Saturday 21 July 2012

Picture Daily 63

A view of the stadium which may be difficult to capture after the Games start

Olympic heroes

I've got the morning off....first time for months it feels like.  I was hoping for a lie-in, and disconnected the land-line phone to make sure early riser friends didn't call us to disturb mu slumbers.  Inevitably, then, it was The Boy who rang on the mobile at the minute I think.  As we haven;t been able to speak with him all week, it was a great way to start the day...and a fortunate one, because it turns out that he didn't have the passport he needs to jet off to Iceland on the next school trip this afternoon.

We're into the last furlong and last night I got to see a goodly portion of the whole Olympic Ceremony.  It's all very, very exciting indeed.  Yesterday we rehearsed in our costumes for the first time.  It suddenly seems to have come round very quickly...after months and months of thinking it would never happen, we are but a few days away from the big night.

It's been quite a journey...and I've already begun reflecting on the experience.  There are nothing but positives.  There is one thing that I'm very conscious of...being part of a team.  I've always tended to be quite 'individualistic', so big organisations have never been my thing.  So blending in, making friends, just being part of a crowd has been a brilliant experience...if it helps me in the future I will be grateful.  There's only one person I've taken a strong disliking to...someone who is a show off, self-centred and selfish. And only one out of a thousand is not bad.  There's a few good friends I've made and expect to remain closely in touch with afterwards.  And there is one person who is something of a hero...he embodies everything that the Olympics should be about, and I'm very pleased to have met him.  This is an extract from an e-mail he sent when we were trying to organise our own post event celebrations and I don't think he would mind me sharing:

"I'd love to join you at the pub afterwards, but I'm not clear about how long it will take us to get back to change (if that is what is really happening) and then walk to the pub.

I see it may take 30 minutes to walk there. With my limp, it might take me an hour - I'm in the early stages of motor neurone disease - I wasn't diagnosed when I got through the audition. But this has been a real life-affirming opportunity for me.

If anyone has any bright ideas or knows more of about what is happening on next Friday night, I'd love to hear from you."

Friday 20 July 2012

Picture daily 62

And now...a sneak preview of the Olympic Park...tyre tracks in the gravel just felt they needed to be pictured before they are lost for ever

Thursday 19 July 2012

Picture daily 61

Some may say this is a little late, but at the moment I'm struggling to find time to breath.....

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Picture daily 59

A remarkable light display at the Hendon Air Museum

There is a greater power...

Some things are not meant to be, and you have to believe that it is for a good reason.

A few weeks ago we discovered that the Olympic Torch was going to pass right by our front door in Brighton.  When I say right past, I mean we .would be able to lean out of our sitting room window and touch.  Or at least get burnt by it

I exploded with excitement.  Unreasonable as that may seem, it was the case.  I don't know why, but it was just the best thing since sliced bread.  The Cat's Mother was swept along as well, and in true Cat's Mother fashion, she had soon organised for the world to come down with us to see the Grail pass before us.

From that point onwards it went down, down, down.  First Mrs Muffin couldn't make it, then after a while Mr Muffin and the Muffin offspring couldn't make it, and then UP felt unable to travel to see it.  I in the meantime, had foregone the pleasure of paying some £25 each on e-bay for seven 'limited edition' Brighton and Hove Torch relay badges by buying them directly from the 2012 shop for just £7.  Still The Cat's Mother and I could wear one each and give the others to our neighbours.

That was until Friday night when The Cat's Mother went down with some sickening illness.  She was in a very poorly state through Saturday and Sunday and into Monday.  She suggested I travelled by myself, but in a moment of solidarity I declined.

Not to worry, we could watch it live on the BBC stream.

And so we did as it travelled across Sussex in the wind and the rain.  Very moving it was too.  And the excitement grew and grew as it approached our beloved home.  Until just around the corner, the live feed went dead.  The picture showing vast crowds clapping and cheering and waving was as black as a black thing can be.  There was no more live stream the BBC nearly apologised.  The torch passed by our home and I'll never know who was there and what it looked like.

I was unreasonably upset and disappointed.  The Cat's Mother was distraught.  I woke up this morning with a feeling of injustice and unfairness.

How could that be?  Who knows, but there must be a reason.  I wish I knew what it was.

Monday 16 July 2012

Picture daily 58

A fairly splendid row of trees

The budgie smuggler

There are some upsides to the dreadful weather we've been having this summer.

Something that causes much discussion, debate and animation in our household is my choice of swim wear.

When I was a young, fit man and would every possible waking minute sunning myself on the beach  at Brighton, I would wear what could only be described as Budgie Smugglers.  Minimum cover, maximum tan.  Why would I wear anything else?

However, as the years have progressed, so has the length of my trunks...from hi-cut, to stretch down to the top of my thighs, and most recently to some that are half way down.  From colourful to modest black.  But not everything has changed.  they're still made of lycra and fit....well, cosily....

For me, they are perfect, in them I am a God amongst men.  An Olympian amongst mere mortals.  I could spend hours strutting my stuff and admiring myself in the mirror.  But, but, but.  All are  not of one opinion.  The Cat covers here eyes and screeches that I am obscene; The Boy is even more embarrassed than usual, and The Cat's Mother, thinks it's time I grew up and wore clothes age appropriate.  What do they know?

It may have been a coincidence, it may have been that they have conspired against me, but a couple of weeks ago I was approached by SimplySwim, who said tat for a mention of their name, they would send me a new pair from their extensive selection here.  This has made everyone happy.  Eventually.  Because everyone wanted a say in which ones I got.  Obviously it was of critical importance to The Cat and The Cat's Mother because they spent hours pouring over the photos of finely honed young men in swim shorts. They must have been considering all aspects of the soon to be acquired swim shorts because I kept hearing the words 'fit' and 'enormous'...I assume they were referring to the vast range available with the last comment.  Various utterances of 'I'd have that one'  I assume meant that they liked quite a lot of the shorts.  I appreciate their sacrifice.  I know they did it all for me.  The Boy tended to side with me in selecting a pair, safe in the knowledge that the words 'tight' and 'figure-hugging' would not be in the description of my acquisition.  Eventually we arrived at a democratic decision - I had four votes, and a pair were requested, duly arriving the next day.

And very nice they are too.  We're all pretty much agreed about that.  All we need now is some sun and a holiday.  The local budgie population can rest easily once more