Nope, I’m not being ironic, I mean this. I’ll stick to the facts.
Yesterday my wife twisted my arm to go and see the Olympic torch relay as it passed through my home town of Halifax in West Yorkshire. I’m really glad I did (Thanks Jayne)
A departure from my usual blog entries. Those of you that know me understand that my sporting IQ is smaller than my shoe size. Give me science and the visual arts every time.
I went down to town to watch the parade and was bowled over by thousands of people lining the streets waiting patiently for a runner in a white tracksuit to hold aloft a metal tube with a flame burning at the top.
If you haven’t seen the torch it looks like this:
The amazing thing that really impressed me was the reaction of the crowds to the police. Already a good humoured, expectant lot, the crowds gave a huge cheer when the first police motorcycle riders appeared. The torch was nowhere in sight.
This good cheer went to the police on foot too.
Touching, in both senses of the word
When the police motorcyclists went past the crowds all the children (and some big ones too) held out their hands. The policemen slowly rode close to them holding out a gauntleted hand to gently touch the hands of the crowd.
I’ve never seen this before: Someone had stuck smiley faces on the front of each bike.
The crowd was cheering the police,
Then something strange happened
The Embarrassing Relative
Yes, you guessed it. The corporate buses came through advertising a bank, an electronics company and a fizzy drinks company. Blaring out their marketing messages with employed enthusiasm;
- The crowd went quiet
- All the good humour was put on hold
- It was not hostile
- Just the crowd waiting patiently for the corporates to get past
A collective sigh…. Phew they’ve gone
I wonder if the corporates have noticed this bubble of restraint surrounding them
Ohh more police! Cheer! flags waving then the man in the tracksuit carrying the flame! (if you ask me I’ll post a picture of the guy in the tracksuit too)
The real stars of the day? pretty obvious to me and the tens of thousands of others there.