A little housekeeping before starting. Apologies for my abandoning the blog for the last week and a bit, and for the irregularity of posting preceding that, I’ve not been well, dear reader. When I’ve not been working, (and I’ve been working hard, more of which in a moment), I’ve been sleeping.
I don’t actually know what is wrong with me and truth be told I’ve not really felt in tip-top condition all year, but the last few weeks things have come to a head and I’ve felt absolutely wretched. I’m currently awaiting the results of some tests I had last week to see if I can get a definitive answer to what is wrong with me.
I have been working hard, both at work, and in my project. I’ve eluded to this a few times over the last few months and am delighted that the project is now bearing fruit. I’ve slipped a few references to professional wrestling into this blog in recent times, and I am absolutely delighted to announce that one of things we’ve been working towards has achieved primary objective. As a result of an insane amount of hard work we’ve got British wrestling back on TV, and it is coming to air very, very soon. If you like wrestling you’ll get it, if you don’t then you won’t much care. I’ll write a discourse on pro-wrestling before long but for now, here’s a little teaser video for the expeditionary force, there’s a whole lot more going on behind the scenes and it is becoming a very exciting time for the British form of the art.
Once you’ve watched the video, I’ll get to the main point of today’s rambling. Now, settle down please. Would you dim the lights, Jimmy? And Johnny, I can see you with that biro casing, if you start shooting wads of paper at the screen there’ll be detention, understood? We can just as easily copy down text into an exercise book. Now, how does this blasted thing work? (I used to have a geography teacher who would try into insert VHS tapes upside down and the wrong way round, she’d almost start hitting them with a hammer to get the machine to load them, the sight of a reel-to-reel projector would send her running from the lecture theatre.)
Right, so. Now that’s over, on to the meat of the matter.
I was surprised, when the ballot results came out, to discover that Mrs. Snowolf had been successful in her application for Olympic tickets, and yesterday we went up to that there London for to partake in the finals and medals session for three of the Greco-Roman wrestling weight categories. (Do you see the segue? Seamless, I’m such a pro.)
Now I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a cynic about the Olympics, I was worried about the cost, I was worried about the disruption, but most of all I was worried about it being a shambles and us being made a laughing stock.
I was wrong.
There’s the old line about knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing. It has been clear to me from speaking to people and from the reactions of those in the media that the country has taken these games to heart, and in big style. The opening ceremony was a triumph. Odd in places, in one section ill advised, downright bizarre throughout, but Paul McCartney once again giving a demonstration of how his voice has gone aside, I thought it was a triumph. It made the vast majority of the country smile, that can be no bad thing in my book. The bit with Daniel Craig and Herself was superb and I think in the long run the whole shebang, coupled with the Jubilee stuff, will give tourism in this country a real shot in the arm.
Yesterday we encountered a superbly organised day, from the moment we parked up at Ebbsfleet, (the high speed train from Canterbury up to Stratford has been suspended for the duration to allow for a constant shuttle from Ebbsfleet-Stratford Int’l-St. Pancras, barring a couple of commuter trains there and back) to getting into the centre of town for some grub at Cote (try them, their set lunch menu is the stuff of legend) and then back out east for our event was a doddle, indeed it was pleasure. We used the DLR, the tube, the water bus, even the cable car from the O2 to the Excel, the whole thing was wonderful.
This is a London I’ve never experienced before. Happy, smiling, helpful, in a good mood. It won’t last, and I kind of hope it doesn’t, there’s something endearing about London’s grumpiness, it’s what makes it one of the great cities, like New York’s impatience and Paris’ arrogance, lose it and you lose an important character trait. But for a couple of weeks London is a city transformed.
When was the last time you had a conversation with a smiling TfL employee on a station platform, as he asked you if you were having a nice time? It just doesn’t happen.
Yes it’s been expensive, yes quite a few people have been buggered about, but from what I’ve seen London has been on holiday in its own back garden, and holidays cost money and mean a bit of buggering about.
I’ll leave you with this wonderful list of tips for American tourists in London from the Miami Herald’s Dave Barry.