Apart from growing up in an area of London called Olympia and having an aunt of that name, I’ve never felt that much of a connection to the whole Olympic thing. But recently I have enjoyed some of the pomp and ceremony that’s gone along with the torch relay part of it.
On Tuesday I first saw the torch being passed on the Uxbridge Road in Ealing, and shortly after on St Mary’s Road, just before the university and church that are up the road from where I live.
The next time I saw the flame was yesterday as it was transported on the river Thames from Hampton Court to Tower Bridge. It was a very last-minute decision to go so I hadn’t exactly prepared for it. Once I’d parked the car and got to the riverbank I realised I’d opted for possibly the worst vantage point along the whole of the river Thames. So I went slightly further west and found somewhere with at least a partial view.
Where I ended up was standing on a wall with a 20 foot drop into the river in front of me and a 20 foot drop onto concrete behind. Thankfully the ledge was about four foot wide. Had it been any narrower I would probably have ended up with very wet footage. Being in the company of Zorro the dog and his owner also helped. His persistent requests for me to play a game of fetch with a plastic bottle [from the dog, not the owner] proved a welcome distraction. Turning towards him running and fetching on dry land was a much better point of focus than looking down into the murky water and imagining the worst.
Here’s the result.