Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Monday, 26 April 2010

This Sunday morning brought the sound of pounding feet, shouts and cheers down our main road. Not election canvassers, but the London Marathon once again.

Once again, a kind neighbour with a prime balcony view of the oncoming crowds of runners had a viewing party. It all looked much the same as the last time I posted photos and videos of it. For a couple of hours, once the international elite and competitive club runners had passed, we had a parade of firemen, soldiers, cavemen, supermen, wonderwomen, cowboys, leprechauns, fairies, smurfs, Minnie Mice, Simpsons (and every other cartoon character you can imagine), an Avatar character, tigers, lions, a beer bottle or two, some whoopee cushions, a telephone, guide dogs, rhinos, a camel, a record-breaking caterpillar of 34 people, men in tutus, a rhino in a tutu, a giraffe with a 20ft neck, and extraordinary ordinary men and women of all ages, shapes, sizes and colours.

The Marathon's exhausting. It takes dedicated preparation and careful attention to the right kind of fortifying food.

For watching it, that is. So we had Spanish omelettes, sandwiches and sausage rolls, salads, cheese straws, sundry other savouries, and cake. And tea - lots of tea. And more cake.

My small contribution involved a few mini-pizzas (thanks to Walt's relay of a foolproof dough recipe - who'd have thought yeast would work better when it's kept in the fridge overnight?) and some chocolate macaroons (nice to eat, but there must be a better way than piping the mixture out of a bag - they looked like something that you mustn't leave lying in the street).

Eventually the last stragglers had passed, fortified in their turn by the slices of orange, chocolates and so on handed out by the spectators.

By the early evening, all the detritus of water bottles, orange peel, balloons and banners had disappeared : whether that has anything to do with the fact that our estate houses a local councillor and candidate for Parliament in this election - well, I couldn't say.

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