If Greenock Had Hosted The Olympics……….An Olympics Variorum No. 2!!

In the absence of much reading at the moment, because the Olympics has pretty much taken over our life(!) and with nothing to blog about on the book front I thought I’d write about Olympics instead. If you are wondering what the hell a variorum is, our what the hell the Olympics has got to do with Greenock – forget about it as it’s not that important really! However, if you are the persistent sort, who likes to get to the bottom of things (like the direction we seem to be travelling in on the Olympics Medal table at the moment!), then you can get the background on Greenock and variorums at my Olympics Variorum No 1 (though you really should have more to do with your time than that!)

Olympics Variorum 2 – Tuesday July 31st

Hats Off To The Men And Women In The Hard Hats!

We were lucky enough to have Olympic tickets and so we’ve been into the Olympic Park – and it’s magnificent! I thought one of the best touches at the Opening Ceremony was the guard of honour from a group of Olympics construction workers for Vanessa Redgrave’s Dad as he carried the Olympic Flame into the stadium.

We’ve watched the Park take shape over the last seven years as we make frequent trips through Stratford. But it’s not until you are in the Park and up close that you realise what a fantastic feat of design and engineering  the whole thing is. The buildings themselves are fantastic and the landscaping is brilliantly done – the flower filled banks and meadows are simply stunning! I had nothing to do with it in any way whatsover (apart from paying my taxes!!) but I felt incredibly proud of what’s been achieved – so god knows how it must feel for those who built it – I take my metaphorical hat off to each and every one of them!

Olympic Stadium

The Great Japanese Conspiracy Theory

After my daughter had watched and absolutely loved her first taste of the Olympics live, watching the GB Women’s Hockey team defeat Japan 4-0 on Sunday, she wouldn’t wash off her GB Hockey face tattoos and was full of chat suddenly about Alex Danson this and Alex Danson that!

However more than the result and deciding Alex Danson is the greatest thing since sliced bread, one thing has been on her mind most – the broken jaw suffered by the GB Captain Kate Walsh. And she’s developed a theory – it was deliberate!!! She explained to us she reckoned the Japanese Hockey team had decided to get their own back on the British team because they were losing – and her evidence – before Kate Walsh’s unfortunate and awful injury another Japanese player had hit the ball so hard it struck a GB player on the leg! We explained that getting struck by the ball happens a lot when you play hockey – that seemed to calm the conspiracy theory and cool the looks she was giving to anyone with a Japanese flag when we were in the Olympic Park the next day! International incident narrowly averted there!

………Mind you, wasn’t it the Japanese the team who protested to deprive the GB Gymnastics team of their original Silver Medal position………!?

Celebrity Spotting

We saw a few celebs in the Olympic Park on Monday – none Sunday – but that might also have been a Japanese conspiracy!

Anyway first up Monday on the way in to the Park, who comes striding across our path (not walking, striding) but ex-GB Olympian Roger Black! Think he must have been doing press work – though why I say that I’ve no idea other than he seemed to be wearing a sort of uniform and was carrying a briefcase! Don’t know about anybody else but when you see someone famous we often constructive a narrative to explain it – so there was Roger striding out because he was running late for his next broadcast with his script and notes in his briefcase!

Katherine Jenkins at London OlympicsSecond up, the beautiful Katherine Jenkins. We actually saw her twice! First time she was on the back of one of those courtesy cart things (I think she might have been with her mum – narrative construction time again!?!) and then we saw her sitting on a table being interviewed by someone. To be honest, I don’t know much about opera so I’ve no idea whether or not she’s any good as a singer – but she’s very pretty! She also wears a mean high heel shoe – she would give both my partner and Paloma Faith a run for their money!

Lastly – somewhere between a loll and a stroll we saw Chris Evans walking past – we’d just come from the basketball arena having failed to pick up any tickets on return. He was heading in that direction – he may well have been heading to see if he could pick up a ticket for the basketball on return himself – but somehow I doubt it!

Three Cheers For The Volunteers

One of the things that strike you when you go into the Olympics is how brilliantly organised it is. We went in on the first Monday expecting it to be a chaotic mix of Monday morning rush hour and Olympic traffic – but it was smooth and easy. And added to the organisation are the wonderful volunteers and helpers – they are genuinely welcoming, friendly and very helpful – they are also everywhere so you are never short of people to ask for advice, directions or assistance.

And Finally, If Greenock Had Held The Olympics……….

Judo at Olympics……….Very few people would have gone to watch the judo. It’s not the athlete’s fault, but having watched it on TV a few times recently there’s a lot of pushing and pulling at each other’s jackets but not much else – in Greenock we can see that every Saturday night on West Blackhall Street when the pubs close!