The Day I Glimpsed the Olympic Torch

It would be hard to miss that London is hosting the Olympic  Games this year.   It is mentioned daily in the papers and the news, whether it’s TV or radio.   The build-up has been going on for what feels like months and I, for one, will be quite pleased when it is over.  I am suffering from Olympic overload before it has begun.

I am not a sports person, although I do watch the Men’s Final at Wimbledon, and I will not turn down an invitation to a 20:20 Cricket match – that’s exciting cricket because it is short.   I have even been to football games.   However, I doubt very much that I will spend from 27 July to 12 August watching the Olympics.   I am not one of the excited many who have tickets to watch in person, actually I can’t think of anything I would like least.

As for the Olympic Torch Relay, the excitement and media hype has left me cold – until today.

The Torch reached Crawley West Sussex this morning, which is where I work.  As I left the railway station just before 9:00 I was swept up by a group of people from work who, along with the crowd, were heading towards the town centre to “watch the Torch pass by”.   It was not my intention to stand on the roadside but I felt too embarrassed, and churlish I suppose, to turn them down and head speedily towards the office.

We walked en masse towards the route and stood expectantly for about 10 minutes, before a cheer rose in the crowd and faster than I could blink, let alone position my mobile (cell) phone, the Torch passed in a flash.     I was waiting for some sort of introductory fanfare, or the herald of its arrival, but because  where we chose to stand was part of the precinct no vehicles were with the runner.

It must be something to do with mass hysteria, but I did feel a sense of excitement and yes, I will admit to even a lump in my throat and I felt as though I was going to cry.  How mad is that?!

When I got to work convinced that I had failed to capture the Flame on camera, I was pleased to find that I did have a photo, albeit it a tiny dot just to the right of a head of hair.

The idea of transporting the Olympic Flame via a relay system from Greece to the Olympic venue began in 1936.  Since the 18 May, when it arrived on our shores, it has travelled through over 1,000 villages and cities.  Historically the route symbolises human achievement and the 8,000 torch bearers chosen are inspirational people nominated by someone they know.

There were many photographs of the Torch Relay this morning published on our work Intranet.  One summed up the pride of the chosen runners.

I don’t know the torch bearer’s name, or the reason for her nomination but the look on her face says it all.

I still won’t be glued to the television during the Games, but when I am an old lady I am glad I will be able to say “I saw the 2012 Olympic Torch”.

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – 15 July 2012

Here we are, the middle of July, and it is still raining! Occasionally the sun has broken through and when that happens it is really quite warm and actually feels like summer. My garden is like a bog, the lawn squelches when I walk on it and there is lying water on the flower beds.

As previous posts will have shown, the snails and slugs are making a feast of anything and everything in their path. Due to the lack of sunshine all the flowers are very slow to appear. I had hoped to fill this post with wonderful and colourful blooms but sadly have failed.

The roses are looking very sorry for themselves and the majority of them have decided not to flower again which is disappointing and I hope they change their minds soon.

The poppies are in tight bud as though they are afraid to take their jackets off, that is the poppies that are left standing of course, because several of them have been turned into sticks courtesy of the resident gastropods.

However, let’s be cheerful about this. There are plants that are loving this weather, one of which is the Hydrangea in the front garden, which has blooms on it bigger than your head.

I bought a Clematis Jouiania Praecox several years ago which grows on the side wall through the Compassion rose, it has tiny blue flowers and always looks impressive. This year it is rampant, so clearly another plant loving the rain.

The Daylily has also decided to flower, having been in bud for several weeks. I can’t remember what it is called but it is a pretty apricot colour and I wish I had a few more.

There are a number of other plants on the verge of blooming and had we had more sun recently would be adding lots of colour to the garden. As you will see looking at these photos, it is rare to capture blooms at the moment without raindrops on them.

Finally, below is a photograph of the bottom flower bed, with the Agapanthus, which is looking splendid this year, and the Ballerina Rose behind it.   The Astrantia is still blooming happily and the Spirea is adding much needed colour to the border.   The Cleome have tiny little buds on them so with a bit of luck, come the August GBBD I will be able to fill the post with glorious blooms.

The weather is different all around the world at the moment and there are places in the USA that have had temperatures way above the norm and very little rain. I will be interested to read all the other Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts to see how everyone is fairing in this peculiar year for weather.

Thank you Carol of May Dream Gardens for hosting this meme, which is a great way to keep a photographic diary throughout the years. Happy GBBD everyone.

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