We waited with excited anticipation for the Olympic Torch to come to our area.
Our four Pickwellians walked miles, along with the whole school,to a place called Knowle, outside of Braunton, in order to see it.
There was much concern amongst the parents, for the little ones, that they would never make it. But Mr Thomas was right...they could and they did!
I was really distracted from my work because Chris Moyles had got me hooked on the live streaming of the torch's journey. Even though all you could see was the road and a coach, somehow i couldn't take my eyes off it!
I decided i ought to really get the most out of this event, so reminded myself of the route from a very helpful website.
Then i looked up the runners. It was interesting that Lord Coe had said that this flame route was really to celebrate youth and sport, so 50% of the runners were aged under 25, but the three that were billed for Braunton were all in their 60's!
Did anyone see the footage of the guy who ran near to the torch and got thrown into the bush? Oh my word, it was FASCINATING! I have watched it 4 times in order to believe it. Apparently he ran into the 'envelope' of security. He won't be making THAT mistake again!
While Tracey was at work trying to drive around to see patients and AVOID the torch as much as possible, Steve, Rich and I jumped in the car (leaving enough time to pick up a take-away latte on the way) and hot-footed it down to the action.
Braunton was packed! Everyone was there (i spotted two of our wedding photographers right in the thick of it) and there was a really great atmosphere.
I have no idea who these lovely ladies were but i just thought they looked great.
Lots of people told me to take a picture of this policeman because it had been so long since they had seen one i ought to capture it on film! (Honestly, that is why i took this...;))
This is Sue. I know that because i asked her. In fact, looking back on it, I gave her a full interview.
I found out that she was really embarrassed because they had got her 'story' wrong, of why she deserved this prized place. It said she had raised £100,000 for the local Hospice, when in actual fact she had only raised £10,000!
I must admit i did look like a proper spod when i delved into my handbag and produced my folded up piece of A4 on which i had printed out the three Braunton runners' stories!
Yes, there it was in black and white. She was right! Oh dear, i hope it didn't spoil her experience. I personally think £10,000 is rather good.
The excitement built as two giant floats with loud music and dancing people brought a real feel of festivity to the event.
Of course it was the Olympic sponsors - Lloyds TSB and Coca-Cola. I waited for my free money and coke..but they never came. A few hand-held twirly things and a union jack flag don't bring the same level of pleasure i find.
I could see the 'envelope' people (in grey) appearing in the distance. Relieved there were no bushes, i quickly realised that if I did get in their way and they threw me aside, at least i'd be in 'Hunter' rather than a manky bush. I could do with some new flip flops.
The large coach appeared with its impressive sign and..
a Police lady rode up on a bicycle and turned the magic key. A rush of gas was to be heard...I could feel Sue's level of nerves and moment of occasion and felt myself become quite emotional!
Suddenly, as if emerging from a cloud of white smoke and all in slow motion, there appeared what can only be described as, an Adonis in white, as the crowd slowly started to raise its volume and levels of excitement, so he raised his left arm aloft with a golden cone and a flame alight upon it.
Oh. My. Word. Nowhere, in all my research, was THIS guy mentioned. Who IS he? WHERE did he come from? What is HIS story? WHY don't i know it?! Steve and Rich, who were watching from afar, (clearly I had embarrassed them with my keenness) were having hysterics observing my sudden change in focus of the camera lens.
Just because i can... here he is again ladeeez...
Before I knew what was happening, Sue was off!
Posing for photos and making her way towards the next lucky runner.. again the tears!!
On the way home the school dropped in on our good friend Sarah who had inadvertently offered to make the whole school (110 children + teachers) cake for the return journey. Not content with throwing a few digestives on a plate (which is precisely what I would do for that number), NO, she somehow manages to produce said cakes and even has them looking like this!!!
All-in-all, a very good experience. Well done the Olympic team, i feel truly connected now! x