So did you see it? All that waiting for a small glimpse of a tiny flame, but it was so worth it.
The one thing I kept hearing from people as they waited for the Olympic flame to arrive was that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and they couldn’t miss it. And I’m glad I was one who didn’t.
It wasn’t just about seeing the flame itself, but knowing that you were a part of history. In years to come, I’ll be able to say “I was there”.
We were lucky enough that earlier in the week, Kent man Paul Cloke – who had run with the flame days earlier in Sheffield – popped in to one of our offices.
When he turned up, his distinctive white tracksuit was hidden beneath his fleece, and under his arm he was carrying what looked like a very large Toblerone box.
There were no markings on the cardboard; nothing to give away that what was inside was something so special.
He could have been any bloke making a delivery to our office but within seconds, his fleece was off and there he stood in his now instantly recognisable uniform of an official torchbearer.
From that fairly non-descript cardboard box, he then pulled out the golden torch. I think the whole office held its breath and I’ll admit, I nearly shed a tear.
Paul was so generous, he let us each hold the torch, marvelling at its weight (quite heavy when you’re expected to hold it aloft and run with it) and its beauty.
He was only too happy to recount his moment of fame, a tale he’s probably told countless times already and will tell over again for the rest of his life.
He shared that with us, and let us reflect in his historic moment.
It wasn’t just us that were awestruck; when we took Paul outside our office to take some pictures, passers-by kept stopping, wanting to hear his story again and pose for pictures with him.
So when thousands thronged the streets to see the Olympic torch come through on Friday, I wasn’t surprised.
It’s been an often-repeated phrase but, for most of us, seeing the Olympic flame really was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and an incredible one at that.