Visiting relatives in Yorkshire at the weekend I got a taste of what the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay could mean for Ealing.
In Keighley, thousands lined the route ' young and old of all backgrounds ' in a very good-natured mood. No crash barriers were needed to keep people on the pavements just pleasant police officers and volunteers from local scouts groups who kept us updated on the torch's progress. People chatted to their neighbours and wheelchairs and the elderly seated on camping chairs were easily accommodated as were children who were ushered to the front of the crowds for a better view.
Before we got our glimpse of the torchbearer holding the flame aloft everyone cheered the sponsors' procession including buses and a command car, preceded by three lorries representing official Olympic sponsors Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB. My nephew loved the police motorbike outriders, especially the one who went along the edge of the street high fiving the gathered youngsters in the crowd.
Church bells rang out and members got together to arrange a free barbecue for the community and visitors. The council had arranged bands in the town square and there was a real festival atmosphere.
You may have seen footage of the torch relay on TV but it's so much better seeing it in person. There is significance in the way it is transferred from one torchbearer to the next, spreading the message of peace, unity and friendship. Seeing the torch relay has certainly increased my family's excitement and expectation for the Olympic Games next month.
When the torch relay reaches Ealing there will only be 3 days before it ends its journey as the last torchbearer lights the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, marking the official start of the Games.
So may I encourage you to ditch your cynicism and get behind this event when it comes to Ealing in just 4 weeks time on Tuesday 24th July, even if you didn't manage to get tickets for the evening event in Walpole Park or for the Olympic and Paralympic Games themselves. Gather up everyone you know and line the streets from Northala Fields to Southall, along the Uxbridge Road to Ealing Broadway and Walpole Park. Show your support and give Ealing its moment to shine.
Check out the timetable and route of the Olympic torch relay in Ealing here.
Find out who the torchbearers will be in Ealing
If you are organising any community events to welcome the Olympic torch, you can add details for free.