Late yesterday afternoon, almost early evening in fact, I walked into the village to buy a few odds and ends so hat we could actually have a meal at some point. I followed my usual running route along the bridle oath and pas the mill ponds. At the shady end of one mill pond, not at the end where you usually see fishermen on a Sunday morning, but in a fairly secluded spot, I came across a couple of young teenage fishermen, probably aged about 12 or 13. How nice, I thought. Junior fishermen at the millpond. And I continued on my way.
As I left the path that runs alongside the mill pond and headed out towards the main road into the village I came across a couple more boys if around the same age. These two were carrying a four-pack of what looked like beer or possibly cider. Hmm! Junior beer drinkers heading for the millpond. All part of the same party? It could be quite a nice way to spend a fine summer evening - a bit of fishing, a can of beer! But they were almost certainly no older than 13! Is this what my 14 year old grandson gets up to? I wonder!
Today is my son’s birthday. And it is my granddaughter’s birthday. His niece, not his daughter. And it is also the birthday of my daughter’s friend’s daughter, as well as being the birthday of an Italian friend of mine. Well, of course there are loads of people with birthday’s today - among them, the Dalai Lama (84), Vladimir Ashkenazy (82 - I didn’t know he was still alive), George W Bush (73, but I somehow thought he was older, or at any rate more years older than me than he actually is) and Hilary Mantel (67) - but it’s a bit unusual to know quite so many personally rather than just read off a newspaper’s list. Mind you, we do have a bit of a family tradition of shared birthdays!
Today also sees the start of the Tour de France, setting off this year from Brussels. The first stage has been won by Mike Teunissen, a Dutchman. Something of a surprise, apparently. Our Chris Froome is not taking part, having crashed into a wall during a training session just recently. Geraint Thomas also seems to have crashed during today’s opening stage. Latest news says he is back on the team bus and feels fine. I’m just amazed at how these cyclists get up from crashes and falls and get back on their bikes! We’ll see how it goes.
ITV used to do a conveniently timed round-up of the day’s events. This year they are broadcasting it after midnight - not at all convenient for the likes of me. It’s rather a pity the whole thing is on ITV as there are so many commercial breaks - including the annoying adverts for Peloton, cycling in your living room!
Update: ITV4 does a roundxup at 7.00 pm. Much more civilised!
So now I have the Tour to keep an eye and the continued success of young Coco Gauff at Wimbledon. Can I withstand such excitement?