Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Olympic Flame

Standing outside, before 7:45am on the first day of my Summer break?

It seemed a very unlikely prospect until I perused the route and timings of the Olympic flame through London.

Today, the flame started its journey in Greenwich.
I had thought briefly about standing near the Cutty Sark but those extra minutes in bed meant it was always going to be the very nearest point to home for me.

I forget the exact numbers but apparently around 90% of the UK population have come within an hour and a half of being inspired by the Olympic flame.

I stood with what seemed like 90% of the people who live around Westcombe Hill, though many were leaving it to the very last minute before popping outside in their PJ's and slippers.

I'd have thought there couldn't possibly be anything more 'pure' than the Olympic flame.
Unfortunately, todays world means even a simple flame has to be surrounded by ridiculous amounts of flannel and sponsorship.

We were treated to floats, filled with wholesome looking young people attempting to whip us into a frenzy of excitement while plastered in the logos of Samsung, Lloyds Bank and Coca Cola. The companies certainly had their Moment to Shine.

One particular 'wholesome' had obviously spent a little too long waiting for the orange to dry on her legs. She seemed fairly carefree though as she scampered to catch up with her friends.

The predicted time of arrival came and went and then suddenly, there was a ripple of applause that quickly turned into cheers and whistles.

A few blinks and it was all over, the flame was now heading further up the hill.
Our innate ability to poke fun at any event, no matter how seriously we all pretend to take it was highlighted when maybe the biggest cheer of the morning was for the 108 to Lewisham, (following just seconds behind the flame).
The driver waved and smiled while everybody clapped him.

I'm glad I stepped out this morning.

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