A day in the life of a batonbearer

0700 – Wake up, terrified, trying to convince myself that it was all just a dream and I don’t actually have to lug a wood-metal-inspiration amalgam through Glasgow city centre without falling, crying or fainting like a corset-wearing Austen character.

0710 – Check the weather, just in case the relay has been snowed off. It’s Glasgow, folks.

0800 – Stop shaking for long enough to throw some breakfast down my throat – and over my t-shirt – and head for the door. Remember that I need to put trousers on.

0830 – Meet the rest of the batonbearers and the lovely relay support team for a briefing in Caledonian University. Pose like eejits for several hundred photos.

Sometime after 0900 (things get a bit blurry after this point) – Board the Queen’s Baton Relay bus for some light entertainment (from the relay team) and some light perspiration (from the batonbearers).

0940 – Jump off the bus at my start point – the Theatre Royal. See the awaiting crowd, which includes my family and friends, a fantastic pipe band and a plethora of photographers and police. Instantly try to jump back on the bus.

1014 or thereabouts – Get a fright as the baton is suddenly at my side, carried up Hope Street by the fabulous, but stealthy, Courtney. Smile wildly for photos and wave like a crazed buffoon.

1015 – Pose with the band outside The Piping Centre in front of the biggest crowd of photographers I’ve ever seen. Try not to cry.

1016 – Suddenly jogging along Cowcaddens Road, flanked by cheerful but could-take-you-in-a-fight police officers, carrying a beacon that has travelled across the Commonwealth to land in my hands for a few joyous minutes. Feel incredible but completely overwhelmed.

1020 – Pass the baton to Greg, Head of Sports at Glasgow 2014 and awesome Australian. Try not to cry again.

1100 – After more photos and hugs and general merriment, head home to sit quietly for a moment and contemplate the morning’s events.

1110 – Get home, prattle on like a caffeinated budgie and dance around the house in excitement. Don’t contemplate the morning’s events at all.

1200 – Hustle down to the Clydeside to meet the good folk of UNICEF and the – hopefully good – abseil organisers.

1330 – Throw myself off Finnieston Crane. Pray for the structural integrity of ropes.

1335 – Reach the ground. Attempt to walk across the ground on limbs the consistency of watery gelatine.

1400 – Cuddle Baxter Bear. Not for any reason; just because he’s there and he’s cuddly.

1430 – Leave the UNICEF group mid-abseil (them, not me) and head back east to attend the council’s evening celebration for the baton relay.

1530 – Join around 8000 people on a wonderfully sunny Sunday afternoon for music, games and a party atmosphere in Springburn Park. Get too involved in the kids’ crafts and end up with more handmade drums than the cast of Stomp.

1700 – Enjoy chatting to the local people, the Lord Provost and some passing giants (apparently they’re indigenous to Glasgow North).

1830 – Form a guard of honour with the day’s other batonbearers as Paralympian and Games medallist Mike McCreadie brings the baton into the park and onto the stage. Dance like a fool. Try to pretend I haven’t just danced like a fool.

1915 – Leave behind the park, the baton and the excitement to head home for, I’m not going to lie, some pretty unhealthy food. Peel off my – now pretty mucky – batonbearer uniform to return to normal clothes. Feel much less special.

2000 – It’s been a long day…


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