Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Olympic Torch Relay: Day 10

On the morning of May the 28th 2012, Roadrunner's hand shot out from under the duvet and grabbed her mobile phone from the bedside table.  "Hello?"  Silence.  "HELLO?!"

"It's your alarm."  Coyote sniggered.  Roadrunner isn't a morning person.

Two coffees and a gallon of Berocca later, and they were on the road.  The Olympic Torch Relay was arriving in their neck of the woods and - although not particularly stirred by the event - they figured that they might be able to make a few pennies from it with the help of Uncle Monty and Auntie Pentax.

Using a bit of local knowledge they found a parking spot in the historical town of Machynlleth.  Actually, that makes it sound a bit easy, doesn't it?  It took them a while to get to the sneaky little parking spot due to a stream of school children crossing the road with all the speed of a granny with a Zimmer frame wading through treacle.  In that time, they were captured on camera...

Once they'd looped back towards the end of town, they popped into a local shop for vital supplies: a huge bottle of water and a chocolate bar.  Then they waited.  And waited.  In the meantime, Coyote calmed Roadrunner when she spotted a rival photographer with a Nikon and a baseball cap, and somehow managed to keep her from severely maiming a member of the crowd who decided to perch on the fence ahead of her, thus completely ruining her view.  Luckily for said onlooker, he decided to step down just before Roadrunner did something painful involving a window box.

Eventually, a fanfare of sirens and a blanket of blue lights appeared.  Metropolitan Police bikers slowly trundled down the street, heralding the arrival of the Olympic Torch convoy and Roadrunner lifted her camera, capturing...

...a police officer doing an impression of a teapot.  Or Graham Norton.  One or the other. 

Then she snapped two random men jumping about on top of a bus:

The rapscallions.  Shortly after they passed by, the convoy came to a halt.  Coyote thought for a moment before providing a logical reason for the hold-up.  It was quite possible that they forgot to stop waving when they came to the railway bridge, the oversight resulting in the loss of a few limbs.  Roadrunner looked towards the railway bridge, wondering if she had time to capture a few blood-spattered shots...but decided against it.  It was too hot to walk that far; and besides, severed limb photos are two-a-penny in Machynlleth.  Especially on a Friday night.

It was a wise decision.  The crowds began to cheer further up the high street as Machynlleth's own Stephen Doyle proudly sauntered through the town, holding his glimmering torch aloft:

*Click...click...*  Done!

With a cunning diversion through the railway station, they jumped back into Monty and headed north.  What they were going to find there, they didn't know.  Apart from slate.  There's lots of slate in North Wales.


Clear blue skies spread over the hills of Blaenau Ffestiniog as Coyote and Roadrunner parked on the outskirts of town.  Braving the greyhounds in Burberry sun visors and the very strange accents, they gallantly strode into the thick of the action once more; Auntie Pentax glinting in the hot sunshine.  Down the steps to the railway station they headed...then decided they both desperately needed a pee.

The Queens Hotel was their target.  In they went and relieved they were!  Back outside, they scouted around to see what was happening.  Just then, Coyote tapped Roadrunner's back and looked down at the fencing below their vantage point by the back door of the hotel.  Roadrunner followed his gaze and her face paled.  She staggered backwards, bracing herself against the plaster; almost as if she wanted to disappear into the wall.  "It's okay," Coyote reassured her as he looked down at the lady he'd spotted.  "I don't think she's armed.  I can't see any citrus fruit anywhere.  Go on; take a shot!"
"I don't know..." Roadrunner said, her back still flat against the wall.  She peered at the lady who was holding a microphone not four feet away from them.  Panic flashed through her mind as she remembered her brief foray into the paparazzi world earlier this month.  
"Come on, Roadrunner," Coyote urged.  "There's a fence between us.  Even if she has got satsumas, you won't be hurt!"
Roadrunner swallowed hard.  "Okay.  I'll do it."  She took a deep breath, stepped forward one pace, clicked her shutter and immediately retreated to the shadowy safety of the wall.  Once again, she'd papped Louise Elliott:

Beads of sweat appeared on Roadrunner's forehead.  "C-c-can we go now, please?" she stuttered, tightly gripping Coyote's arm.
"Of course we can.  You bloody wuss."

They descended the steps and crossed back over the railway station.  Just as they were about to beat a hasty retreat, however, people began to trickle into their previously void car park and a shining torch could be seen above the heads of the crowd.

A quick pause and...

Torchbearer Elin Owen was committed to memory card, just before she escorted the flame to Porthmadog on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway.

Satisfied with their pixel haul, Coyote and Roadrunner smiled at each other and nodded.  In cloud of slate dust, they vanished.

*Meep Meep!*

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