It’s a good thing and a bad thing that in Hereford nothing much ever happens. Usually the big news is something like “Girl breaks leg falling off horse at gymkhana” or “chip-shop sign stolen”. (These are real front-page headlines in Hereford). So in the surrounding villages, one can barely imagine anything happening at all – “battery fails in camera”, for example, is big news.
But today was different. The Olympic flame passed through my village, only about 100 metres from my house, and we were out all there in force to cheer it on.
The level of excitement was maintained, every thirty seconds or so, by police motorcyclists, buses, sponsors’ lorries and council vans – all getting a great cheer. At long last the flame arrived, and just as the carrier came…my camera died.
But I did get a rear view. Better than nothing.
All-in-all, about fifteen minutes. But well worth it. It’s not going to happen here in my lifetime again, and it’ll definitely never be so close. The sense of occasion is certainly building up, and whatever one might think about the individual sports or the behaviour of the IOC, it’s a great time to be a Brit right now.