Flag Waving

We’re in the business of making memories as well as physical/edible things, so today we went to watch the Olympic torch relay. It passed by the end of our street, so it would have been exceedingly rude not to.

Among most of the people I know it’s now fashionable to moan about the Olympics, about travel times, crowds, the sheer inconvenience of it all. I hardly dare say out loud that despite all my misgivings for the way the Games have been sponsored, paid for and managed (and I have a fair few) I still think it is a great thing to have on your doorstep. The camaraderie of a nation coming together to celebrate the things we have in common (a love of chips, bunking off and the underdog) is something that should be cheered at rather than sneered at, especially when the outlook for everything else looks so gloomy.

The atmosphere was rather lovely. I had a nice chat to an elderly man with a cane, and a couple of other mothers with older children, as well as a man in his twenties who had popped out with his camera because he’d heard the helicopter. As the vanguard of police bikes and sponsorship buses started to pass everyone cheered, including my boy, perched on my shoulders, about as delighted as any small boy could be to see so many emergency vehicles at once.

And then the torch went past and it was gone, just like that. We cheered again, and the crowd dispersed, but everyone had a smile on their face.

To cap it off we had lunch outside the local greek restaurant, sharing a plate of meze and talking about the exciting things we’d just seen. And of course, he may or may not remember it when he grows up, but at least we have a few photos of police bikes to remind him.

Comments

  1. says

    Yes! Over here there’s been all sorts of articles about ‘issues’ in the run-up to the Olympics, but I’m sure that they’ve been no different that any other host nation has faced: the difference is that the British press like to moan, and then that’s what gets picked up by the foreign media. I do get sick of the constant ‘America is best’ attitude over here, but maybe it would be nice if the Brits adopted a little bit more of a celebratory attitude…

    • Joanne says

      I agree with that. We went to the Olympic Park yesterday and it was great – transport was perfect, security was fast, no queues to speak of (certainly not at the loos), busy but not overcrowded, and honestly rather wonderful. I think we’re definitely due a round of ‘we did a good job’, rather than focusing on what could go wrong. So far, it really hasn’t.

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