Sunday, July 22, 2012

6 days and counting...

Hard to believe... in 6 days I will start my first shift as an Olympic GamesMaker!!! For the uninitiated, GamesMakers are the volunteers helping out at the London2012 Olympics.

Considering I've wanted to do this ever since London won the bid 7 years ago, it feels like the last days are simply too much to bear. Having had training spread out over a few months, picking up my uniform and making contact with my future GamesMaker colleagues, it's now almost unbearable to sit and wait for another few days for the Games to start.

And whilst the media in the UK has been annoyingly negative (let's face it, are they ever anything but that???), it hasn't dampened my spirits or those of everyone else involved who have worked so hard to make this happen. I wish the UK would understand how to better take pride in themselves but they just can't. Nevermind, I'm here to make up for that :) I'm plenty proud of everything that has been achieved so far and whilst there are plenty of imperfections everywhere, these Games will KICK ASS!!!

Seeing as the weather is now 'supposedly' getting better, I believe we will be on for an amazing two weeks of Olympics and hopefully an even more amazing two weeks of Paralympics.

I will be based at Eton Dorney lake, which is where the Rowing and Canoe Sprint events are - having seen the venue only under a deluge of rain, I can't say anything much about it yet.

I'm hyper and so excited to get started already! I'm not sure whether I'll remember to post here and tell all about my adventures during the Games but I shall do my best to give a quick overview at some point. If all else fails, I shall report once it is all over.

In my heart of hearts, I have always waited for an opportunity to reclaim the most magical time of my life: Expo 2000. Without a doubt, that was the best time of my life and being part of the UK pavilion was the most rewarding and special thing I have ever done. Yes, the Olympics/Paralympics are only two weeks long each (Expo 2000 was almost 6 months) but I figure it has huge potential to become just as special. And even if it never reaches the love I've had for my time at Expo, I will always be able to say I've had the pleasure to be part of something so incredibly unique and special for the rest of my life. Not something many people can claim for sure.

Oh and if you have tickets for Eton Dorney - look for the maniacally grinning woman scanning your tickets or pointing you to your seat. It might be me! :D

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rock 'n' roll Beethoven!

I read something here and it just made me smile... because I couldn't agree more!

"I wouldn't say Beethoven is rock 'n' roll, but there is a sort of similarity. It's not aristocratic music. It's very physical music. To play it and probably also to hear it. And I think that makes it a bit easier for an audience to appreciate. There's not this sort of very cultural snobby aspect, which you might have with someone like Mahler or Bruckner. I think with Beethoven it just goes straight into your gut, and I think that's the great thing of his music. It really is very physical music.

-- Pianist Ronald Brautigam"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The simple joys

Seems that whenever I try hardest to make space in my head for some 'me time', I always fail. Forced relaxedness (is that even a word?) doesn't work. Planned relaxedness doesn't either.
So it is doubly joyous when such a relaxing day occurs out of the blue.

Today was just such a day. Helped by the fact that I currently suffer from tendonitis in my left wrist and have forbidden myself to spend any more time than absolutely necessary in front of the computer typing away, I was left with a whole Sunday to fill. Somehow I also allowed myself to ignore the mess in my apartment and kitchen and simply sat down to read.

Over the past few months, I have noticed that reading is something that just won't work for me if my brain is too full with other crap. It never used to be that way and I used to read books every day but over the past few years something changed and it became more taxing to read. I found my joy of reading again around Xmas time when I picked up and read through all the Harry Potter books. It opened me up to a new found appreciation for great stories and reminded me of my second greatest love after music - reading.

I started reading Harry Potter again shortly after finishing it last year. I was so used to having those characters in my life that finishing book 7 left me bereft, missing them, wanting their company again. So I started from scratch... but then the holidays were over and I was back to work, back to the usual grind and my brain just couldn't cope. I made it through the first three books again - this time over the span of two months.

Fast forward to today, when I simply picked up the fourth book this morning and read through it until I was finished. It was a beautiful day outside, sunny and really warm but it didn't matter. I saw no reason to force myself out when I had such an enchanting way of spending my day indoors.

And as I put the book away, getting ready to pick up the next one, the thought that often strikes me, struck me again - 'If everything in this world were to collapse and my way of life were to change forever, I would still, for all eternity have music and books.' It doesn't get simpler and more satisfying than that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Repeating myself...!

Let's see... in an attempt to beat the spamming asshole (who seems to have bookmarked this particular post), I  have deleted the original January 19th post and reposting it now. Let's hope this'll be the end of it.
Having said that - a new Zumba insight can be added -  I think Zumba has found an early grave. It's not nearly as much fun as I hoped it would be. If this changes, you'll be the first to know ;)

Location: Weybourne Gymnastics Club
Time: Zumba class time

The instructor asks the class "so what do you guys want to do, shall we just do Zumba or shall we do abs?"
I say "ZUMBA!"
Everyone else says "ABS!"
She asks for a show of hands "who wants to do just Zumba?" Ally and I wave our hands.
She asks for a show of hands "who wants to do Abs?" Everyone else in the class waves their hands.
She apologizes to Ally and me "sorry girls, most wants Abs".

Makes me wonder... if you want Abs exercises - WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING AT A ZUMBA CLASS??????????????????????????

Oh wait, I know! The deluded women on their 'New Year's resolution' kick think this will melt away their tummy fat magically. Dream on, deluded ones! It only happens if you put actual work in and not just by pretending.

Am considering giving the class a boot and finding another one. Though I would miss the cool, springy floor from the gymnastics club!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spammer assholes

Peeps... I've been targeted by some lowlife spammer asshole who keeps spamming my blog via the comment function so for the time being, I will have to moderate comments. This means your comments will now not appear instantly on my blog - they will first have to be approved by me.
Fear not, I shall do this as soon as someone other than spammer losers posts a comment :)
And who knows, once the little prick has moved on to some other blogger, I might not need to do that anymore...! Ah, in a perfect world......

Monday, December 26, 2011

The trouble with Christmas... that no matter where you go and what you do, you can't escape it. Set aside my Grinch-like attitude when it comes to this 'holiday'. Think about those people who have no reason whatsoever to celebrate and would like nothing more than the world to continue revolving and not stop in its tracks for a fat, bearded man dressed in red. People who have lost loved-ones, who have lost all they had, people who for whatever reason don't want to be forced into the ridiculously high-strung expectation of jollyness and joy that Christmas brings upon us all.
It's no secret that I don't enjoy Christmas and I don't feel sorry for myself because of it. The only thing that's good about it is giving and receiving presents, though that in itself is quite telling. I don't see peace and quiet in this period of time. All I see are crazed people running around like headless chickens, buying more presents, more food, more drink. Nothing peaceful about that.
But the worst thing about it all is that no matter how much you try to escape it, you can't. I have no beef with people who enjoy this crazy time but i DO have a problem with the simple fact that everyone is being force fed this mix of happyhappyhappy and hohoho, regardless of how hard this is on some people. Short of booking yourself onto a trip to a country where Christmas doesn't exist (and where, praytell might that be these days???), you are stuck. And even that trip would be a constant reminder of what you are trying to avoid.
Wouldn't it all be much nicer if Christmas could simply be celebrated with those you want to celebrate it with, indoors, privately, without the constant reminder in the shops and everywhere else about it 6 months in advance???
I, for one, would very much appreciate that. A pipe dream it may be but I will hang on to that thought until the very end. Because not everyone was made to enjoy Christmas and because we should respect that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

London 2012 is a GO!

After having applied to be part of the volunteer work force at the London 2012 Olympics over a year ago, I was invited for an interview in August. I left it feeling confident and optimistic about my chances. I REALLY, REALLY wanted to do this, be part of something so special again. Echoes of Expo 2000 were reverberating all around me and the chance of having that kind of an experience again was something I have been chasing for the past 11 years.

250,000 people applied to volunteer. They narrowed them down to 125,000, all of whom were invited for interviews (including ickle me!). Out of those 125,000 they only needed 70,000.
I knew it would take a while to get the results of the interviews and today I received two separate emails - both congratulating me for being offered a role as a Games Maker (their name for the volunteers) at the Olympics AND Paralympics next year!!!


I will be part of the Events Team and will be located at Eton Dorney. So I won't be in the midst of it in the Olympic village in London or anything but I will be helping out at Eton, where rowing and canoeing takes place! From what I understand so far, my role could include directing people to their seats, giving out information, handing out accreditation passes, scanning tickets and many more things.

There will be training provided at some point in the next year so I will learn more when the time comes.

For now, I will bask in the glory of knowing that I will be part of the Olympic Games - and how many people can actually say that???????

I am now truly looking forward to an awesome 2012 - I've got this feeling it will be MY YEAR.