The Team GB and Paralympics GB Parades

I was asked on Monday as we were about to board the floats to parade through Manchester city centre - was I getting used to this now? I definitely don't think being paraded through a city with crowds of people cheering for you is something anyone will ever get used to, but it is one of those special occasions I will always treasure.

As a Manchester resident I am ashamed to say my experience of the city's weather wasn't enough for me to arrive prepared with waterpoofs.. I looked out the window before I left and saw clear blue sky and thought "I'm sure it won't rain". Of course I spoke way too soon. But in fact I think the weather just added to the atmosphere of the occasion. We were all in it together - the crowds, the athletes, the TV presenters, and everyone just cheered even louder!

I was however delighted by the hospitality of Manchester City Council who after the parade hosted us in the Town Hall and we could make the most of an unlimited hot buffet.

Tuesday was another public reception in Trafalgar Square followed by a visit to Buckingham Palace where I spoke with the Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Anne. Another one of those amazingly special moments where I have to keep reminding myself to take everything in and treasure it as it is over all too quickly.

Overall a fabulous couple of days with amazing public support, really capturing the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games which for me is about bringing a nation together and inspiring us all by showing what hard work can achieve.

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