Monday, 16 July 2012

The Olympic Torch

Firstly, just a quick reminder about the competition in my last post, where the winner shall receive a life changing gift. Come on guys and girls, while there has been some positive reaction to it, I still need those photos to come in, so get snapping please!


Well, on Friday afternoon it came through Bournemouth.
 I'm one that hasn't really bought into the whole London 2012 Olympic thing. For me, the olympic committee has pretty much turned it into one huge money making and comical farce. I mean, to start with, the opening ceremony is going to be an animated mock up of the English countryside, complete with rain clouds ever....Paul McCartney (When are they ever going to stop prising open the coffin and dusting HIM off?)! The ticket sales disaster, so obviously set up to benefit the corporate money payers, and of course Lord Coe and his fellow gin swillers. As for the torch itself. I would think it more appropriate to have the athletes themselves run with it in relay. Don't get me wrong, in some ways it's also rather nice to have injured soldiers, young sports nominees and such like take part, but 8000 torches? And regular daily stops so that 'it' can get ice skated with, limbo danced with, or taken to the top of some monument or another. All this done hundreds of times somehow detracts from the point of it all....I think.

And so, instead of joining the thousands upon thousands of union jack waving hordes lining the route through Poole to Bournemouth, we decided to go and check on the allotment, which as it turned out was quite depressing, because due to the total lack of sunshine, and also continual pouring rain, nothing had grown at all, apart from the runner beans. The whole site was one great quagmire, and disease was obviously rampant throughout. We need sunshine!

What to do? The answer quite obviously was to go and drown our sorrows at The Porterhouse. Normally only a five minute drive away, we thought it wise to take a left turn instead of a right, as that will probably be where most of the crowds and closed roads would be for the torch bearer. There were A LOT of people up ahead, as we weaved the van and rubbish laden trailer between people and cars already blocking the roads. But we got through, turned left onto the main road, and stared in panic at the throngs lining our route. We couldn't understand quite why there was no other moving traffic other that the World War One motorcyclist leading us, saluting everyone as he went, until I noticed in my rear view mirror the flashing blue police lights keeping the path clear for the runner. We were heading the torch bearers procession, in our van and smelly trailer.....and couldn't get away!

And so we drove behind this mad, swaying, saluting motorcyclist at 7 miles per hour, through Branksome, through Wallisdown, through Talbot Village, and Charminster, being waved at, cheered, and sometimes looked at rather quizzically, and after a very embarassing and longer than planned journey, separated from the procession as soon as an open side road presented itself. Considering that we didn't really care for being involved in the celebrations, not altogether a well worked out plan.

The other strange thing was that when we had sat down in the pub, there it of the actual torches!
It was being proudly carried around by the mother of Nathan, a young man who had managed to carry it for three hundred metres. Not far some of you may think, but Nathan has cerebral palsy, and during the last couple of years has undergone some serious and painful surgery to straighten his legs, but he was determined to do this, and he did! And the torch is heavier than you may think, and wonderful and gold!

Charles Rogers was the young man who finished the day, and lit the beacon on Bournemouth's Pier Approach. Maybe I have soaked up a bit of the spirit after all.

Talking of soaking up, I regretfully had to drag myself up to a very windy, and what was to be very wet Highcliffe clifftop on Saturday morning. It was going to be a morning of solitude, maybe a cooked breakfast and coffee over a newspaper in a little french cafe in Bournemouth, whilst Amanda attended to some of her own things. But the previous wet week and left an overlap, and a huge lawn, uncut after five wet weeks, was now in need of some serious mowing, and there were hedges to match. I managed to get the grass down before the heavens opened up, and took refuge in the van before donning waterproofs and grabbing the hedgetrimmer for the next two hours work. Believe me when I say that deciding to head out into this, through the gate on the right, and then hedge cutting on the clifftop in this deluge was no easy thing to do.

And the coming weeks forecast....well......what can I say?

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. I laughed to picture you leading the entire parade when all you wanted to do was NOT be anywhere near it!! Cute story!

  2. In all the preparation for the torch parade, I can't believe there wasn't thought about how to keep wayward gardeners with trailers off the route! Ha!
    I will so trade you some sunshine for rain.
    Cool that you met the mom of the torch bear who was able to get out there and show he could. That is awesome.

  3. Hi Melanie,
    It was kind of ironic wasn't it?

  4. Hi Sherlock,
    Gardeners, they get everywhere don't they! Nathan is quite something to have managed to do what he did.

  5. It is funny, but usually not to us at the time...that when we complain/whine/get annoyed with something in life...and are vocal about it...God likes to ' sock-it-to-us ', put is in the thick of it...and make us learn something from it. I do it so much that God is contantly throwing me in situations that I had better soon learn to shut my mouth...'cause soon as I complain..BAM! He throws me in head-first...just like He did you guys. Great post.