Thursday, 2 August 2012

To London and back....twice!

It's been quite a week and we've managed to do several hundred miles in the name of sport. But the Olympic atmosphere in London was fantastic.

Our Olympic journey started a long time ago as my sports mad husband promised the family that if Great Britain won the Olympic bid we'd be there for something, how we'd be there he didn't know; but be there we would be! He isn't very good at organising trips of any kind and refuses to use the computer so that meant it became my job to apply for tickets. Me, the only member of the family without a single sporty bone in my body!

When the time came I sat poised at our ancient desktop and filled in our ticket application as per everyones wishes, had we have been successful in getting all the tickets we applied for we would now be bankrupt! However we got none. All was not lost however as the other 4 members of my family insisted I got up at the crack of dawn to apply when the second batch became available. This time we managed to get 5 tickets for table tennis on July 29th and 4 for the boxing on July 30th. I could see we'd need help for the boxing as there are 5 of us but with months of notice that should be ok, right?

Well when we entered March the cricket fixtures were announced and as you may have guessed we had a clash of dates. I assumed that as the Olympics in London were unlikely to be repeated in our lifetimes there would be no problem; but I was wrong! Husband and number 2 son decided that the cricket match scheduled for  July 29th should take precedence. From that time on I buried my head in the sand and hoped that a solution would become apparent, I thought my prayers had been answered with all the rain but sadly the match was unlikely to be called off due to rain a month before the day!

The reason for my panic is that I am notorious for getting lost, anyone who knows me well would be horrified at the thought of me trying to get out of my own village without a sat nav and even then I struggle.

My travelling adventures are well known, I've been lost on a bus (got on the wrong one more than once), I've been lost in Norfolk, the county I live in and I have once been lost in a carpark next to where I worked. I drove around the carpark for some time unable to find the exit and happened to look up and see all my colleagues lining the 3rd floor windows in hysterics!
 When I had to go on a training course to London, alone, a colleague offered me a ball of string and suggested I tie it to the hotel door handle and unravel it all the way to the training centre, just so I could find my way back!
Anyway I eventually got a grip and decided that I would take the eldest and youngest children to London on my own!  I overcame panic attacks to book rail and tube tickets and a travelodge in docklands at a ridiculously over inflated price, I also managed to pass on the 2 spare tickets to friends; friends who sadly did not want to travel with us - well you wouldn't, not with my history!
(I do have many more horror stories from when I attempt to travel - passport issues, missed planes, floods, cardiac arrrest of another passenger, lost luggage.... you name it it's happened to me)

I considered all possibilities and allowed 5 hours to get from the tube station to our hotel (15 minute journey) and another 5 hours from the end of the event to Liverpool Street Station for the train home.

Well to cut a long story a little shorter WE MADE IT THERE AND BACK AGAIN!!

And a great time was had by all.....
We cheered in the table tennis but unfortunately saw the ladies GB competitor lose, in the men's event there was no one from team GB so we decided to cheer the Australians! Little Miss however, cheered the Aussies in every event as she still desperately misses the Australian cricketer who stayed with us for 6 months a couple of years ago. With the magic of mobile internet we were able to "speak" to him and his sister on facebook while in the arena - we were told to shout as loudly as we could "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi!!  So we did!

After our session in the ExCel arena we took the tube to Knightsbridge in the hope of a cup of tea in Harrods; seemed like everyone else had the same idea though! We crossed the street and took a table in a tea room until we spotted the prices, I do draw the line at £18 each for afternoon tea.
Anyway a little up the road we spotted this creature...
She was outside the National Geographic shop which I can highly recommend for a light lunch - delicious! And as they were promoting Columbia Little Miss was given a wooden jigsaw painting kit and invited to start her paintwork there and then in the shop.

As we stepped out to start to head home we were just in time for the road to be closed and the ladies cycle road race to go by, very exciting when the shouts from up ahead came "GB in the lead!"

We had a great time and headed home by train in the certain hope that husband and number 2 son had sorted everything out for their trip to see the boxing on Monday - they hadn't.
So at 10pm I hastily booked park & ride, found a babysitter for the day and after  quick sleep off we went on trip number 2!
The boxing was great and everyone enjoyed their Olympic experience, even me!


  1. Congratulations for taking the plunge and going up to London on your own. I had to smile at all your adventures getting lost! Glad you had such a successful trip and enjoyed it. It must have been wonderful to be part of the Olympics.
    Sarah x

  2. Glad you had a nice time and I love your tales of getting lost.

  3. I did chuckle at you getting lost in a carpark and being unable to get out of your village lol!
    Well done for taking the plunge and going to London. I was born and grew up there, so it doesn't faze me - I'm even happy to drive around London. But I know for many it is pretty daunting, so glad it all went well and you enjoyed yourselves.

  4. Sounds like a great time was had by all. Am rather jealous as I failed to get any Olympic tickets, despite applying. Though, to be fair, I'm not alone in that!

  5. You have certainly had an amazing Olympic experience! Well done for getting it all sorted so everyone could enjoy it, no mean feat!
    Lisa x

  6. oh lucky you!!! what an experience and opportunity! worth getting lost...

  7. Hello Jay, thanks for popping over to mine! Your tales made me laugh ... I am a rubbish traveller also but am full f admiration for you .. I would never attempt London without a responsible adult to accompany me! I also don't have a sporty bone in my body, but am really enjoying Olympics too ... Looking forward to following your adventures ...

    Claire xxx

  8. Glad to hear you got to and from London without getting lost!
    Hubby and I went to the Olympics on Saturday and I simply trailed around behind him assuming he knew where to go (luckily he did, as he always seem to.)
    Your experience of getting lost in a car park made me laugh!

  9. What day to remember and loving the Aussie Aussie Oi oi oi! isn't facebook great for that?

  10. Wowow, you guys are lucky to have seen such great sports at the Olympics. I am off to watch the paralympics in September but am watching what I can when I can :-)