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The Olympic torch has just travelled through my village and I am so glad that I went out early and stood in the wind and rain to grab a prime position. The torch arrived right on schedule passing through at 3.50pm on its way to Leicester where it will spend the night.
People started to arrive very early on this afternoon and as I wanted to get a good view and take some photos I walked round with an hour to go to select my spot. Local schools sent home at lunchtime so they could see the torch and join in the flag-waving fun. Despite the poor weather, everyone enjoyed themselves and even the police motorcycle outriders joined in by waving to the crowds and giving high-fives as they drove past.
We could buy Union Jack flags and hats and the Coco-Cola bus was giving out free frisbees and souvenir bottles of coke.
Local guy Rob Gomez arrived first, running slowly along the high street flanked by the flame security convoy, and when he reached the corner of High Street and Foxton Road, the two torches “kissed” as Rob handed the flame over to David Willson. David was waiting for a good 10 minutes and had spent all that time having his photo taken with the crowd. Adults and children alike clamoured to touch the torch and have their picture taken and David did a great job keeping everyone happy.
It was a great sight to see and everyone I spoke to said that coming to see the torch had stimulated their interest in the upcoming Olympics starting later in the month. The torch is an ancient symbol of the Olympic Games and seeing how people reacted to it today I also suspect that it sprinkles magic dust over us all as it passes by so that the excitement and anticipation gradually builds as it travels across the country reaching a climax in London on 27 July. No one could fail to be moved by the sight of the flame as it flickered obstinately in the strong wind and heavy drizzle. Resilient and determined to stay alight until its job was done, these are the qualities that our Olympic and Paralympic athletes have already shown to reach the Games, and which they will need in buckets if they are to fulfil their potential after training so hard for so long.
Good luck to all our athletes-this is your moment to shine.
I love water. I think it’s the Pisces in me that is quite content to sit on the shore or sea wall and listen to the rhythm of the waves as they break on the sand. I’m equally happy to stand on the pier for hours on end with a fishing rod in my hand watching the swell as it rises and falls against the wooden struts and on days like today when stress and depression really take hold I am more than content to walk along the canal bank enjoying the calm, still water of the cut. No waves, often no ripples. Just reflections, reeds and rushes for company.
I am lucky enough to live near a canal and it is one of my favourite places to walk especially when I need some peace and quiet. At this time of year there are not many boats on the water and it is lovely just to sit and enjoy the scenery and think about the heritage and traditions associated with the canal network. It’s fascinating and I never tire of imagining what it would be like to live on a narrow boat and live my life at 4mph and not 400mph. It’s tempting.