The end of the summer

The Rubí Tuesday blogue

The Tour de France finished on Sunday evening so we had to wait nearly an hour for our feed. The Peasant turned up in his cycling clothing. He had been lounging in front of the TV all day drinking beer and watching the bike race on Eurosport.

“Oh well,” he announced, “that’s the end of the summer.” We donkeys looked at each other in the 36 degrees heat and shrugged. I reminded the others that the Peasant says this every year at the end of July.

Now, I may be a bit of an Eeyore, but I never go into the kind of deep Gloomy Place that the Peasant ends up in, once it comes to the finish of the Tour de France. As he mixed the alfalfa and straw for our supper, I tried to be helpful and uncharacteristically not-Eeyorish…

“Never mind,” I said. “This year you have a whole week of the Tour de France Femmes – the new women’s bike race – continuing tomorrow!”

The Peasant said he wouldn’t find wimmin on bikes anything like as interesting as his usual big name cycling men heroes.

There followed a long explanation about the way this Tour de France had been the best, with team tactics and great challenges and counter challenges, but I wouldn’t understand the complexity of it all. Mansplaining is always pathetic, but mansplaining to a donkey is off-the-scale. A ridiculous-bananas spectacle.

“Surely,” I protested, “you watch the race just as much for the lovely green French countryside and the elegant chateaux and sunflower fields. You could just ignore the wimmin on bikes and admire the countryside for a few more days… and continue dressing up in your cycling stuff and drinking beer.”

The Peasant put our feed in the manger and sounded less Eeyore. “I suppose I could give it a try…”

Yesterday – Monday – we didn’t have to wait for our evening feed. In fact the Peasant turned up early. He wa still in his cycling clothing in which he had been lounging in front of the TV all day drinking beer and watching the wimmin’s bike race on Eurosport. But he didn’t look happy.

“That really is the end,” he said, and started to prepare our mix of alfalfa and straw. “The wimmin crashed all over the road. I have never seen such horrifying crashes in one day! Slamming into each other at 50 kilometres per hour, rolling down ditches with their bikes sliding along the tarmac, hitting traffic bollards… Good grief! Now I know there are wimmin cyclists out there in the countryside I don’t feel safe riding my bike.”

“Oh dear,” I responded, ignoring the fact that the Peasant is rarely seen on his bike these days. “That’s not what you need when you’re trying to watch the chateaux and the sunflowers glide past over a glass of beer.”

Wimmin should only be allowed out on very small ponies… ” The Peasant paused while mixing our forage. “And only in February.”

This morning the Peasant was no longer dressed in cycling clothing. He arrived to give us our morning feed wearing his black peasant’s clothes, with a long-sleeve shirt and a straw hat. It is still 36 degrees here in El Parral. But it is the end of the summer.