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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Scotland, Big Up Yaself!

It's not every day that my wee nation has cause to shout about itself, so I decided to take a half-day from work (using the old my-car-needs-a-new-windscreen trick, which it does, but that only took 20 minutes to sort out) and head through to Edinburgh, fair capital city of Scotland, to join in the celebrations for some of our returning Olympic athletes.

These celebrations would be in the form of an open topped bus parade down the Royal Mile to the Scottish Parliament building in Hollyrood, and to say I was surprised at the amount of well-wishers and bemused tourists who turned out is an understatement. It was choc-a-bloc with people of all ages, and indeed nationalities, waving saltires and taking photos, myself included. I'd read that the authorities were expecting around 7000 people, but it certainly felt like a much bigger crowd than that.
When the bus carrying canoeist David Florence, rowing captain Katherine Grainger and cyclists Ross Edgar and Chris Hoy reached me, the cheer that went up was spectacular and genuinely emotional, helped in no small part by the screams from a class of primary school kids who all went absolutely bugfuck when Chris Hoy shouted down to them.

I think that the term 'legend' is now wholly applicable to Chris Hoy. He, for me, IS the 2008 Olympics, without taking anything away from the other athletes who hit personal bests, broke British records, and won medals. I enjoyed watching his performances more than any other, and I think that he'll be a huge inspiration to kids all over the world, let alone here in the UK, and a great ambassador for the world of cycling.

Talking of personal bests, I've just managed to get 629.8 miles out of a full tank of diesel (that's 59+mpg, baby!) in the ebay car. This is what my life has come to as I approach my 40th birthday, kicking and screaming all the way. Time for a mid-life crisis I think!


Steve said...

It fair warms the cockles of my heart. Big up to the Hoy!

EmmaK said...

Thumbs up for Scotland!!
Look forward to hearing all the details of your mid life crisis...what do you think it will involve, trying to pick up schoolgirls at the local disco by saying "did anyone ever tell you you could be a model?" perhaps??

Inchy said...

Emma - Been there, done that. It didn't work. Maybe a career change is in order, or a trip to Goa to 'find myself'.