Friday, 20 July 2012

Olympics fatigue

Travelling across London the other day, I found my mood distinctly curmudgeonly.

Now, isn’t that a good word? Not one we hear enough these days, I feel. I don’t know exactly what it means but I’m sure it summed up how I felt.

Everywhere I went, the Olympics had left their mark. Specially reserved road lanes for Olympic traffic. Signs showing me how to get to the stadium, whether I wanted to or not. And the worst thing of all: the voice of that ghastly windbag, Boris Johnson, mayor of London, telling me on the public address system that I needed to plan my journeys carefully during while the games were on.

London Olympics: a blessing for the city 
or a curse as bad as the naff logo?

London is a city of around eight million inhabitants. During the day, nearly a million and a half more, often including me, add to the multitude. Of those nine and a half million souls, I’m sure I
m far from alone in not giving a stuff whether the Olympics are taking place in London, Rome or Johannesburg. Same time zone within an hour or so, just as easy to watch on the box.

So why do we have to have our lives disrupted this way for two weeks? Why in particular do I have to hear that insufferable voice on the loudspeakers? The tube is bad enough without having to put up with Boris Johnson talking to me, making an unpleasant experience downright creepy.

It’s my city as well as everyone else’s, and I don’t know why a bunch of bureaucrats should be allowed to take it over and get in the way of my using it because they want to organise a sports gig.

I explained all this to my wife when I got home.

‘Oh, what’s your problem?’ said Danielle. ‘Lots of people love it. Let them enjoy themselves. It’s hardly going to cause you a major problem is it?’

‘What do you mean?’ I asked querulously (another of those good words).
 I was beginning to feel deflated. ‘They’re going to close down a lane on my bus route home.’

‘So what?’ She pointed out, always much more sensible than I am. ‘Your office is closing for the whole period.’

This is true. The company’s decided we should work from home for the whole period of the Olympics. No commuting. No 6:00 a.m. starts. No crawling back through the rush hour on the way home.

Hey. I could get used to that. I mean, why should it bother me if they take over our roads but I don’t have to use them? I’m beginning to feel we ought to have major sporting events a bit more often. Every few weeks, perhaps.

Danielle smiled at my obvious change of mood.

‘See?’ she said, ‘no need to be such a dog in the manger.’

Now I wonder whether that isn’t pretty much the same thing as a curmudgeon?


Anonymous said...

6You using a querulous tone to Danielle? I wish I was there!

Love you both


David Beeson said...

Np you don't. It didn't end well. Though it did end quickly.