… Frank Turner!
Yep. That’s right. You heard it here first – going to London 2012 is officially better that going to see Frank Turner at the Hammersmith Apollo on the 22nd November 2011. This is big news in WeeGee land by the way.
I understand that not everybody cares about the Olympic Games, so here’s a quick summary of WeeGee at the Olympic Games for those of you who don’t want to read an over excited and gushing post all about the Olympics.
A quick summary
1. There are huge crowds of trillions of people at the Olympic Games – WeeGee doesn’t like huge crowds of trillions of people.
2. At least a million strangers amongst the huge crowds of trillions of people at the Olympic Games will speak to you without warning – Wee Gee doesn’t like at least a million strangers speaking to her without warning.
3. WeeGee went to the Olympics and at least a million strangers amongst the huge crowds of trillions of people at the Olympic Games spoke to her without warning – WeeGee LOVED going to the Olympics.
Here’s an even quicker summary of WeeGee at the Games just to make sure you get the gist of how over excited and gushing I am.
An even quicker summary
An over excited and gushing post all about the Olympics
I thought I was all interested and involved in the Olympics before I actually went along to the Olympics. All I can say is I hadn’t seen anything yet! It was amazing. Like, totally AMAZEBALLS.
The back story is this:
I was really looking forward to going, but at the same time I had a list of ‘things to be anxious about’ that was as long as my arm. First of all there was the fact that I was going somewhere that I didn’t ‘know what I was doing’ – I like to know the rules so that I can avoid getting anxious about doing it wrong and looking like an idiot. Then there were the huge crowds of at least a trillion people to contend with – I never quite know how my brain is going to react under such circumstances. Then there was going on the tube with huge crowds of at least a trillion people. I was also extremely worried that I would arrive at the Olympics and decide that I wanted to go home IMMEDIATELY. Or what if I got to the Olympics and realised that I was more mental than I’d ever been before and had a complete nervous breakdown at the Olympics? Finally – what if the toilets were grotty?
Thinking about now it’s amazing that I got there really – but then again I did have a secret weapon on the day – Mr Friendly. Mr Friendly is friendly, and brave and calm and actually pretty good at laughing along with WeeGee when the mentals strike. Good old Mr Friendly!
Broken brain was still in flat and empty mode on the day WeeGee went to the games – well at least at the start of the day. I very nearly called Mr Friendly to say’ I can’t go, why don’t you take your flat mate instead?’ But then I remembered that I can do a good job of ignoring the flat and empties so it would be okay in the end. In the end, it was better than okay. There were a few jittery moments, but they were few and far between and there were a number of moments when I felt NORMAL and/or HAPPY – the Olympic Games: Good for your mental health.
This is the view of the approach to the Olympic Park (if you come via West Ham, anyway):
It really does take your breath away – what with the scale of it and the expectancy and the general awesomeness. Along the way, there are loads of volunteers welcoming you and being all friendly and helpful and whooping everybody up. It’s difficult not to get excited. By the way, you see that massive curly wurly thing in the background? I went all the way to the top of it. That’s how brave I was when I went to the Olympics (more about that later)
When I got to security, I didn’t know what I was doing and I was a bit anxious. Was it exactly like airport security or were there different special rules that I didn’t know about? Was I allowed to take my NRT lozenges in or would they be confiscated and if so – THEN WHAT WOULD I DO? Would I have to take my shoes off (I hate taking my shoes off. I hate other people taking their shoes off more – I’m afraid of feet)? Did I have some unexpected contraband in my bag – like a gun – that I didn’t know about?
The answer? Everything was fine. WeeGee coped just fine. Go WeeGee!
It became clear to me as I went through security that strangers were going to speak to me at the Olympic Games. Instead of deciding I wanted to go home IMMEDIATELY in order to avoid this, I decided I was going to play a game of ‘let’s see how many strangers WeeGee can manage to speak to back without going mental’.
The answer? Loads!
Here is WeeGee arriving at the Olympic Park having being whooped up by the volunteers and buoyed by speaking to strangers and not knowing what she was doing but coping. Yes. That’s the face I pull when those things happen:
Once we got into the Olympic Park WeeGee took a leap of faith and decided that she was going to go to the top of the huge curly wurly thing. It was a leap of faith because a) it was huge and I didn’t know how you got back down and b) once again, I didn’t really know what was going to happen when I got to the top.
Here’s what happened. You go up to a viewing platform 84 feet high and look down on the Stadium. If you are lucky enough to be up there when a race is taking place you will hear a mahoosive roar from inside the stadium and it will be so mahoosive that the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up. Then you go to a different viewing platform to watch the athletes warming up/training and wonder whether Usain Bolt is down there and think WOW – I am here! This is the view from the top of the curly wurly thing:
Then you realise you have to walk down all 84 feet of the curly wurly thing and, on the way down, you cling on to the banister for dear life. When you get to the bottom you feel proud of yourself for going up and coming down – imagine if you had let the mentals stop you. And you are double proud of yourself because you only went and initiated a conversation with a stranger because his children amused you and you wanted to tell him and be friendly. Go WeeGee!
Next stop was what we thought to be the Biggest McDonalds in the World for a quarter pounder, fries and fat coke. The McDonalds we went to was pretty huge but we later realised that is was teeny tiny in comparison to the actual Biggest McDonalds in the World! (a note on McDonalds – the last time I ate there was May 2011. It’s definitely better the less often you have it!)
We spent a long time just wandering around soaking up the atmosphere, because the atmosphere was totally amazing. Everybody was all happy and excited and friendly and, while we were wandering around, I managed to initiate conversation with a random stranger #2 by talking to a nice man about ‘The Cube’. Totally go WeeGee – I was on fire!
It really is amazing being at the Olympic park by the way, did I mention that? I don’t think I’m doing a good job of putting it into words. Then again – I don’t actually think you can adequately put it into words. I’ve been to a few huge sporting and musical events in my time but they’re always a bit chaotic, and scary and grubby. The Olympics is none of those things. It’s organised and exciting and very, very clean. Even the toilets are acceptable!
As we headed up towards the hockey venue we saw this:
An as yet unidentified dude from the BBC… everyone was looking at him and waving even though nobody knew who he was or what he was doing. It’s amazing what people will get excited about, isn’t it?! By the way – there’s a prize for anyone who can identify the dude from the BBC….
Finally after much soaking up of atmosphere we arrived at the hockey venue. This is what it looked like:
And this was team GB lining up for the anthems against Pakistan:
It was amazing to see all that red white and blue in one place at one time. Truly amazing. We’ve already established that I’m not a fan of flags – I guess because I associate them with fascists and hooligans. My association is clearly wrong, because there was nothing unpleasant about seeing all those union flags being brandished so proudly. It was actually quite beautiful. Maybe I’m not a cynic anymore because even I got in on the action and purchased a hat with the union flag on top. Here’s WeeGee getting in the team GB spirit by wearing a rather fetching hat (it was an impulse purchase):
And here’s the crowd just after roaring out God Save Aunt Jean (she keeps us nice and clean) – all the hairs on the back of my neck were up at this point and it was only a prelim match!
Guess what? Team GB won! Perfect. I had a super time watching the hockey even if I didn’t always know what was going on!
We headed towards the end of day with WeeGee getting the opportunity to watch Mr Friendly in action as he actually properly spoke to some strangers. Two blokes from Winchester wanted to chat (not just small talk) and I didn’t like it at all because I didn’t know what to say and I wanted to LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Mr friendly just got on with it for a while and then realised I wanted to leave and got me outta there. Good old Mr Friendly again!
We rounded up the day in the viewing park watching the rowers getting gold and singing along with God Save Aunt Jean again and seeing Victoria Pendleton winning her gold medal on the big screen. Exciting! Go Team GB!!
I love the Olympics and I loved going to the Olympics. I’ve written a long post but I definitely didn’t do it justice although I tried my best. Maybe I should have stuck with the even shorter summary because that probably said it all:
If you don’t have tickets for an event and have a spare ten pounds it is WELL WORTH buying a ticket to go in and have a look around and to watch a few events at the viewing park. Seriously – the Olympics are better than Frank Turner. There is no higher recommendation than that!
Lots of Olympic Love, WeeGee xx
PS. Just in case you are wondering why both of the photos of me are in black and white it’s because everybody looks better in black and white – especially WeeGee who looks like a moron in colour. Here’s the proof: