Chinese Lantern

And here I am in France. The great cycle race ended in Paris on Sunday and like so many cycling fans and half the population of France a void has opened before me.  

This year has been one of the most remarkable ever. The two main favourites crashed out in the early stages. The eventual winner was Vincenzo Nibali, a somewhat enigmatic Italian. His top position on the Parisian podium was completely eclipsed by the greater victories of two French riders in second and third places. A French commentator interviewing the champion asked: “Well done for your win of course, but you have to concede you had the strongest team. I imagine you are very proud to have ridden with so many fabulous French riders…”

The diplomatic champion acknowledged their triumph. The studio anchor man told the Nation “We are not chauvinists! We are patriots!”

Chinese Lantern Ji Cheng

For now French cycling is on a high. I’m hoping more young folk will be pulling on their Lycra, shaving their legs and turning away from the cigarettes. Also, Chapeau to the guys who won second and third places -Jean Christophe Peraud and Thibault Pinot. To me they all are heroes and champions particularly the Chinese rider Ji Cheng who was the last guy home. Although technically the red lantern at the back of the field, he was a visible player, often in breakaways. He was a marvel and a credit to China. From my pinnacle of fame as a romantic novelist clinging on in invisibility at the back of the book-bashing peleton, I salute you. 

In my day job as an audio editor and producer I have also been immersed in the Tour de France. I have just completed an audiobook narrated by Oscar Sparrow entitled The Tour de France – The Inside Story. Written by Les Woodland, a consummate writer of the polished professional journalistic school, it reflects his own passion for cycling and shares the inside track on those great men who gave birth to the Tour and those who then sustained its legend. It is a fascinating nine-hour account filled with human flavour, foibles and falibility. We did a video clip to show our own way of working on such a project. It’s a great read and an even better listen.

If you want to get a free download of this insight into cycling (worth $19.95/£14.95), whether you’re a fan or not, in exchange for an honest review, leave a message below and I’ll send you your own code for Audible…


Emma Thinx: The French do have a a word for chauvinism




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Press 1 for #Film Extras, Press 2 for #Cycle Adventures, Press 3 for The #Brass Section Press 4 For The Very Inspiring #Blogger #Awards


I would like to thank Caleb Pirtle for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which is the subject of my post today, as lifted from my post on Venture Galleries Authors Collection Blog.

Its purpose is both simple and important…
It was designed to introduce authors and particularly readers to other authors who are producing some of the finest blogs on the Web today.  In fact, you should first check out the work of Caleb Pirtle at http://venturegalleries.com/author/calebpirtle/


Here are the rules for the contest:

  • Thank and link back to the amazing person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate fifteen other amazing blogs and remember to comment on their blogs to let them know you have nominated them. Also, follow the blogger who nominated you.

So, here are my Seven Facts:

  • My right thumb is double jointed and allows me to do some freaky reverse moves that totally gross people out. I discovered this skill when my paternal grandfather showed me his – genes will out!
  • I love the sea and could never imagine living too far from the coast. I always feel rejuvenated after breathing in the salty air. As a child I used to get terrible hay fever and our annual family week at the seaside was often the only respite from sneezing and itchy eyes for the whole summer.

    The prevailing winds on British south coast resorts are from the southwest – very little pollen makes it over from the Americas, so I always associate the sea with feeling healthy. I’m very lucky that both in France and the UK I can reach a number of beautiful beaches in under an hour.

  • Something that I rarely admit to….. in a previous life I helped introduce the UK’s first telephone switchboard with an “automated attendant”. You know and love these things: “Press 1 for this, Press 2 for that” etc. etc. We put hundreds of switchboard staff out of work and speared the way for frustrating “voice mail jail” where you just can’t get through to a live human being. The technology was so exciting and it seemed such a great idea at the time – although the voice-editing skills I learned whilst programming these systems are coming in handy now I’m producing audiobooks! It’s rumoured there is still a hospital in Birmingham, England, where I answer the phone…
  • My family loves cycling.

    But, there is a problem, one needs the right machine for the job. Between mountain bikes, road bikes and tandems we have 18 working bicycles, plus a static exercise bike for the bad-weather days. That’s a lot of lube and tube! My eldest son is cycling the Etape du Tour (the stage of the Tour de France that’s open to the public) in the Pyrenées

    on the 20th July. Bon Courage mon brave. Allez. Allez!

  • I learned to speak french listening to Edith Piaf songs and singing along, imitating her accent – she rolls her rrrrrs like no one else!
  • I play the trombone and appear regularly at local bandstands: I love live music – indoors or outdoors and particularly enjoy opera. As a noisy brass player, my goal is to get tickets to see Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle performed at Bayreuth – I’ve had my name down for 8 years but still no news…
  • I was a film extra in a British who-dunnit series: The Midsomer Murders, in an episode called “The Glitch”. They needed a specialist to play the part of the murder victim – a female prepared to ride on the back of a tandem – well hey now that’s my kinda acting! Unfortunately they said I was too young…. but I could still be an extra as part of a charity bike ride featured in the story. I whizz past a couple of times in the woods – in a yellow fluoro t-shirt. Don’t blink or you’ll miss me!

THE IMPORTANT BIT….


This is where I am listing my own fifteen nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  You need to find them and read their blog posts as well as their novels. You’ll be glad you did. It’s the most important discovery you will make this year.