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Harriet's Relay Diary

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20 June Day 15 - Exeter to Bournemouth

BBC South presenter, Sally Taylor carried the baton into Bournemouth tonight live on the telly. Popped in for a brew at my brother James' - luckily he had some milk in for a change.

19 June Day 14 - Penzance to Exeter

All the ingredients of a perfect evening celebration - hot weather, large crowds, great MCs, good live music and lots of chocolate. CBBC presenter, Angellica Bell was a big hit with the youngsters who mobbed her for autograph when she came off the stage.

18 June Day 13 - Bristol to Penzance

A childrens' pirate fancy dress competition on stage tonight. I enjoyed a cornish pastie snack. Stayed in a traditional seaside hotel with seaview and spent all my spare change in the slotties.

17 June Day 12 - Gloucester to Bristol

My prayers have been answered. Unpack the sandals! Hot and humid the forecasters said today and we had a lovely sunny entry into England - where Sir Geoff Hurst added a touch of footballing fever to the day - as the first person to carry the baton into the country. The convoy travelled through Cheltenham, Cirencester, Swindon and Bath before an evening celebration in Bristol kicking off at 5pm.

Day's 9, 10 and 11 - WALES!

From the highlands and glens to the mountains and valleys of wonderful Wales. A weekend of castles and coastlines with 3 great evening celebrations in Aberystwyth, Wrexham and Cardiff. Welsh-male-voice-choir-tastic! I wish the sun would come out - even the 'aussies' in the crew have lost their tans.

There was a bungled attempt to make off the baton on Saturday when an unscheduled baton runner lunged from the crowd and tried to take it from the hand of Daniel Williamson in Wrexham. With the 24 hour high security watch we have with the operation - it was never gonna happen was it?!?

13th June Day 8 - Isle of Man, Guernsey & Jersey

A small select group took took the baton to the skies this morning for a whistle stop tour of the Islands. On the Isle of Man the baton enjoyed VIP treatment aboard a TT bike & sidecar, and an electric and horsedrawn tram. The main convoy began to wend their way from Scotland to Swansea - a silver and purple sight for sore eyes on the motorway I managed to take in a detour at Whittle le Woods to check my post, have a cup of tea and cuddle the cat before continuing the journey to Swansea. Meanwhile, after a quick visit to Guernsey, the baton finally arrived in Jersey where it arrived at the evening celebration in St Helier aboard a rowing boat.

12th June Day 7 - Stirling to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is just SO showbiz. Home of an annual international arts festival - they certainly know how to put on a gig. Cadburies pulled out the stops to offer a winning member of the audience a year's supply of chocolate - which appealed to the children who lined the route to welcome the final runner, gold medalist, Yvonne Murray Mooney. Scotch Salmon, Vegetarian Haggis and Bread & Butter Pudding - a feast for the team on our first Wednesday Crew night - a chance to relax and socialise and look back at the first week.

11th June Day 6 - Aberdeen to Stirling

Yesterday's theme was Kids & Crowds - todays memories are mainly golfing ones. The Relay passed through Carnoustie - one of the famous homes of the British Golf Championship and also St Andrews, Scotland's oldest University Town - the home of the sport in Scotland. We were joined by the world's oldest marathon runner - a 90 year old lady called Jenny Allen who still looked good in her shorts. 10 year old Frazer Brand missed his first day at big school to be a runner today.

10th June Day 5 - Inverness to Aberdeen

Enroute to Aberdeen the relay passed the Queen's holiday home in Balmoral - I enjoyed sampling traditional highland fair at a Whisky Distillery, the visitors centre at Baxters soup and a Scottish shortbread biscuit factory - have eaten plenty of that in the hotel rooms each evening! Biggest crowds yet turned out in force to cheer the baton on it's way.

9th June Day 4 - Glasgow to Inverness

The world's most unusual attempt to catch a sight of the Loch Ness monster happened today - when we dipped the baton in the waters of Loch Ness to try to capture the heartbeat of the legendary creature. The Gold Medal winning Scottish curling team were in Inverness this evening to bring the baton on the stage at the celebration site. Didn't fancy the venison much after seeing the body of stag that had been knocked down on the roadside. We only flatten hedgehogs and rabbits in Chorley.

8th June Day 3 - Stranraer to Glasgow

A real cultural mix of entertainment on stage tonight for the first evening celebration held in George Square, Glasgow. A group of Greek dancers, break dancers, scottish highland singers in kilts and a Bhangra band that mixed asian drumming with the bagpipes. I enjoyed a trip on the city's underground system too. Crowds were difficult to attract thanks to a sudden downfall - but the 2 men and a scotty dog seemed to enjoy themselves.

7th June Day 2 - Giant's Causeway

Up at 4.30 this morning for a daybreak stretch of the relay at Giant's Causeway. This dramatic coastline is dominated by spectacular rock formations, steeped in myth and legend. BBC Breakfast's Weather girls were there to capture the sunshine too. Back to to the hotel for lunch so the relay team could watch the footy.

6th June Day 1 - Belfast

I had my first bird's eye view of the relay in full operation mode, perched on the back of the media motorhome looking back on the runners, flanked by the police outriders and the convoy following on behind. It's a headturning site when the relay comes down the street and by the time we rounded the corner for the celebration outside City Hall the crowds had formed to cheer the final runner onto the stage for the official speeches.


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