The Olympic Torch Relay came to beautiful (but very wet!) Arundel today - and Mr B and I were there!
One thing (among many) that you need to know about Mr B is
that he cannot bear to be late. He is also somewhat neurotic about parking spaces and is wont to bewail, at length, the possible lack thereof if we don't arrive early enough to park up. I am sure our family - the Darling Daughters
and the Son-and-Only - would be able to produce numerous examples of our early arrivals across the years.
Anyway, this meant that today we timed our arrival in Arundel for 10
a.m. - a mere two and a half hours before the gates of Arundel Castle would be open to us and just five and a half hours before the arrival of the Olympic Torch. Mr B calls this "Being Prepared." I never cease to be amazed that
he was never a Boy Scout - or even a Cub Scout. He would have done them proud.
Arriving early did mean that we had a grandstand view of all the preparations. Motorists who had ignored
the signs that explained there was "no parking" along the High Street, were arguing the toss with polite, but firm, traffic wardens. Hopeful community groups were setting up their stalls, ignoring the weather with a touching bravado.
The town crier warming up. The bands practising. The school-children arriving, home-made flags held high and bright faces painted with the national flags of competing countries. We also had (plenty of) time for a coffee and a toasted tea
cake in one of Arundel's historic tea-shoppes.
My favourite moments? Seeing 1000 local children, representing schools across the district, parading along the High Street in the pouring rain,
smiles as wide as wide could be, an enthusiastic advance guard. Close-up views of the torch and "the kiss" as one torch-bearer handed over to the next - all against the historic background of one of the most beautiful castles in the country. I'll
be posting some of my photos on a new page on this website titled "Torch Relay, Arundel" - check it out shortly.
Well done to everyone involved in staging the local event - I did enjoy meeting
up with so many former colleagues, all in official yellow jackets. How strange to be there with absolutely no responsibilities except for keeping Mr B in order.
"What a fantastic day!"
I remarked, as we travelled home. Mr B agreed. "Glad we got there early......" he said.