The Olympic Torch was due to pass our house this morning at about 7.00 am. After arriving in Cambridge yesterday, being run around Trinity College Great Court at 6.00 am ish (a strictly invitation only event -- just when we're trying to show the nation's young that Cambridge Uni is ACCESSIBLE....errr?), then loaded on a punt for a hundred yards or so, it was due to be relayed up Huntingdon Road, just where we live, before being put back in its bus to whizz along the A14 to St Ives.
You can't say that we weren't well prepared.
The local council had filled a good few web pages with nanny-state advice to local spectators:
"Check the local weather forecast on the day of the Relay," they advised, "and come prepared – big brollies or sun-cream and hats may be in order!" (Thank you council, we might have forgotten the brollies I guess...that's us on the right!)
"Bring a bottle of water if you think you might be standing outside for long periods." (Another thing we might foolishly have forgotten.)
"Bring your camera and mobile phone to capture the moment" (... oh come on...).
And then the local paper carried a message from the Prime Minister, to commemorate the great occasion. "The Games give us a fantastic opportunity to sell the East <that's the East of England, not China> to overseas tourists. I want people to come to the UK and see what you have to offer: a walking tour of the university colleges and punting on the River Cam.'
Presumably someone in the PM's office adjusts the template of the leader's message for each local paper on the torch's route. In this case s/he scored a bit of an own goal: the last thing Cambridge needs is more tourists in central Cambridge, and more potential victims of the local punting touts; it's already full to capacity... and we need to get the tourists a bit more widely spread.
Anyway, not to be put off by all this (it was a close call), we trooped outside at about 6.45, and crossed the road, so as to be on the left hand side, where the free gifts were to be distributed to the cheering throngs from the Olympic sponsors. I was rather hoping that Samsung might be chucking out a few free mobile phones.
So what was the verdict?