Anyone who has paid a visit to my bathroom will know that I am particularly fond of a rubber duck! I used to have a much larger collection but an episode with a cleaner and a plastic carrier bag meant that the originals were lost to the bin men! That said, I now have another 6 wee friends taking pride of place beside the bath!
My collection is small fry though! Did anyone see the story of the huge rubber duck that “swam” under Tower Bridge in December? This was a stunt organised by an online bingo site to publicise its £250,000 “bursary” to help make more Britons have fun. The giant 50ft-tall rubber duck went along the River Thames, past HMS Belfast, The Tower of London and under a raised Tower Bridge, much to the amusement of tourists along the riverbank.
And this week another specimen has been spotted floating through Darling Harbour in Australia to mark the opening of the Sydney Festival. Looking very similar to the London visitor, but with more plastic coverage over the hovercraft-like platform.
The organisers of the Festival say that the duck has been popping up in various sites around the world since 2007, although this is the first I’ve read about it. If it wants to join us on the Clyde in Glasgow next as part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games celebrations, that would be ducking marvellous!
At last we’ve achieved a couple of gold medals at London2012!
On day 5 we were treated to an amazing win by rowers Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the female pairs. The world silver medallists led from the start, clocking seven minutes 27.13 seconds to become the first British female rowers to win an Olympic title.
The duo, who joined forces only two years ago, looked calm on the start line at an overcast Eton Dorney, and got their race off perfectly with a heavy acceleration out of the blocks. By 500m, they were almost a length clear, looking settled and focused. As they entered the final 250m, the packed grandstands either side of the lake began to cheer, with fans getting to their feet as they cruised across the finishing line a length clear of Australia.
Then a few hours later there was one for the boys! Our Tour de France champion, Bradley Wiggins (yes him with the sideburns!), became Britain’s most decorated Olympian with victory in the London 2012 time trial.
He now has 7 Olympic medals to his name -four golds, a silver and two bronzes – one more than rowing great Sir Steve Redgrave. Millions of people took to the streets around Hampton Court to cheer him on and he didn’t disappoint. What a 10 days this has been for him and as he said when interviewed at the end of the event: “I don’t think my sporting career will ever top this now,” said Wiggins. “That’s it. It will never, never get better than that. Incredible.”
To round off the day, the GB football team managed a scrappy 1-0 win against Uruguay, making them top of Group A and taking them into the quarter finals against South Korea on Saturday. If they win that game they are assured of a bronze medal at the very least but on the downside, they are likely to meet Brazil in the semis so let’s not get too excited just yet!
Mind you, after a truly inspirational performance by the GB women’s football team the night before when they beat a strong Brazil side 1-0 in front of a 70,000 strong partisan crowd at Wembley, there’s more than just a little pride at stake!!!