Wednesday 11 July 2012


The Olympic Torch procession was due to weave its way around the streets of Winchester today round about midday, just the time of day when I go for my swim. I had no interest in seeing  the torch – my main concern was how to get to the swimming pool when I knew that the roads would be closed for some time.

Eventually, I decided to do something I haven't done for a long time due to illness. I would walk to the leisure centre, which takes 15 minutes. I wasn't sure if my legs would be strong enough but I was determined to give it a go.

And I managed it!

But on my walk back home, I came onto Andover Road leading out of the city and saw crowds of people waiting by the road and suddenly I was struck by the wonderful atmosphere and sense of anticipation.

I asked a police officer when the procession was due and when she told me it would be in about 10 minutes I did something I find difficult to do at the moment i.e.wait.

So I sat on a wall and watched as police cars,  police motorcyclists, large open topped buses  advertising products with attractive young women dancing and hyping up the crowd to the background noise of loud music, plus a bus with the next runner and his torch, which stopped nearby.

And then came the runner with his lit torch and I witnessed the changeover of the flame.
It was such an emotional moment  that I was moved to tears.

Of course, I didn't have my camera with me but what really struck me was the enthusiasm of the crowd, waving union Jacks and shouting, cheering and clapping. It was truly inspiring and as I walked home I felt a feeling of elation and of being personally involved in the Olympics.

Pure magic.  And all the more so for being unexpected.

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