8 July - Olympics on a hot streak as Torch comes through St Michael’s
Well, that title isn’t entirely accurate. It sort of went around St Michaels and no hot streaking was involved (not that I could see anyway). But nevertheless our local area played host to the final leg of the Olympic torch route through St Albans and it seemed only fitting that the sunshine made a timely cameo for an event attended by so many people. It is easy to be cynical about the Olympics – nationalistic hubris (the torch relay was created for the 1936 Olympics in Germany apparently) and corporate greed, (Thirsty? Coca-cola, anyone? How about a Samsung telly?), never feels too far away. However for a glorious period on a Sunday afternoon in July, I saw people come together to smile, cheer and wave through a symbol that represents what we can achieve together. I think we did our area proud and that in some small way (oh go on, call me sentimental) we contributed to the spirit of what I hope is a fantastic event.
Olympic Party organised by Kings Road
When it was announced that the Olympic torch would be going through Saint Albans and even more excitingly down Folly Lane, a number of us living on Kings Road decided that it was just the motivation we needed to organise a summer get together. As it was July and we had been enjoying mild weather and blue skies, a picnic at the Brickie, after cheering the torch on its way, seemed like a great idea. Not only would there be lots of space to spread out, eat and drink but we would also be able to organise some Olympic events of or own. Houses were leafleted, medals bought, equipment borrowed from school, a quiz compiled and a raffle organised. When the day came it was dull and overcast, but then the sun shone as the torch bearer ran down Folly Lane we were convinced the weather would hold, but making our way to the Brickie armed with deck chairs, hampers, games and sadly not umbrellas, the heavens opened. As more residents arrived we stood shivering under the trees, determined not to give in, but as the river of water threatened to engulf us, we had to bow to the inevitable fact that there would be no outdoor picnic. All was not lost because fortunately Sandra had booked the memorial hall in Branch Road as a precautionary measure and thank goodness she had. Cars were re-loaded, changes of clothing and towels fetched from home and we all proceeded to the hall. Tables and chairs were quickly assembled, and the adults enjoyed catching up with local news and events in the street. The younger members of the party enjoyed exploring and playing in the hall and still received a medal to take home. The raffle was called, residents pitted their wits against each other in the Olympic quiz and more money was raised for the Kings Road grit bin! Such a good time was had that many of us were reluctant to end the evening at 8'o clock so we retired to the Six Bells which proved the perfect end to a wet but lovely day.