The Olympic torch comes to Tooting (via Crystal Palace)

What a day we had yesterday! I feel the exclamation mark is justified there, because it really was a screamer.

At 10:45am we were up at Crystal Palace, waving our Union Jacks in the fierce morning sunlight, sipping Bucks Fizz and nibbling on croissants. We cheered the torch relay as it passed through the Palace and then popped straight down to Westow Park for a picnic and epic playtime (for the kids, not us grown-ups – we stuck to drinking the fizzy drinks).

Fast forward to 4:30pm and my local friends gathered at our gaff for a mini spread and more wine (hic) before crowding onto the green outside our flat to cheer on the torch as it went down Tooting Bec Road in the capable hands of Sunday Brunch presenter, Tim Lovejoy.

We couldn’t possibly end the celebrations there so it was off to the Common (avec guitars and – you guessed it – more fizzy wine) for a sing along and a kickabout with the Manchester policemen patrolling the route. Just brilliant. Here’s the evidence of a truly memorable day…

Breakfast on the sidewalk: The lads grab a pastry before the torch travels past (El’s turquoise trousers are from M&S – sadly, he managed to muller them in the park later on and the stains haven’t washed out – grrrrrr)
Our Team GB tea towel marks the spot
Rose hands out the GB flags
Ready to cheer on the torch bearer
Don’t judge us: It was almost 11am when the corks went pop
The bikes signal the arrival of the Olympic torch relay convoy
The sponsor vehicles whip up support from the crowds
Lots of cheering as the torch approaches
He whipped past us at a pace that geezer
The girls pose post-torch
And El shows off his superb t-shirt
After a picnic and a mad dash around Sainsburys, the spread is ready at Fashion Detective towers
Waiting again; this time at the end of our street
We are looking well jolly by this point (oh dear)
Tooting Bec Road has never looked like this before
Those sponsors do loom large
Least one of us got a free, souvenir Coke out of it
It’s Tim Lovejoy off the telly with the Tooting torch (he passed it to Tim Henman on the common, so I’m told)
Who needs Rizzle Kicks? Wandsworth Council made some convoluted decisions about the distribution of free tickets to a caged concert on the common – we decided to make our own music instead
It went down a storm with this lovely Presley-fan policeman (from up North, natch) who joined us for a rendition of Love me Tender
The Northern cops have a kickabout with the kids – this is what life should always be like
Not sure life should always be like this, but it’s best to end on a song, right?

Written by Johanna Payton