For me the stars of the show were Carnival Arts and the Police. Well done Alex Grant for coming up with a simple and accessible idea for children in schools – to create beautiful silk banners to wave and cheer with – they looked stunning and the children were all very proud of their work. I have seen children from several schools waving their hand-made banners today whilst out and about today. And well done the Police and the MET for really conveying the Olympic spirit by producing a real spectacle, smartly turned out, waving and grinning to all the excited children – giving them a sight to remember. I was hoping for something more inspiring (torch included) than the baggy white track suits, and dowdy brown outfits worn by accompanying out-runners (all three of them). A bit disappointing. There was no space for highlighting the stories behind the chosen runners in the actual relay, or the achievements (if there were any) of the trickle of random people inside the coaches or loping alongside of them. It probably looked more exciting on the television. Without doubt, the torch relay must have been a nightmare both to organise and execute, and I’m grateful our children got to see it but I’m not sure however if the most prominent message given out from the Olympic torch relay was one we should be giving out. The spirit of the Olympic Games: athleticism, challenge, endeavour and sportsmanship were overshadowed by big brightly branded lorries/coaches/buses. Handing out free bottles of coke to children, certainly didn’t win me over. Still at least the Police might see a higher rate of new recruits after this, I nearly joined up myself (nice bikes!). Real life should be a better experience than television but in the case of the Olympics I think it’s all been choreographed to look good on the TV soundbites. Or maybe they were all a bit tired by the time they got to us at 6pm today.