I looked at all the restrictions and instructions – no parking at the venue, no seat guaranteed but no chairs to be taken in, no bags to be taken, no cameras with zoom allowed (interestingly equated with being a professional it seems – have they looked at the average phone cam of late?), no umbrellas (though fortunately the weather played ball), no food or drink (there go the Polo mints…)….
I confess, I read all this and much, much, more, with increasing disbelief, until a Meldrew moment had me ringing the venue to tell them unfortunately I couldn’t use the tickets after all. I also realised that as they expected you to be there over an hour and a half early, we would have missed the torch relay actually passing the end of our road!
Result. We ambled down the road a few yards from home and joined in the good-natured line-up of locals along the road. As we waited for the convoy, a few passing cyclists got some suitably Olympic cheering on and responded with regal waves and goodwill.
Eventually the torchbearer (Pam Jones) arrived and the handover took place smoothly. The impromptu roadside community gradually dispersed, and we neighbours all set out to return to our normal lives behind closed doors or in our fenced-in back gardens in the early evening sunshine.
I realised I had rather enjoyed being part of the chatty, amiable, pop-up community and wished it could be prolonged. It prompted me to ask a neighbour to join us in that fenced-in back garden and help dispose of a bottle of Gaillac red. Something to do more often, I think, without waiting for the excuse….
Even the dog wanted to watch….