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August 4, 2012 / mintcustard

I held an Olympic bouquet.

Kazakhstan!, Kazakhstan! Kazakhstan!

Somehow every seat in our block, except mine and my daughters, was filled by members and family of the Kazakhstan  women’s weightlifting team. Their girl was in with a chance of a medal and the flags were out in force. Neither my daughter nor I are weightlifters. I’m not bad a getting the lid off a jar of pickles but that is where my feats of strength end. The teen lifts as part of her core work as a sprinter so we booked tickets really because they were available. I am so, so glad we did.  I now feel I could easily qualify for citizenship of Kazakhstan following our very enthusiastic support of Maiya Maneza in the 63 kg category as she broke the Oympic record, attempted the world record and won gold. During the medal ceremony I felt like crying as the flags were raised, goodness alone knows how embarrassed my teen would have been if Team GB had been represented and had won. There would have been serious wailing on my part.

Despite a fleeting feeling on my part that the medal rostrum seem to be made from giant bars of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (perhaps that is just a glimpse into my psyche!) so close does the colour resemble the purple wrappers, my main feeling was one of disappointment  with the bouquets. They were small and boring. I could have done better at a petrol station.

How wrong can you be.

Before the trip home we, and every woman in the building, queued for the loo. It has to be done. Suddenly I got a faint whiff of lavender and mint. Better than pine Flash I thought. It wasn’t,  it was coming from a small posy of flowers being tightly gripped by the lady in the queue behind me. An Olympic medal winners posy. The lady in the queue very obviously wasn’t an Olympic medallist. She had caught the flowers as they were thrown by an Olympian into the crowd. She very kindly let me hold them as the teen took a photo. It was then I fell in love with them. All the feelings of them being inadequate went out of the window. They are very British, in fact very London and just delightful.

Bunched together tightly are roses, mint, wheat, hops, lavender and rosemary. Coming from a lavender growing area of London it made me smile to see that nod to the past. The hops and hopping kept the wolf from the door for many East Londoners during the early 20th century so they have rightfully earned their place. Rosemary for remembrance too.

Then I got it, the posys are not for me to look at but for the Olympians to receive and enjoy. I do hope someone was able to tell them the significance of the flowers the posy contained. It is the story of London in Flowers.


Leave a Comment
  1. gaskella / Aug 4 2012 2:36 pm

    How nice to have the wheat and hops – not just flowers. Very British indeed.

  2. Fabulicious Food! (@RenBehan) / Aug 7 2012 8:09 am

    How lovely to hold the bouquet and to have had such a fun day! I love the idea behind the bouquet – perhaps it should have been a British bouquet with a sprig or two of thistle and something a bit Welsh added into the mix..?!

  3. mintcustard / Aug 7 2012 11:03 am

    I thought that too Ren. It was beautiful all the same. Just hope the roses are British!

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