All the Olympic torch vehicles are blazoned with something like, “Follow Lloyds TSB on Twitter!” Don’t do that because it’s stupid. Follow this blog instead: jot down your email address in the box on the right!
The Olympic torch assaulted Surbiton with its presence on Tuesday (early) morning, and I was dragged out of bed, along with cousins who’d travelled from as far away as Watford to see it, to see it. I chose to wear a Nike T-shirt in the hope that it would annoy Seb Coe.
We were in place about half an hour early, and treated to the sight of a jumped-up traffic warden instructing people to stay on the pavement, no doubt intending to call upon his extensive powers of arrest in the event of non-compliance.
I was also forced to decline the opportunity of buying an illicit I Saw the Flame Union flag (or ‘onion flag’ as my cousin Charlie called it) from a tout who almost prompted me to call a brand enforcement officer!
This temptation lessened, however, we were forced to endure the spectacle of a Coca Cola float (no pun intended; and hence why I feel LJY-Netzer should boycott London 2012…) and a Samsung coach: though their staff shouted “Give us a cheer!” I felt that the word ‘no’ leapt to mind.
There was also a Lloyds TSB float carrying dangerous nutters who handed out green streamers to children, with one of which Charlie spent the rest of the day in a series of near misses involving other people’s eyes.
I don’t know what all these corporate companies thought they might achieve: maybe they presumed that I’d race* home, crack open the Fanta and set up Lloyds online banking using the Samsung laptop I’d have bought specially.
So all in all, I’d say that the 10 minutes the relay spent on Upper Brighton Road was tremendous fun, shows that Britain still rules the waves on the world stage (Are you sure? –Ed.) and entirely justifies all the expenditure and all the security and all the transport restrictions and Tessa Jowell’s knighthood.
*Having used the words ‘race’ and ‘Olympics’ within ten paragraphs of each other, I am of course at risk of criminal prosecution. So if the Red Cross is reading this, I’d like some Tintin books and pesto in my humanitarian aid parcel.
A small charge
Andy Coulson’s in deep trouble after being charged with conspiring to hack into more than 600 people’s mobile ’phones. Though the Crown Prosecution Service hasn’t yet released the full list, we do know that it includes Delia Smith, so her secret recipe for toast has presumably fallen into the hands of the enemy.
More worryingly, Sir George Campbell MP hasn’t been told whether or not his high-profile political voicemail messages (from figures as senior as Gladstone and Disraeli) were hacked, but he’s nevertheless having some 1889-stule trouble with telephones:
“I will say they have some good cars here.”
This was my mum’s strangely grudging tribute to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, to which we took the younger generation on Monday.
There we spent hours looking at all the “good cars” (or, as Charlie repeatedly exclaimed, “That’s a YOLO car!” – oh dear) on show, from the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the original flying Ford whatsit from that film with that boy with the scar and the glasses.
The ridiculous green thing pictured above featured in a Bond film, but what viewers may not have noticed from the 30 seconds it spent in the onscreen distance is that it’s adorned with a unique mixture of green paint and pure gold which cost £2,000 per litre. Apparently MI6 don’t buy into this austerity thing?
I was particularly taken with the replica J Sainsbury: Purveyor of High Class Provisions, which strikes me as being a much better catchphrase than Making life taste better or Never knowingly underclichéed.
On the other hand, I felt almost physically ill in the Top Gear exhibition, which featured cars pointlessly mutilated by Richard Hammond and co., as well as clips of Jeremy Clarkson having an annoying voice: “This 500-mile journey from Iraq to Bethlehem was one of the most dangerous missions we’ve ever been given.” So why did you do it then? Had you left your daugther in a pub in Bethlehem or something?
I was also less than impressed with the New Forest Ice Cream Company, who were selling chocolate ice-lollies entitled:
Would suit any member of the Ku Klux Klan.