Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 30 July 2012

The Olympic teams residences

I have been asked to show a few of the decorated residence blocks in the athletes village. There are 204 different countries represented at the Olympic games and the majority have flags and posters hanging from their balconies or on the windows. See how many you can recognise.











































This is how the Belgium team get around the village.

There is one notable absence from this group of photos. As yet there are no USA flags adorning any of the residences.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The final countdown

The final journey of the torch took it along the length of the Thames in the Queen's boat 'The Gloriana'.

You can see the cauldron with the flame at the front of the boat and the torch being held aloft (by Matthew Pinsent I think). The boat is just going passed the Houses of Parliament.



The clock in Trafalgar square was counting down the last few hours before the opening ceremony.


Now that the ceremony has taken place I can let you see a few of my favourite parts from the technical rehearsal. I loved the drummers coming through the crowd. As you can see all the audience had their backs to the stadium whilst we watched and listened to the drummers. When we turned round to face the front it had been transformed from the country scene to the industrial revolution. As an audience we just gasped at the transformation that had taken place so quickly.


It was an amazing scene with so much going on and the drummers at the front continuing the beating of the drums. There were about a thousand drummers and the sound just enveloped your whole being.

This is a model of 'The Windrush' which brought workers from the Caribbean to Britain after the war. The country was so short of manual workers due to the loss of our young men that many families came to Britain on this boat to find work and then decided to settle here.

I loved this scene of the forging of these gigantic rings.




 My camera just couldn't do this spectacular scene justice.

This was great to see our nurses and doctors play such a major role in the ceremony. All the people taking part in this section are employed by the National Health Service. They also used some children from Great Ormand Street Hospital. The connection with 'Peter Pan' is that J.M. Barrie who wrote the book/play gave GOSH the royalties from the production of the play.


Mary Poppins arrived to save the day and chase away the nightmares the children were having.


There were a few parts that  were kept secret from us in the rehearsal such as The Queen and James Bond (Daniel Craig) arriving in spectacular fashion and of course Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) helping the orchestra out. I loved every minute of it. The next time I will be in the stadium I will be performing in the opening ceremony for the Paralympic Games. What a terrifying thought!

Friday, 27 July 2012

The opening ceremony

On Wednesday I was fortunate to go to the technical dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony. Not wanting to spoil the surprise I will just say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and was wowed by some of the special effects. Here is a taster of what people can expect when they arrive in the Olympic Park.





There are banks of wild flowers everywhere, specially grown to flower during the games.



Around the stadium is a ring of golden flowers which you can only see from the air. On the ground though the flowers are just beautiful.
















Crossing the bridge over the river which takes you into the Olympic Stadium.


Made it! Ever since we knew the Olympics were coming to London I made a promise to myself that somehow I would get into the Stadium. This was the moment I had been waiting for and it was well worth the waiting.


Thank -you for all the enquiries about my son. He has now recovered and is back at work. I do not seem to have picked up the virus so will hopefully return to the Village on Monday. Meanwhile I will use the opportunity to go into London and see what is happening there.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Olympic village welcome ceremony

As each team arrives there is a welcome ceremony to the village. I was lucky enough to be in the Plaza as one was happening on Monday. Unfortunately I had forgotten to charge my camera and of course it ran out at a crucial time!


The ceremony is performed by the National Youth Theatre

On their marks, ready.......


Lots of talented acrobats in the group.


Here the red carpet is being rolled out.


The Bagladesh team are being led down the red carpet.


A video of this group would have been much better as once they sprung into action the height they were achieving was awe inspiring.


The camera then gave up on me missing out on all the action as the rest of the actors appeared and gave a dazzling performance. The evening before I had caught the end of a ceremony:

Acknowledging the National flag of the team.


Raising of the team's flag.



Raising of the Olympic flag. The man in the suit is Jonathan Edwards - The British Olympic and World record holder of the triple jump (a few years ago).

So that was on Monday. At the end of the afternoon I had a message from my son who was unwell and needed some medication. As he lives on his own I decided to leave work an hour early and go and see him. Explained the situation to my manager and off I went. With a high temperature, nausea and diarrhea he wasn't well but was recovering by the next day which was my day off. Wednesday I returned to work and was quite touched by the manager immediately asking how my son was and enquiring about his symptons. Unfortunately I was then told that as my job involved such close contact with the athletes I would have to leave the village for 5 days  unless I also became ill in which case I would be unable to return!

C'est la vie!