I’ve been back in the capital for just over a week now and I’ve managed to slip into a routine which is tough, but which is good for me! I’m up each work day morning at six to head to the pool to do a mile in the water before heading to work. I have fruit for breakfast (from the local grocer), sandwiches for lunch, and most days (admittedly not every day) I try to cook something fresh for dinner, with a side of vegetables. And so far, so good as I’m seeing results.
As is the way with these things, London is full of surprises & on Monday a guy in work came around our area to know if anyone was interested in a ticket to watch Arsenal v Leeds United in the FA Cup 3rd Round, as it was going spare. I immediately volunteered and although I went with a bag of stuff over my shoulder, I was in the Platinum Club deck at the Emirates Stadium. The game itself was pretty scrappy, however it was also the game which saw Thierry Henry return to Arsenal. The man is their top goal scorer of all time, so it’s fair to say he’s a legend about those parts. A guy in my team in work stated, matter of factly, earlier that day that seeing Henry in an Arsenal shirt one more time would be the highlight of his year! And of course the script went perfectly, for not only did Henry get on to the pitch as a substitute, he also scored the winner. The place went a bit mad (as did Mr. Henry).
Tonight I went along to the O2 (formerly known as the Millennium Dome) to watch one of the ‘London Prepares’ events for the 2012 Olympics. Tonight it was the turn of the Gymnastics – I’d never been to see these sports before, and on the television they look so graceful & powerful, so I thought it’d be interesting. And before anyone says why would you do that when you’re supposed to be saving for a wedding?! I bought the ticket last year… on the cheap. Ha!
Anyways I got to my seat about 5 minutes before the sports started. The first event was the Men’s Floor Final, which had a couple of guys from Team Great Britain*. I have to say I learnt a bit about the sport from the handy guide book to gymnastics provided to attendees, however, watching it live & picking out the finer points was pretty hard. Clearly when you land with your feet on the ground, keep them together & don’t bounce! Judging by the groans from the crowd when it went wrong, I think that was what most people were watching! In the end a guy from Team Great Britain* came third and one came joint first (no, I didn’t know either, and frankly why there wasn’t a ‘paper – sissors – stone’ competition to decide who the real winner was I’ll never know), so there was a proper medal presentation ceremony as well, which was rather amusingly backed by one of the instrumentals from Star Wars…
Next up with the Ladies Vault Final, which had no representative from Team Great Britain* and was eventually won by a Brazilian. Following the medal presentation for that was the Men’s Pommel Horse Final, which was won by a Team Great Britain* guy (with another coming second).
The experience was pretty cool, to have seen the quality of competition, however the whole event did drag tremendously. In some instances waiting for the scores to be released took longer than the actual activity… which meant you were sitting waiting, with no big screen even to amuse you with replays & the like – I thought that was a pretty big oversight. In the end, I had to leave before seeing the one event I really wanted to see, which was the Rings… it looks awesome on TV and to be able to see it live must be amazing, but frankly I didn’t want to wait about for another two events for it to appear. So I headed on home.
* One of my personal bug bears about London 2012 will be the continued use of the name Team Great Britain. Great Britain is an island which constitutes Scotland, England & Wales. Yet Team Great Britain use the flag of the United Kingdom & the National Anthem of the United Kingdom. Which is it guys?! Apparently the current British Olympic Association say ‘but it’s what we’ve always been known as at the IOC’… well that argument doesn’t wash with me. This is the 21st Century, the world has changed. Either call the country what is is, or stop staining my National Flag & my National Anthem.