Thursday, 29 March 2012

This Sporting Life

I was reckoning up the other day the number of sporting events I've attended since coming to live in France 20 years ago. It came to four.

1. A football match between Olargues (our village) and St Pons. At one point the St Pons goalkeeper easily fielded an unthreatening punt upfield, cradled the ball in his arms, and unwittingly stepped back across his goal-line. Olargues won 1 - 0.

2. A football match between the local secondary school and a scratch team including girls from an Ullapool High School group on exchange. The Scottish kids had no one to cheer for them, so I got a very sore throat. To no avail.

3. World Cup Rugby, 2007. My friend A. and I went to Montpellier to watch Samoa play Tonga. I never got the hang of which was which. It was an excruciatingly dull match. At half-time A. and I assembled all we knew about both places, viz.:

SAMOA - Robert Louis Stevenson lived for a while in Samoa and died there, in a place called Vailima.

TONGA – At Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, Queen Salote of Tonga, a cheerful lady of fabulous girth, was assigned a place in the carriage procession next to a very small personage, probably the Akhond of Swat. Noël Coward was watching the procession. When asked who the little fellow crammed in beside Queen Salote was, he replied 'Oh, nobody special: that's her lunch.'

4. See photo above. I leave you to decide what the event was. CLUE: You know something's going to happen when you hear the helicopters.


Hector said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicus Scurra said...

I know from my extensive reading that chair balancing is very popular in continental parts.

Hector said...

It must be Apocalypse Now, Olargues style - but should you be surrendering BEFORE the helicopters arrive??? Or should you be getting on your velo and making a quick exit?
By the by, does the photographer not get a credit and/or commission?

dinahmow said...

I thought the sport had died out, but perhaps the Olarguians have revived the aerial-cucumber-slicing contest.Cucumbers[this is, obviously,to explain to the uninitiated]are flung from opposing 'copters at the rotor blades.
2 village maidens attempt to collect the falling slices in their pinnies, the winner being the one with the most cucumber.

Do I win a prize?

Martin said...

Was it a meeting of the Rotary Club?

Mike and Ann said...

This is obviously the 'get set' stage of the Olargue's Sitting High Jump Annual Competition. The competitor on the left of the picture should not, of course, have his feet on the ground, and the chap on the right is busy lodging an objection.

Tim said...

Motorised quail netting?

Christopher said...

Vicus: I liked this idea very much. I expect you have been reading Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh in translation, i.e. Le Destin du Chair.

Hector: You're absolutely right to indicate my fault: the photographer is always worth his salt. I propose the same reward as dinahmow's below. If this seems excessive, I'm sure you'll let me know.

DM: Spot on. You win a cucumber. To reduce carriage expenses from here to Australia and possibly deterioration during sea mail, I propose to send you a cucumber seed. Will this do?

Martin: Ho ho, very clever. And you've hit the nail on the head, but only in a figurative sense of something going round. All will be made plain, tho' Hector comes close if you read between his lines. And so he ought to: he was there.

Mike and Ann: 10/10 for ingenuity. Cucumber seeds on their way to you. Personal delivery in due course.

Tim: Ditto.

Rog said...

Is it the Annual "YMCA" Dance when two members didn't turn up to do "C" abd "A"?
It must be the weakest year yet.

Christopher said...

I know, Rog. We've fallen on hard times. I think 'C' and 'A' must have been In the Navy.

Z said...

I'm reaping the benefit of coming late to this - as always, however splendid the post, the comments set the seal.

I try very hard not even to think of supporting any team, my validation equates to the kiss of death (please don't take me literally) to its prospects of victory.

Christopher said...

Mmmm...there could be serious money in this, Z. May I submit your name to the Scottish Rugby Football Association? They'd be only too pleased to hire you at so much per kiss to welcome opposing teams. Stepladder provided.

Z said...

I'm puckering up right now, Chris.

Christopher said...

That's great, only the 6 Nations Tournament ended two or three weeks ago. Next year, maybe?

Christopher said...

Right. Time's up.

The event referred to in photo 4 was nothing less than the TOUR DE FRANCE. Here I and my friend B. are enthusing, after a wait of about ¾ hour, about the imminent arrival of the leaders. We knew they were just a bit down the road when we heard the dacka-dacka-dacka of the approaching TV helicopters.

It took about 1½ minutes for the whole field to pass.

mig bardsley said...

Oh I was too late again. Just as well as I couldn't think of anything better to say than I love the picture.
One and a half minutes! That's quick isn't it?