Yesterday Marlon and I went to the Olympic Village on Day Passes kindly given to us by our good friend Margaret, who had two spares. Arriving about 10.30am we were both exhausted by nearly four, so much so that we had to catch a mobility car back to Stratford Station. The Lady Volunteer in charge of loading these cars told Marlon that he might have to run beside the car if it was full, but as it happened one came along with two seats at the back!
We sat on the Hill watching on a huge screen as a Silver was won by Team GB in rowing. We decided not to queue for MacDonalds, but did queue for the Souvenir Megastore - for over 20 minutes with a happy laughing crowd. I bought Marlon a football and Yvonne and Heather tea-towels - I know that Yvonne likes tea-towels, but I was unsure about Heather until Heather rang me this morning to thank me.
It was one of the best days in my life, for Marlon was fun and so was everyone else. Rarely have I been amongst happier people. Not only did so many people smile and call out to us, but as you will see folk posed when they saw the camera. If I had had the sense to do so, I could have made a mint printing out pictures on the spot!
Apart from the amazing and often awesome sight of the structures, two things struck me.
Firstly, the Orbit looks dull and gruesome from a distance (and, like the new bridge from Stratford Station to Westfield, a bit rusty), but when you are close to it, it is amazing and awesome (and I apologise for running out of adjectives). It reminded me of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Sadly, tickets for the Orbit had to be bought online in advance, but Marlon and I - and Yvonne - will go back at some time in the future when it has all died down.
Secondly, I am not fond of formal gardens, with rose beds and flowers and plants standing erect and at attention like Guardsmen. But the gardens in the Park are just out of this world. The walkways and waterways are interspersed by bank upon bank of colourful wildflowers - poppies, daisies, herbs and the like. Their magificence is beyond words. My photographs do not do them justice.
My hope is that the Parkland will be maintained in the future to this very high standard. That is the legacy I implore the powers that be to aim for. If it costs a few bob, I - for one - would cough up a few pennies. If it cared for, it will all have been so worthwhile.
Marlon wanted to spend the day with Yvonne and me, but sent a message to say that he is so tired he needs to rest. Marlon is 11; at 79 I know the feeling. But it was a day that will remain with us both for ever. I am so busy I do not have the time for a lie down - but I did sleep well last night!
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