As you may know, the Olympic Games are taking place in London this summer and in a long held tradition, the Olympic flame is being carried the length and breadth of the host country in the run up (pardon the pun) to the Opening Ceremony on July 27th.
The entire route has been mapped out and published and I was a little thrilled to note that it will be in Leeds on my birthday ! How fitting.
I just hope my birthday celebrations don't overshadow this worthy event but I'm sure a few people not going to my bash, will line the city's streets to watch this slightly more historic event.
Actually I plan on being there myself as after all, it's not every day the Olympic flame passes about 2 miles from your house ? In doing so, will I be missing my birthday celebrations ?
No. You see the flame arrives in Leeds the previous afternoon and gets taken through the northern streets before ending up at Temple Newsam House for a bit of an overnight rest. Next morning, my birthday, it sets off again from the city centre and heads south.
As I live in north Leeds, the flame will be at its closest point to my house at 6:30pm on Sunday 24th June and so it makes sense to try and see it then. I've no idea what sort of crowd will line the streets as it's never happened here before but hopefully I'll get a good unobstructed viewing spot even it it means slightly nudging a few people out of the way.
I've waited patiently for a few important events in my time so I'm perfectly capable of working my way to the front of a crowd. I've also stood in the home ends of various football stadiums during the pre all-seated era and am perfectly capable of holding my own (and deftly squeezing those of any who get in my way).
I've also been watching several Joey Barton videos on YouTube and with a bit of practice, I should be able to perform a crafty elbow in the throat to anyone who gets in my way without being spotted. I'm not so sure about sneaky follow up kicks to the shin as Joey hasn't quite perfected that technique, or at least the technique of getting away with it.
I did think about getting up early on my birthday, getting to the city centre and trying a bit of charm to get the first flame holder to use it to light the candles on my birthday cake. Now wouldn't THAT be something to remember ?! I already ruled out running alongside the flame holder somewhere on the route and asking them to light the candles. With my heart condition, it would ensure it was my last birthday and anyway, ever tried lighting 60 candles whilst running ?
By the time the last one was lit, I could be in Sheffield !
The term 'once in a lifetime' is much overused these days but I think being able to see the Olympic flame go by from a few feet away would qualify.
And I think being 60 the next day pretty much guarantees that it'll be once in MY lifetime for sure.