I was out yesterday in the pouring rain at Puddletown, Dorset to watch the Olympic Torchbearer come running past. In puddles below and with umbrellas above a few hundred other enthusiasts cheered and waved their Union Jacks. I have to admit that a surge of patriotic fervour ‘warmed the cockles of my heart’. Odd expression – what is meant by cockles? I looked it up in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (which is anything but short!) and discovered the word has many meanings: an edible mollusc or its shell, a harmful weed in a cornfield, a small shallow boat, a wrinkle in paper, a bulge in glass, the fire chamber of a kiln or – and this is where the expression no doubt comes from – a large heating stove which has chambers around which air is passed for heating. This is sometimes called a ‘cockle-stove.’ So here we have it – the heart is a muscle with chambers, the ‘wellspring of life’ and centre of our being – and grand events such as the Olympics raise our spirits and warm our hearts…..in spite of all the rain.