Friday, 13 July 2012

The Olympics will be taking place at a venue near you soon

In two weeks time London will be engulfed by the Olympics ... and things are already beginning to happen.

The first thing that I noticed was a sign that appeared one day recently on a lamp post opposite my house.


Then on Tuesday my journey home from St Albans at 10.00pm was delayed by large gangs of workmen painting white lines and Olympic Rings on the main roads near the Blackwall Tunnel. The 'Zil' lanes (special traffic lanes for the exclusive use of Olympic athletes, officials, and sponsors) have now arrived, although the signs do say that us common folk are allowed to use them until the Olympic Route Network (ORN) comes into operation on 27th July.

The Olympic Route Network (ORN) sign.

Yesterday new signs were erected around the area where I live notifying drivers that the area will become an Event Day Zone (EDZ), and that only people with parking permits for that area will be allowed to park there during the Olympics and Paralympics. Our Parking Permits (including permits for visitors) arrived in the post yesterday, and they will have to be displayed on our car windscreens from 27th July onwards, otherwise we may be fined and our cars may be towed away. I understand that some people have put the visitors permits they have been sent on sale ... and I found the following one on sale at Gumtree for £350.00!


I understand that a battery of Rapier anti-aircraft missiles will be deployed less than half a mile from my house by the middle of next week (it appears that local protesters have failed to stop this happening), and if I get the chance I will try to pay the unit a visit and take some photographs.

The Olympics will be taking place at a venue near me very soon ... and I can hardly wait.

(Please note that my final comment is supposed to be ironic!)

14 comments:

  1. Every day the news is filled with stories of how "London welcomes the Olympics" or "Londoners prepare for festival of sport" I didn't hear much of that in your post :-)

    Speaking as a sports fan (more sports than most, less than some,) I personally can't wait for the Olympics to be over. It's not that I have a problem hosting them, but the communal jingoism is driving me crazy!

    Good luck over the next month!

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  2. I got to the Rapier bit and immediately thought "Oooh I hope he posts pictures!" and less than a dozen words later you say you will if you can. Are we war gamers / history buffs so transparent?

    I hope you will survive the event with your sanity intact.

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  3. I'm hoping to get some pictures of all the military hardware on display as well. Not sure how they will respond to my fake beard and turban though...

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  4. I am going to unplug our T.V. for the duration of the games .

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  5. Vladd309,

    I am sure that there are some people who really do welcome the Olympics to London ... but I am not one of them.

    I am not anti-Olympics. Far from it, I wholeheartedly support the first point of the Olympic Charter which states that the Olympic Movement should 'support the promotion of ethics in sport as well as education of youth through sport and to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that, in sport, the spirit of fair play prevails and violence is banned.' What is annoying me is the way in which corporate sponsorship, nationalism, and bureaucracy have taken over, and almost seem more important than the event itself. They seem to have gone out of their way to make everything so complicated and rule-bound that hosting the Olympics has become even more of a burden that it is a joy.

    Once it all starts I am going to keep my head down, keep out of the way of people who want to attend the Olympics, and try to have as normal a life as possible.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Pat G,

    I never need much of an excuse to photograph some military kit. It is in my genes. (Do you think that there is a wargaming gene? I suspect that there might be!)

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Lee Hadley,

    I may well see you at one of the missile sites as we both go around taking our photos. You will be able to recognise me. I will be the one trying not to look too suspicious.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Mosstrooper,

    If you unplug your TV, how will you watch all those DVDs you have bought?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. "..make everything so complicated and rule-bound that [it] has become even more of a burden that it is a joy."

    Exactly what many mainstream rul-writers and rule-books have done to wargaming!

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  10. My prayers for your sanity,Bob.
    I live an hour north of Atlanta,and well remember the complete balderdash of Olympic Promotion! The retail store I worked for then was REQUIRED to send three "volunteers" to help at Centennial Park, by our home office.
    Traffic on the interstate was horrid,and gas prices and hotels went through the roof overnight.

    ...and my two favorite game shops were "unreachable" for a month!

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  11. Steven Page,

    The problem seems to be that we never, ever learn from other people's mistakes.

    I understand that one of the London boroughs that is 'hosting' the games is actually ending its academic school year two weeks early because of the expected disruption of transport links and because some of the buildings are going to be used as training venues.

    I also understand that one of the largest retail centres in the UK (Westfield in Stratford, 'The Official Shopping Centre of London 2012') has shut all its car parks until after the Olympics and Paralympics are over so that people cannot park there and go to an event!

    You could not make stuff like this up ... although the BBC have a comedy series that comes pretty close!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Bob, I look forward to the day in the not too distant future that you report in your blog that a semblance of normality has returned.

    Now, Olympics, who's playing against England :)

    Jim

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  13. Jim Duncan,

    I suspect it is going to get worse before it gets better ... but once it does, I will let regular blog readers know!

    All the best,

    Bob

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