Monday, August 13, 2012

Come with me down my gold-tinted Olympic memory lane

So that's it. Job done. Due to overload of Olympamania I said I'd limit myself to 2 posts on it - one at the start (take a look here) and one to finish.

It started with a lunchbox like this

Now I didn't get any tickets. And I'm still a little bitter. Many's a foolish hour I spent refreshing my browser, watching the evil little timer twirl and twirl, keeping me waiting for 30 minutes and then telling me, oh no, no tickets for you my dear. Then trying again, even putting the crazy priced ones in my basket, just for the craic, £1,500 for the race walk? Sure who wouldn't?

Luckily I wasn't able to get those pricey ones either. But the Olympics experience? Oh yes, even without the tickets. OK, it wasn't all perfect, who can forget that faux North-South Korea pas, or all the empty seats. But for a few minutes let me take you down my memory lane in all its gold-tinted and starry eyed glory. 

1. Relight my fire: Dragging Mr. Moustache out of the bed at 6.30am on a Saturday to watch the Torch arrive in Greenwich. Worth it for a five second glimpse? Oh yes. Oh YES. And of course we got to have a righteous breakfast afterwards while posting smug photos on Facebook about how great we are living in London and look what we just saw na na na nah-na.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, first man to sail solo around the world,
carries the Torch past the Cutty Sark, Greenwich

2. Not quite the Opening Ceremony: Determined to be in the thick of the maddness, we got tickets for the BT London Live Concert in Hyde Park. What better way to watch the Opening Ceremony on the big screen and be serenaded by Duran Duran (yes!), Stereophonics, Paulo Nutini and Snow Patrol in between? Don't mind if I do. But the most memorable part was counting down with the crowds and seeing the flypast over our heads just after it was on the screen. Hello London.

 Our view in Hyde Park, Opening Ceremony at BT London Live

3. Being a (sorta) Games Maker: Ooops, not really. But in my own little way I like to think I helped. I turned into one of those people. Those people who cheerfully offer you directions, when you haven't even asked. Although this has been coming since I've arrived in London. I literally cannot keep quiet when I hear people lost or discussing the wrong tube route. No! Go this way I cry! Mr. M normally restrains me. Interfering busybody, some might say, I prefer helpful Londoner if you must. During the last two weeks my interference became completely acceptable.  

4. MoMania: Watching Mo Farrah win the 5,000 metres. Packed in with screaming fans, we sat alongside Tower Bridge and soaked in the electric atmosphere. Have you ever been in a Moxican Stand? It's when thousands of people jump to their feet in waves, while screaming themselves hoarse and erupt in a unionised cry of 'Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo'. 

It's alright for a view, Potters Field Big Screen

5. Team Katie: Go on you girl in green! Or red perhaps. Watching Katie Taylor bring the Gold for Ireland. I turned into a little strutting peacock, aren't we Irish the best? What's that UK? Tonnes of Golds already? USA looking to regain your title of the most medals? Doesn't matter one bit, we got ourselves a Gold. Cue mania and hysteria in all the Irish pubs in London. Let's just call it an enjoyable evening and leave it at that.

Irish Food Flag, fit for eating, not waving

6. Ringside view: Eventually we got our front row view of an Olympic event. Final Day - the marathon and there was no way we were missing this. We pitched ourselves along Cannon Street. Elbows out to save our places. Seeing the Olympian athletes up so close was unbelievable. And best of all, Ireland's very own Mark Kenneally was taking part. Which may have been why I got a bit too excited. Have a look at the video and you'll see what I mean. Didn't realise I sounded quite like that...

7. Closing Time: And then all of a sudden it was Sunday night. Our last chance (until the Paralympics) to savour it all on the big screen. So we squeezed our way into the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Got ourselves a few spare inches in front of the screen. And it began, or rather ended. Counting down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and singing along to 'Imagine' with the crowds is one golden rose-tinted memory I will always keep. 

My new friends in our united singalong last night

Thank you London. But damn you, I think I love you even more now. 


  1. This is so lovely, I like this blog A LOT!

  2. Thanks Anon. Delighted to hear that, and also that someone else apart from my Mum is reading it :-) Hope you enjoy the next few posts I have planned too!

  3. So funny - I love the Olympic flag style food! Genius! ;)

  4. Thanks Laura. Very happy you liked it! If you appreciate flag style food you might enjoy this too ;-)