Maybe this time the diet will work……
21 May 2013
Published by Helen Hale
Time for Work, Time for kids, time for Me!!!
15 May 2013
Published by Helen Hale
It’s a Juggling Act
13 May 2013
Published by Helen Hale
Mother’s Day (again)
12 May 2013
Published by Deborah French
- Maybe this time the diet will work……
I have Olympic fever… too late
When the Olympic ticketing row was in full swing I was sympathetic for the people who were involved, but glad that it didn’t affect me. I wasn’t remotely interested in it. Ever since then I’ve been all ‘yeah yeah whaddeva’ about the Games – even going on holiday and missing the first four days of it.
My interest has been on a slow build since we came back. My husband wants the coverage on the TV all the time and sits before it muttering ‘I love the Olympics’. So when I got a text from my brother on Friday all excited in Hyde Park asking if I was around, I thought a) I’d better make the effort: I don’t see him that often. And b) a strange thought occurred to me. When Diana died, even though I was upset at her death, I just couldn’t be bothered to go into town and look at the mountains of flowers outside Kensington Palace and I’ve regretted that ever since. So on Friday evening when I got the text from my brother I had a moment, and the moment conveyed to me: ‘You live in London: see some Olympics’.
So we arranged to meet just by Moorgate station and watch the Women’s Marathon. The Olympic organisers had cleverly cut out the ugly bits of East London and as a result the runners would come past us at that point three times, no doubt to the delighted ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ and ‘isn’t it beautifuls’ of millions of people watching all the best bits of the capital on TV and internet around the world.
Naturally, this being the summer of 2012, the heavens opened as soon as we stepped out of the tube. I had cunningly come in my flip-flops thinking either I will have dry feet or momentarily wet feet until they dry. I told my children (self-dressed in socks and sandals) to let me know when their socks needed wringing out.
But despite the weather, my excitement started mounting as we approached the barriers. We walked down, dodging puddles and flooded pavements with tens of other people under umbrellas; hoards of them dressed in team GB merchandise, carrying flags; old, young, pushchairs, couples, people on their own.
Our spot (if you fancy it for Sunday’s Men’s Marathon) at the bottom of Moorgate and Lothbury was a good one; not too busy half an hour before the runners came by (though the rain helped I imagine). We’d barely started to think about where we would stand when a steward stepped in, ushering some adults out of the way saying “Can we get the kids down the front please.” All the volunteers were polite, trained well and I was pleasantly surprised.
The applause of the crowds on the route before us was like a Mexican wave, letting us know the runners were coming. When they rounded the corner our portion of the crowd erupted. The frantic clapping and cheering, already loud, reached peaks as the British runners passed. On each lap there were two main groups of runners and always one solitary runner a couple of minutes behind the rest, at the very back. When she came by each time the crowd excelled itself; not caring which country she was from, but urging her on, telling her how well she was doing with their hands and voices.
Most mums I know say since they’ve had children they cry at anything, so maybe it’s the mother in us that brings up the tears so readily as we watch these brilliant human beings pushing themselves to the limit. Maybe we subconsciously feel the pride as if we’ve nurtured them ourselves, imagining how we would feel if we were those proud parents we see on the TV; shouting, crying, heads in hands watching their children wow the world. Certainly as the noise of the crowd increased, so did the lump in my throat.
I couldn’t say my overwhelming feeling was proud to be British – it was an international crowd – but in a world where we are constantly reminded of all the awful things that happen and the people who make them happen the solidarity of the people gathered there on Sunday was stunning. I was shocked to be honest, at the warmth and generosity of spirit of hundreds of strangers. Everyone standing together, cheering on the brilliant athletes who have dedicated their lives and bodies to doing the best they can. And I was proud to be there with the rest of the crowd and say Well Done.
I came home on Sunday and got straight onto the computer to try and find some Olympic tickets. I’ve just realised what all that fuss was about, a bit too late.