Monday, 2 July 2012

The biggest birthday party ever?

Well, blow me down it's Monday morning and I can barely put one leg in front of the other.  We had rehearsals from 5.30 until 10.00pm on Friday night, 9.00 am until 5.30pm on Saturday and again 9.00 a.m until 1.00 on Sunday.  In total we're rehearsing for more than 200 hours.  Over the weekend we hit the half-way it's all downhill from here!

Friday was quite traumatic, arriving just minutes after a man had been stabbed to death in the Westfield Shopping Centre.  One of our number had seen the blood spurting out and his background in the police meant that he could tell us with a high degree of certainty that  the man would not survive.  The likely scenario is that this was two gangs fighting it out to see who would have the 'right' to be stealing from shops in the Centre.  A large part of Westfield remained cordoned off for the rest of the weekend.  Such a terrible waste of life...not just the guy that died, but for everyone else who was involved and thought that fighting gang wars was a good way to go.

As it was my birthday on Saturday everyone in our section sang a very rousing chorus of Happy Birthday.  I brought in for everyone in our group...that's about 75 of us....a Cadbury's chocolate Gold medal.  This may possibly have been the first time that anyone has been given a medal in the Olympics Stadium.  Danny Boyle was walking past so I grabbed him and gave him one too. After saying thanks, he said that in another group  it was Emily's birthday too and he would take me over to celebrate with her.  "Mind you", he said with a large grin, "That's more of a birthday present for you than it is for her".

Harsh, but probably fair!

I spent the rest of the day enjoying my birthday celebrations with a few thousand of my closest friends....certainly a birthday I will never forget!

When I staggered home, The Cat's Mother and I took ourselves out for a pizza...Pizza Express remains an absolute treat with me trying not to fall asleep from exhaustion after all the exertions of the day.  Just like a kid, I was over-excited by the prospect of opening my you think we ever get over that?  I hope not.

Sunday we were back on the field of play, and grateful that for the second day the sun stayed out, and we didn't get soaked to the skin again.  For the first time we ran though our sequence from start to end, so are beginning to get a real feel for how it will be on the night.  That too is helping create a fantastic buzz around from everyone involved...and some of the mumbles and grumbles that have been echoing over the last couple of weeks are fading away.  Hurrah!  And we can feel all the more secure now that The Royal Marines have taken over security there.  It's already been announced that there will be livestock as part of the Ceremony, and we were introduced to half a dozen of the horses - we were all encouraged to make as much noise as possible by their handlers to make sure that they were not spooked by the noise.  Indeed they weren't - I don't think there's too much for the RSPCA to worry about.

And then finally, I headed home for a big family meal in a restaurant overlooking the canal.

All in all, that was really quite a birthday weekend!