Remember…

Barbed Poppies
Barbed Poppies


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon

Six Nations 2020 – Welcome back!

Hello! – It all feels a very long time ago since the 2020 Six Nations tournament got underway – how the World has changed since then!

I can’t imagine that there is one person on this planet whose life hasn’t changed dramatically one way or another since the tournament was postponed in March… but here we are, one way or another, near the end of October, thrashing around adapting to this new life, whilst desperately trying to continue with the old one!

To this end, there have been some fantastic sporting events taking place, all crammed into the last remaining months of the year, with topsy-turvey giddiness as they hurtle past!  Today sees a welcome return to the Six Nations with the match between Ireland and Italy this afternoon and a ‘super Saturday’ to look forward to next weekend.  I have my kit at the ready, as I love drawing rugby, it’s flow and twists and turns and the Herculean strength are a joy to watch. 

Here are some images featuring Italy and Ireland to whet your appetite – Enjoy!

Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Bennett takes Paris!

Stage 21 was extraordinary – culminating in a wonderful sprint finish, with all the best points riders pushing to the limit to take the win. There was one rider who showed his class, the man in Green, Sam Bennett, who positively roared over the finish line – in fact, he kept on roaring, such was his joy! It was a special win for a special rider on this most special of Tours – We knew that this would be an historic Tour de France because of the pandemic, but 2020’s Tour de France will go down in history for its remarkable course, it’s remarkable conclusion – and for its major prizes being won by two phenomenal young riders – for me, the best reasons to remember this race. Vive Le Tour!

Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Paris On the Champs!

The race truly begins on Stage 21, when the riders reach the Champs-Élysées, the beautiful avenue that runs up to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous roads in the world. It is the race for the sprinters, but to see that long peloton disappearing into the distance is incredible. Usually packed with fans at the roadside, it was eerily quiet this year, no Norwegian corner and people dotted around, as they should be. However, those there were treated to the fly past by the Patrouille de France, streaming the colours of the nation behind them as the race began in earnest below. Still magic, still the Champs-Élysées!

Stage 21, Paris - On the Champs! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Paris – On the Champs!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Bonjour Paris!

Here is the third image from Stage 21 – a little picture which shows Rigoberto Uran, throwing his arms into the air as he and his team-mates, passed by the glass Pyramids before crossing the courtyard of the Louvre. He threw his arms into the air, as though greeting a much-loved and much-missed friend.

I can only imagine how the riders feel on that last day – exhilaration? exhaustion? I hope a massive sense of achievement – they’ve made it!

Stage 21, Rigoberto Uran, 'Bonjour Paris'! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Rigoberto Uran, ‘Bonjour Paris’!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Paris -A glimpse of Our Lady

The second image from Stage 21, was a lovely sight – Notre Dame, on her way to full restoration after the devastating fire – It was great to see her, if only for a glimpse as the peloton passed by…

Stage 21 - Paris, A glimpse of Our Lady, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21 – Paris, A glimpse of Our Lady

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Paris -Golden Day – Sold

Here is Tadej Pogačar and his UAE team mates riding into Paris on the most gorgeous Autumn afternoon, everywhere bathed in low sunshine… magical!

Please note, this picture is sold and no longer available…

Stage 21, Paris - Golden Day, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Paris – Golden Day – SOLD

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France!

Here is Tadej Pogačar throwing his bike to the line to win the stage and the whole race itself! There were only two men on the day’s podium, Sam Bennett as the final holder of the Green Journey and three appearances by this super-talented young man. He is the stage winner, the King of the Mountains, the best Young rider – and the champion of the Tour de France – Wow!

Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Seeing Double

This view is a split screen view of the two men battling for the stage and the Tour de France itself..two friends and compatriots, but both having completely different experiences on this day. Roglic just was not himself – he looked wrong on the bike, pale in the face and even his helmet was askew – so different from the sophisticated talent we have seen day after day on this Tour – Pogacar meanwhile was smooth, strong and very fast – zooming up the notorious climb with great skill and style.

Seeing double, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Seeing double…

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Wout Van Aert gains 28 Seconds

The time-trial champion, Wout Van Aert, put in a great round on this TT – crossing the line here with a 28 second lead on the rest…He left nothing and gave it his all – Great ride!

Wout Van Aert - 28 seconds, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Wout Van Aert – 28 seconds

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Start line reflections – Primož Roglič

The final reflection is Primož Roglič, in Yellow, waiting to start the last round before Paris – Primož Roglič is the current holder of the Red Jersey for La Vuelta a Espana and now poised to add the Tour de France to his career highs – just this one supreme effort to complete the work put in so far…

Start line reflections: Primož Roglič, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Start line reflections: Primož Roglič

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Start line reflections – Tadej Pogačar

Here is Tadej Pogačar ready to start the last round before Paris – he is wearing the White Jersey as best young rider – at 21, one of the youngest – and he has been outstanding throughout this Tour, alongside his friend and compatriot,Primož Roglič. At this point in the race, he would have to do something incredible to take Yellow and the top spot in Paris…

Start line reflections: Tadej Pogačar, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Start line reflections: Tadej Pogačar

Have a good day today.. 🙂