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Archive for July, 2012

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London 2012

#London2012 and I am here!!! Thrilled to be part of what is the cremé de la cremé of sporting events, one of the most amazing events in sports.  I am living a part of history that for some folks (me included) is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  We live history every single day, some impacts on us and much doesn’t….depending on where it happens and what happens and whether or not we are involved in some way.

My personal history was written the day the company I was working for back in South Africa went into liquidation…little did I know just how much that was going to change my life; the radical shift that was pending…and I didn’t even know.   My only concern on the day was…”let me into the building I have work to do…don’t have time for this BS!!” (they did and I got on with my job 🙂 ), my next concern was whether or not I would get another job….those were the days of the new South Africa where to be Old/er, White, Man/Woman was not conducive to getting a job and then the worry about the mortgage popped into my head.

Then I had a stroke of genius….I would visit my sister in Ireland 🙂   What a great idea…. I didn’t have to ask for leave..I would be free to go on holiday for as long as I liked!    So I booked my ticket and the rest is ‘history!’…..and here I am living in what is the greatest city in the world and just about to be part of one of the most momentous events of this year…and we have had quite a few!  I bought/ordered tickets for my daughter and myself and thankfully we were awarded tickets for 2 events; one at the Olympic Stadium and one at Excel.

london 2012, olympic games london, oliver golding

Oliver Golding, just before they lit the flame for his section of the relay…up close and personal

The buildup was initially slow, but over the last few months the excitement has mounted and when the Olympic Flame landed in the UK on 28th May, we really got into the swing of things as it travelled around the country, drawing ever greater crowds to watch it go by!   And yesterday it travelled through my home town!!! Hooray.

I was so excited the night before that I hardly slept!!!  I went to bed at about 1.30am; the adrenaline  racing through my body & my mind popping about all over the place.  I finally fell asleep only to wake at 5am. Unable to go back to sleep, I got up, had a cup of tea and a biscuit then dressed and ready to go by 6:48.  I kissed my daughter goodbye.   She is usually out the door well before me (I don’t do mornings) and by 7:12am I was at Kew Gardens….no-one else was there.  I thought for sure I had the wrong place.  I quickly got onto twitter (via my brand new wonderful little mobile computer (aka a phone) and saw tweets about the traffic being interrupted and that they would be handing out maps and info at Kew Station…so I whizzed over got myself a much need cup of coffee and waited.  They got there at just on 8am and map in hand I strode back up the road to the gates…..the Marshalls had just arrived and were amazed to see someone already there. LOL I was in the right place, at the right time…okay, well still a tad too early!

london 2012, olympic games london, kew gardens, olympic torch relay

Kew Gardens gates…..open at 9.30am 🙂

Then while I sat and waited an old gent joined me on the bench and we chatted awhile.  I was too excited to sit still for long so made my excuses and off I went to hang around in front of the gates in the hope they may opened them sooner….they didn’t!

Finally they opened the gates……..and I was in.  By then the crowd has grown as more and more folks arrived. My friend Peter joined me and we set off, taking photos along the way to find a good spot.

london 2012, olympic games london, kew gardens, olympic torch relay, anjula wilson

Anjula Wilson – at Kew Gardens after her stint carrying the Olympic Torch in the relay

Yesterday was seriously awesome…to see the Olympic Torch from such close proximity. No barriers, no policing, just UK citizens and visitors enjoying what is a momentous occasion. To see a flame that has travelled not only across our country but from another land, with a history that goes back aeons…this is a must see. Personally, despite all the hiccups, all the negativity and all the problems we have had…I think we should be proud to hosting this amazing event. #London2012 I am so grateful that I am here to experience it.

One of the advantages of being up that early was that I got to see the river with the morning sunrise.  I have photgrpahed this particular scene hundreds of times, but this was the first time so early in the morning…..I guess I am going to ‘have to do mornings’ 🙂

london 2012, olympic games london, kew gardens, olympic torch relay, twickenham bridge

early morning at Twickenham Bridge

After the Torch had left, we meandered about exploring the gardens and having a look at the new David Nash exhibition and walking around the Treetop Walkway which is seriously cool. After an hour or so we headed over to Twickenham for tea and cupcakes, then strolled along the Thames pathway to Richmond and finally to the station at 5.45pm. What a brilliant day.

I have posted some photos of the Olympic torch and Kew Gardens on my facebook page.

 

Just found this new post with a brilliant photo of the Olympic Rings at Kew Gardens

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I was one of the people that cheered as loud as possible when it was announced that London has won the right to host the 2012 Olympics.  How thrilling.  I even went so far as to buy tickets to 2 of the events.  The build up to the event has been tremendous and very, very exciting, a lofty aspiration and an opportunity for the UK and London to benefit from this event…..and yet….

How is this even possible?

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/city-news/olympic-corporate-partners-can-avoid-943011

How is it even possible that a company; namely G4S can secure a million pound contract without any checks or vetting to ensure it could meet it’s commitments:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/14/london-2012-olympic-security-g4s

And why is a fast-food chain being allowed to dictate what food people are allowed to sell….they sold the idea that UK businesses would benefit from the games:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2172168/London-Olympics-2012-McDonalds-force-Olympics-bosses-ban-restaurants-selling-chips-unless-FISH.html

The real winners are the large overseas corporations that gained the main contracts.

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