Well, after being a bit cheeky in yesterday’s tweet (This weekend, MCR is full of people who have come to gawp at fire. Next week they’ll no doubt be enchanted by wattle and daub. #fail) the enormity of the Olympic torch passing through Manchester finally sank in this morning.
I awoke early – 5:30am – and ventured forth into the lounge of Balloon HQ, where armed with a pair of brews and resplendent in my Batman slippers and smoking jacket I perused the internet to digest news of this crazy old world we live in, and couldn’t fail to notice the live webstream for the torch procession.
As time passed, I became aware of three things – i) the torch route was almost literally running past my front door ii) I would never be afforded the opportunity to witness this again and iii) my second brew had gone cold.
So the time grew nearer for the procession to pass by, I decided to go and watch, despite having no interest whatsover in the actual olympics, or indeed most sport.
Surprisingly (to me) there was a healthy crowd already gathered, yet I managed to find myself a great vantage spot, and eagerly awaited the arrival of the procession……
In the distance, we could hear the horns and sirens of the accompanying motorcade. Loving the spectacle, I snapped away!
By now, a veritable fever of collective excitement gripped us. “It’s here! It’s here!” came the ecstatic cries of the delirious crowd who joyously hurried towards the procession.
And then, the moment that we had been waiting for finally arrived. There were tears of joy from the throng, many of whom had camped out for weeks to get the best spot. The olympic torch itself came into view. First up was a minibus carrying some sort of athletes and one of the mascot things, but I missed them, saving all my attention to focus on getting the best shots.
Crowds of people ran alongside the noble torch-bearer, cheering and hooting with unbridled joy. “Awaken, fellow citizen”, they yelped. “Come and share the joy of the human spirit. Experience the sublimation! Rejoice! Rejoice!”
The rain lashed, the gales howled, but nothing could diminish the majesty of the olympic flame, streaming proudly behind the noble carrier, burning injustice and intolerance in it’s wake. Yards from my vantage point, I steeled myself in readiness to capture the historic moment when I would be closest to the flame. All sounds seemed muted except the slap slap slap of the athlete’s foot, and my finger poised over the camera button.
I held my breath and pressed…
Just after this photo was taken the torch bearer stopped and posed for photographs. Alas I myself was stranded on the opposite side of the road, the thundering motorcade blocking my path. I did, however, seek to record the hallowed spot over which the flame had passed.
By now the procession had passed, moving on to delight the next knot of well wishers. I am not ashamed to say that the excitement had overwhelmed me, and I returned home, exhausted but happy.
I hope you have enjoyed sharing in my excitement, and if you would like to use any of the above photos to illustrate this momentous occasion in your own blog, feel free.
Words and pictures (c) Jason “Entertainment” Cooke 2012.
All rights reserved.