Box Hill Preview:
I think I’ve got Olympic Blues.
It’s completely ridiculous I know.
I’ve had a fabulous trip to Box Hill to see the peak (literally) of the cycle race. I was amazed and impressed with the work that had been put in by the National Trust team there to ensure that people would be able to SEE the event but the nature conservation work they do there wouldn’t be wrecked. Some of the wildlife includes the fabulous and rare bee orchid and the little blue butterfly…projects that the National Trust have been working on for years. So all the way up the hill the grassland that is home to rare and important British wildlife has been taped off and viewing areas clearly marked out.
It’s a ticket only event but they are still expecting 15000 spectators to watch the cycle races on Saturday and Sunday – the men have to go UP Box Hill 9 times!
The preview to Global Feast 2012 was glorious and highlighted some of the enthusiasm and global spirit in London right now. And even Stratford, normally rather tired and sad, was buzzing and lively with people in party spirit in anticipation of the games.
I even saw the torch going along the North End road. And got a little enthusiastic. I’m sure when I go to see the volleyball bronze medal event it will be fine!
And yet, I’m still feeling annoyed, frustrated and really apprehensive about how it will affect me. It seems to have been weeks and weeks of festering disruption, before the event actually starts.
Perhaps it’s because I live SO close to Earls Court. The roads round here are full of security checks, there are serious diversions in place (and have been for the last few weeks) and we’ve all been warned that travel is likely to be difficult. I feel trapped and as if my world has been turned upside down. And that’s WITH the kind offer from some friends to go and stay in their country home for a week or so while the Olympics are is in full swing.
I’m quite used to Earls Court running events. They can cause a little disruption. Events like the Ideal Home Exhibition mean that those of us living around here are used to extra traffic, visitors who ignore the residents parking signs and at times a lot of noise. And, I’m used to my other sporting neighbours, Chelsea FC, and their fans throwing life into chaos regularly at the weekends. But, we don’t normally have army officers stationed at the end of the road, diversions that make it impossible to travel and quiet residential roads turned into bus routes. And certainly not for weeks on end.
I am just grateful that we are not hosting an event for the Paralympics. And I sincerely hope that the Olympics DOES bring some kind of a boost to the economy, because it now seems like nothing more than a major commercial enterprise, rather than the glorious sporting event we used to celebrate.
Meanwhile, good luck to Team GB and THANK YOU to the security services with a sense of humour!