We fought our way through the crowds as far as the White Rock Hotel, where we managed to find both a restorative gin and tonic and a seat. Crowds were lighter there, and we found ourselves a prime viewing slot on the concrete parapet beside the road. First along were far too many police motorcyclists, who parped their sirens excitingly at the French students sitting on the pavement opposite us. Then came a procession of corporate lorries from Samsung, Coca-cola and Lloyds, all pounding disco music and screaming perma-tanned young people, trying to whip up false enthusiasm. Then a few official buses and cars. Then, eventually, the torch bearer, lost in the middle of what I presumed were security staff, his torch flickering feebly in the wind. That was it. All respect to the torch bearer we saw - a brave guy who had got horribly wounded in Afghanistan.
|Olympic Torch in Hastings|
As a total spectacle, it was pretty tawdry - just an excuse for the corporate sponsors to get themselves in our faces.
At least it was not raining.....