FiI hadn’t been paying any attention to the progress of the Olympic torch around Britain until a neighbour told me that it would be going past our gate. I’d seen that it would be having a party at Alexandra Palace, a couple of miles away, but had no plans to go that far, but it would have felt a bit churlish not to walk the few steps to the gate.
I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand the point of trailing the torch all the way around the country, and having seen it, I’m really none the wiser. I can see that there is something of the moment for the person carrying the torch, but beyond that? The heartening thing was that around this rather odd event, a small community coming together happened for a brief period.
We stood in the sunshine chatting with neighbours we see only occasionally, wondering when anything was going to happen, getting quite excited when a group of police motorcycles went by, and then even more so when a couple of vans roared past, their blue lights flashing.
And then the music approached and a couple of buses heavily covered in sponsorship and manned by people trying very hard to share their enthusiasm and excitement with the rest of us. And then the torch…….
The crowds disbursed quickly; a small group of us repaired to J’s garden to share a drink.
So what was our reaction to the spectacle? It was good to see so many people out and about, but what a lot of resources had been expended in getting the procession past: many scores of police, several large buses, many police motorcycles, all those people dressed up in sponsorship clothing.
I had a lovely afternoon drinking wine and chatting with my neighbours, and that’s down to the torch, but did it inspire us to take more of an interest in the Games?