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2012 is a big year for Britain.
What with the recent Queen’s jubilee, European championships and – of course – the Olympics, patriotism is going to reach highs that haven’t been seen for years.
A few weeks ago, when I was in the UK, I took my Mum to North Yorkshire to introduce her to Gonk – an owl I’d sponsored for her.
As the falconry was located in a gorgeous little town, we decided to stay in a lovely B&B – which delighted my history loving wife as it had once played host to King Charles I.
Anyway, the next morning we found out that the Olympic Flame was, by chance, passing through the town so we decided to stay and watch.
Even though we ended up waiting an hour for basically 3 seconds of flame held by some random person, it felt quite special.
Maybe it was because I was with the 2 women in my life.
Maybe it was because the weather was – finally – bloody awesome.
Maybe it was because the whole town was out in the streets, cheering and waving flags.
Maybe it was because I heard a women tell her son “this happens only once in a lifetime”.
Maybe it was because the Police were joining in the festivities by singing and generally fooling around.
[See it all in its shaky camera glory here]
Whatever the reason, I can honestly say it left a genuine impression on me and for the first time, I really sensed how much the Olympics meant to the people of Britain.
Of course, the fact I only just realised this is because I live in China, however I was living in Australia when the Olympics was on there and while I know the people were very excited about their games, I can’t help but feel their reasons were different to the sense of hope, pride and positivity that I saw in that small town in the North of Yorkshire.
Which is why I was kind-of gutted when I passed a shop window within seconds of the Olympic Flame runner passing by and saw this …
… not even a minute had passed and they were discounting the value of the flag.
Story of Britain really.
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