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10:17am on Friday, 6th July, 2012:

Olympic Torch


I was woken up at 4 o'clock this morning by the sound of torrential rain. It was still raining when I got up two hours later and it's still raining now at just gone 10am.

We were expecting this, of course, because today was the day the Olympic Torch relay came to Colchester.

If it had just been up to me, I'd have gone to Ipswich Road where there would be fewer crowds, but it wasn't up to me so we went to the High Street in Colchester where the crowds were thickest. We found one spot but it was beyond the town hall, where something "special" was due to happen (I've no idea what, but I can guarantee it would be both embarrassing and time-consuming). I managed to locate a better spot further down and through the miracle of mobile phone technology could persuade my wife to move to it without risking that we wouldn't lose our view. My mobile phone stopped working shortly afterwards, probably so I couldn't use it to set off an improvised explosive device.

The other side of the High Street had barriers to control the crowds, but our side didn't so they had to use soldiers instead:

Now the thing about the torch is that it's not just the torch. You get a convoy of vehicles coming up first, I think probably to entertain us or something. We didn't really want to be entertained, though, we just wanted the torch. There were police cars, police outriders, buses with gawd-knows-who on them, trucks for Samsung and Coca-Cola and Lloyds TSB and more Samsung, and more police outriders. Pro tip for professional criminals: when the Olympic Torch comes to town, the entirety of the local constabulary is on duty there so you can break into houses at will.

After one such convoy, there was a bit of a wait and then another one. This second one was importantly different, though, as embedded in among it was the torch itself! You don't get a clear view of the torch's approach, though, because right in front of it is a van containing, well, see for yourself:

You therefore only get a split second to see the torch as it goes past you, and perhaps a couple of seconds more from behind before the next bus, van, police vehicle or whatever arrives. Here's the torch is in all its glory:

Yay! Well worth an hour of standing in the rain to see.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).