In less than 2 months time, London will be hosting the Olympics for the third time (previous times being 1908 and 1948). With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee taking place as well next week, its fair to say that there are Union Jacks pretty much everywhere- in shops, outside pubs, on clothes etc. I was old enough to remember the Golden Jubilee, and I'm fairly sure that I've never ever seen this amount of patriotism in the UK.
The Olympic Flame arrived in the UK last week and is travelling 8000 miles around the country before arriving at the Olympic Stadium in London at the end of July. Whilst I was back at home for a few days, I noticed that the flame would be passing through a nearby town. With friends still at uni and parents at work/injured, I suggested that we could make a day out of it to my Grandparents. My Grandad had previously seen the flame in 1948, and they were more than happy to go to one of their favourite towns in the beautiful weather that we are currently experiencing in the UK.
We arrived in the town centre an hour and a half before the scheduled time, but every parking spot was taken. I mean every.single.parking.spot- not even a kurb space was free. We decided to drive 5 minutes out of town to a quieter area next to a little pub, where there was shade, parking spaces, and space to put some picnic chairs during the wait. Over the next hour or so, the area filled up so much the pub had done what was probably their best day of sales ever, and there must have been at least 5 or 600 people along the side of the road.
There is a small parade of sponsor vehicles to pump up the crowd before the flame arrives, with cheerleaders and free bottles of coke being handed out to spectators. Where we were, there were a group of runners with the flame rather than just a single runner, so the flame was passed between the group in between the 'official' handovers.