Earlier this week we got our first real taste of the Olympics here, when the Olympic Torch Relay came through barely a block and half away from our flat. I read a report not long ago about how hard the Olympic Organizing Committee was working to get the entire country to feel like they were hosting the Games, not just London. They’ve tried their best to route the relay through every little town and village, drumming up support and excitement. I think it worked here–I wasn’t sure how many people would actually turn out for the event, but it appeared that the whole town turned out. People left work early and schools released their students, so the route was lined with people several rows deep.
Mark came home at lunchtime and we woke the kids up early from their naps so we could walk over there together. I immediately realized that we did not have anything patriotically British to show our enthusiasm. Luckily there were balloon and souvenir vendors working the crowds, and with the change in my pocket I was able to get flags for the kids to wave. We found good spots on the side of the road and when traffic came to halt in front us and threatened our view it was no problem–we just went around the cars and stood in the street. The parked car even gave us something to lean on while we were waiting for the show! Several buses came through with music and dancers; at some point there was someone on a PA system talking about following our dreams, but then there was a long lag before the actual torch bearer came through. The actual event itself was brief, but it was great to be a tiny part of something much bigger!