Whilst being deeply resistant to all things athletic even I have noticed that we are in an Olympic year and the Games seem to be rather present in the minds of the British Public. We are a parochial lot and prefer things if they are local. At the School sports day the Games Department took the opportunity to demonstrate the difference between us ordinary mortals and those Grecian Gods of the Athletics’ Field. The Headmaster’s race – usually between the Junior and Senior school Heads was pepped up this year by a sprinkling of Olympians.This race will remain in the memory of those who watched as a warning to us lower beings – NEVER CHALLENGE THE GODS! Someone had the bright, if rather unkind, idea that in order to entertain the crowd, and perhaps even things up a bit, the participants should attempt the 3-legged Race. Things I hope never happen to me have always been many and varied but now include being strapped to an Olympian who is running. The Poor Headmaster – in his tweed ‘Sports’ Jacket (suitably dressed for the occasion) was half-carried, half-dragged the length of the field by a nubile 20-year-old half his size. The indignity!
As President of Bath WI (titter-chortle) I also managed to get embroiled in the Great WI Olympic Torch Relay. Hippy Chick Secretary and I were invited to come and collect the Torch one afternoon from a small village on the outskirts of Bath. Unfortunately we rather underestimated the formality of the occasion. Being multi-taskers it occurred to us that we could fit in a dog walk at the same time so arrived into the meeting of the Ladies of Bathhampton rather worse-for-hair (and mud). The assembled crowd of WI stalwarts were preparing for The Great Handover with speeches and poems, certificates and medals. One of their members (not one of whom was under 80) had been coerced into a puce velour track suit and sweatband in honour of her role in the ceremony. She had been despatched to the pub next door with instructions to arrive at the trot in keeping with the history of the torch (they had been doing their homework). With due pomp and circumstance, after only a short delay as it seemed the jog from the pub may have been over ambitious, we were receiving the WI Olympic torch – which in keeping with the WI part of its origin – looked distinctly home knitted. Sherry was drunk and photographs by the local paper taken! Hippy Chick and I rolled out to take the Torch on the next leg of its journey, in the car, via the school pick up, with constant admonitions to the dogs – It is not a stick – don’t chew it! Give, GIVE, good dog! We were very relieved when we and the torch arrived at its next destination and it was handed over– again with due solemnity – and only a few small tooth marks to add to its aura of antiquity.