We were among the throng who waited to see the Olympic Torch relay run through our town. To be on the safe side we went in early and had breakfast in a cafe in town and then allowed plenty of time to find a spot near the end of the route. My instinct was right because the crowds were thinner and we had the added bonus of sheltering under a tree from the rain which arrived in town pretty much at the same time that the flame did. It helped that we listened to the local radio so we could be up-to-date with its progress – uncertainty is often the hardest thing about waiting; much easier to wait when you have an idea of how long, even if it is a long wait. Having one earpiece each did have some disadvantages though. If either of us moved too far or too suddenly then one or both of the ear pieces fell out.

Meanwhile the torch was a case of “Blink and you miss it”. There was plenty of warning: police motorcyclists, sponsors’ lorries, official Olympic vehicles heralded its approach. However, many of the runners ran and that meant that many of us spectators only had a quick glimpse as they passed. A commentator on the radio advised them to walk or jog slowly – partly so that they could relish their three hundred yards, and partly so that family, friends, supporters and general public could do so too.

The upshot for us is that a photo of the actual flame was nearly impossible to take – the best view, I’m told, is on the internet!

I know that not everyone is getting excited about the Olympics – not a great sports fan myself – so if you wish to ignore it, go away, watch/do something else, that is OK by me. However, it saddens me that, beyond a certain good-humoured grumbling, some people seem to be wishing the whole thing will fail or express cynicism that is not much different from ill-will. For myself, I hope people will be blessed by the Olympics and if the symbolism of thousands of ordinary heroes handing on a flame of international amity leaves you cold that’s your prerogative. As for me, substitute “saints” for “ordinary heroes” and “spirit of the gospel” for “flame of international amity”, and there is a deeper meaning worth celebrating too.

Here are some of our photos:

two hours to go an hour to gopolice outridershere it comesand afterwards in the rain

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