So my first foray into the Olympic world and really my first experience of any kind of sporting event.
This was women’s volleyball, played at Earl’s Court. Two games were in this slot – Japan vs Italy, and UK vs Algeria.
The Japan vs Italy game was very good, with a lot of action, and it made complete sense to someone who doesn’t know the rules. Both teams had a sizeable presence in the audience, and it created a great atmosphere.
The UK vs Algeria game was a little flat, I thought. It seemed like half the points (for both teams) were scored through faults and obscure rules that made no sense. The UK (not surprisingly) had a huge presence in the audience, where as Algeria had little, and it felt somewhat one-sided. The UK went on to win the game.
To put this in context, this from the BBC:
Victory for Great Britain over an Algeria side ranked 53 places above them in the world. Superb. What a result that is for British volleyball, they have had no funding for two years and no international experience for three
A leaving note for anyone who may be going here in the future. Transport to the event was good, and security was very hassle-free – you go through an airport-style security scanner, and that’s it. There were no issues with taking a DSLR and zoom lens. Food is limited to snacks, so eat outside at Earl’s Court – there are plenty of restaurants.
A last minute decision to check out the men’s road cycling took me to South Kensington, a few minutes distance before the end of the race. Hopes were high for the UK team after winning the Tour De France the previous week.
Countless police motorbikes went past, each soliciting a cheer from the crowd, and sometimes a wave from the rider.
Finally the cheers became sustained, and before you knew it, cyclists were whizzing past too fast to even see who they were. I managed to get a lucky (if slightly blurry) snap of Bradley Wiggins, the first UK winner of the Tour De France.
Sadly the UK team didn’t win, but it was fun to see the event take place, even if it was literally over (for me) within a minute.
Regent Street makes for interesting repeating patterns, and even more so when splashed with a bit of colour from unknown flags. I’ve always been curious as to what is inside the buildings, once you leave street level.
I managed to catch the last day of the Olympic torch relay route as it passed through Shepherd’s Bush. The weather was hot, the crowds were out, and there was an overall good buzz – people seemed genuinely excited to see the torch.
Here is bearer 136 being prepped. I believe it was her birthday.
Bearer 135 on the way to handover.
The handover, with TV crew closely watching.And it wouldn’t be complete without some antipodeans wildly cheering from the top of a shop!
Meanwhile, I was awkwardly stood trying to stop people stepping on the bag of onions I just happened to be carrying. Best not to ask.
Travelling at the front of a double-decker is a fun experience. You always feel like you’re about to hit something as you lurch through crowded streets.
When I was young the buses had a mirrored tunnel between decks, where the driver could look and see what was happening upstairs. My sister and I used to push our tickets through a little hole into the tunnel, and were always terrified the driver would catch us. Nowadays there are no tickets, and the driver has CCTV.