of course, it came back to America with us.  I began it soon after coming home, but it eventually became a ufo.  Every year since, I plan to take it out and stitch on it while watching the Tour on tv and every year, something interferes with that plan.

This year is different.  For two days in a row, I've stitched on my poster while enjoying views of the Yorkshire countryside.  Somehow, watching the race makes stitching the poster truly enjoyable.  I don't know how far I'll get before the race ends, but I'm hoping to get a few stitches in each day of the race.  

Well, we all know how well I stick to these plans.  Here are some pictures of my progress.

My progress up to just before this year's race.  Somehow, I don't have a better picture.
Stage 1 - 5 July 2014.  I started work on the mountain in the background.

Stage 2 - 6 July 2014.  A little more of the mountain appears.

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