Posted in Reasons to be cheerful

Going to the Olympics: Better than…

… 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

WOW!

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:

WOW!

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:

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Posted in About today

Expectancy, excitement, crying, a mad rush, more crying, even more crying and a dilemma (with the potential for more crying): A day in the life of WeeGee

What can I tell you?

I woke up with this strange feeling of expectancy and the feeling has stayed with me all day. I can’t explain in better than that I just feel like something is going to happen – I don’t know if it’s a good something or a bad something, and to be honest, I don’t think I mind much. Something is better than nothing, right?  Of course, I don’t claim to have any kind of psychic powers, in fact, I’m not at all convinced that such a thing exists so who knows where this feeling of expectancy is coming from. Mr Hilarious suggested that it’s probably indigestion* and I can’t argue with him since I’ve never actually (to my knowledge) had indigestion to know what it feels like…..

Anyway, Kingston was buzzing with Olympic excitement again this morning as the torch made its way down the river from Hampton Court and under the Kingston Bridge. I headed down to the river like the dutiful citizen that I am and I have to admit it was a little bit exciting. The thing you have to bear in mind here is that I am possibly the most cynical person in the world when it comes to things like that, so me saying it was a ‘little bit exciting’ means you can probably multiply up by a factor of at least a million to get the idea. Everyone was all happy and smiling and friendly and it felt like being on holiday in the friendliest place ever. I liked it. A lot.

Whilst I was down at the river I bumped into some of the gang from work so I didn’t end up watching a big boat with a big flame floating along the river all by myself which was a bonus. In the end, all things considered, I think a good time was had by all – even if the Riverside cafe had run out of bacon by the time we got to the front of the queue meaning that we had to content ourselves with pastries which were nice, but not quite as nice as bacon butties would have been.

When the boat actually went passed I got a bit caught up in the moment and the cheering and the friendly holiday atmosphere and found myself…. wait for it…. crying! I don’t know why, it just happened that way. I have to confess that I felt like a proper chump when Mr Hilarious noticed and pointed it out to everyone**. What can you say – I’m a sucker for a big boat with a big flame – get’s me every time?!

Work was a mad rush not to leave any major catastrophes for someone else to deal with because as of tonight I am on leave for two whole weeks. Woop woop! The timing is lousy given some of the things I’m working on at the moment, but it was a case of use it or lose it and I decided that I really didn’t want to lose it because that equated to working for free. I love my job but you do have to draw the line somewhere.  I got everything done and I don’t think there are any ticking bombs with my initials on anywhere, but if there are, and they go off I won’t be around and I almost don’t care!

Aside from being a mad rush it was also a sad day at work because one of my fellow ‘seniors’ in the Finance, Planning, Resources and Compliance Team*** left today. It’s always sad when someone moves on but it was especially poignant for me today as this person started on the same day as me so we’ve always kind of stuck together. The thing is, we work well together but we’re not especially close so I wasn’t expecting be so sad to see her go that I was moved to tears during the leaving presentation and I certainly didn’t expect for us both to blub like babies as we hugged goodbye. It’s funny how things catch you off guard sometimes isn’t it? Anyway, the main point is that I don’t cry at work, because I’m a professional like that. Today was a great big major exception and I don’t plan on a repeat performance anytime soon even if I do still feel a bit sad about it now. Boo hoo.

As I write I am trying to figure out the following dilemma: is WeeGee going to go to a party?  I don’t like going to parties which means I never go to parties. Not going to parties because you don’t like them is all well and good, but never going to parties is totally rubbish. I can manage one small party where I know almost everyone can’t I? But I’m a bit emotional today so what if I have a little drink and turn into the crying girl at the party. No-one likes a crying girl at a party, especially if the crying girl is a) WeeGee and b) mental….. I said I would go. I don’t want to let people down. I want to go. I don’t want to go. Oh F……. iddlesticks.

Before I sign off I should let you know that the brain is still broken, but the brain and I had some words and it seems to be giving me a little bit of peace for now.

That is all.
Love from WeeGee who is going to a party. Who isn’t going to a party. Who might be going to a party xx

*Because he’s hilarious like that

**Because he’s also hilarious like that

***That’s FPRC if you are in the know