Friday, 15 June 2012

And the torch came by

Yesterday started as a warm, sunny day. Shirley and I sat in the garden chatting until lunch time, when it suddenly started to feel quite cold. Mountain Man and I had decided we would fly our Tibetan flag in honour of the Dalai Lama's arrival in the UK on 13th June. I'm not sure that the locals even knew what it was, but they did know it was different from the Union Jacks that they were being sold by a group of Chinese guys, who wisely didn't approach us.

At around 2.15 pm we were aware of people congregating and, even though the Torch Time wasn't supposed to be until 2.50 we decided to go outside and join in the gathering. It was cold out there!

Me sheltering by the side of the house with our Tibetan flag flying
There were an unbelievable amount of police. Police cars, motorbikes and even several riot vans drove by. They came from the Met force in London, Strathclyde and Lothian and Borders. I'm sure it was a good day for robbing in those areas!

A policeman from the Met having a laugh with the locals
Two of many riot vans

Then the parade began. We had Coca-Cola and Samsung floats go by. I was given a small bottle of coke emblazoned with Olympic rings and others were given frisbees. Samsung weren't giving anything away, but played loud music and tried to rouse the village to do more than look, but sadly even though they tried their best, the good folk of Gordon just took photos and politely smiled.

The Samsung float coming down the street
Then the torch itself. At first we were led to believe that a 16 year old from the village, Callum Airlie, who is an Olympic hopeful at sailing - yes, it's ok to wonder at that one as here we are in a village miles from the sea and yet he learnt to sail, but hey, he is part of the village and a prospective Olympian so that fits, however as you can see from the photos, this person was obviously not 16!

Definitely not 16

And there goes the Olympic Torch with our house in the background
It turns out that the torch was taken half way through the village by Callum Airlie and, for some completely bizarre reason that completely eludes me, at our end of the village we got a 59 year old football coach from Hexham called Douglas Robson. I mean really... couldn't they at least have chosen a Scot?

Anyway, it was over and done with very quickly and we retreated inside to the warmth of the house. It was good that the village was included in all this, but... riot police? a Torch bearer from England? I think that about sums it up!

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