Friday, 23 May 2014

Things don't go according to plan

I don't know if you find this, but for me some days things just go right and then on others things just seem to go a bit pearshaped. Well the last three days have felt distinctly the latter.

On Wednesday I was geared to go off to Glasgow to meet up with my step-daughter and grandson, have a leisurely lunch and then go and pick up my Commonwealth Games uniform. Mountain Man was going off to work early on Thursday, so Odi was all planned to go and spend a couple of days in Tweedbank with Lynne and her gorgeous new pup, Tweedy.

I started my day with a massage for both my back and my ankle I'd damaged a while back and has taken an age to feel ok and then went off to Edinburgh, parked my car and trotted off to Waverley, but as I was walking down I went over on said ankle... not the best of starts. I gritted my teeth and got to Waverley, picked up my tickets for that journey and also directions and tickets for Thursday (I had to get to Hampden Park) and sat, with immense relief on the train.

Then I got a phone call from Lynne. But the problem was I couldn't pick it up as the phone signal was variable. I did start to wonder what was going on.

I arrived in Glasgow and met up with Emma, who informed me that Nathan (aged 5) who was due back on the bus from Aberdeen with his Gran was going to be late as the bus driver hadn't filled the bus up and they'd got as far as Dundee and were running out of fuel... you honestly couldn't write this stuff!... we were told they'd be an hour late, so Emma and I went for a coffee and a catch up. Then another phone call. They apparently can't fill the bus with fuel if it's got passengers on so all the passengers had to get off and take their bags off then put them all on again. They were now going to be almost 2 hours late.

Meanwhile I managed to get hold of Lynne. A problem. Poor Tweedy had been attacked at puppy class and had to be taken off to the vet, so she couldn't take Odi, but hasty phone calls between MM and other puppy walkers and Odi was all sorted. She was going to Susan's. Susan currently has both Cathy and Folly. Folly is Odi's dog-dolly so would be fine with her, and also has stayed over with Cathy and gets on well with her... but the 3 of them together? Oh well, I was in Glasgow, so not much I could do.

The bus from Aberdeen eventually arrived and I had precisely 12 minutes in Nathan's company as he and his mum walked me from the bus station to Buchanan Street so that I could get a subway to Kelvin Hall to pick up my Games uniform. Actually that bit went pretty smoothly and I got myself all the way back to Edinburgh complete with my accreditation, which has the most hideous pic of me on it, and my kit, which is quite nice really and will be very wearable afterwards. Apart from the hat that is!

A quick trip to the pharmacy to pick up some cold spray for my poor sore ankle and then out for dinner with No. 2 Son, which was lovely.

Thursday I had to get up at 5.45 am to make it to Hampden on time to find out what I was supposed to be doing for my stint at the Games. I managed to get there without getting lost once. Quite a feat for me!

We had a fun couple of hours as a big group learning about Press Operations general info and Health and Safety and then we were split into our role specific groups. I'm a Mixed Zone member. What does this mean?

Ok... well here we go. My thoughts were that I'd be making cups of tea and getting the press to their computers and making sure they'd be ok... after all I'd had an email that told me 'Press Ops: computers, desks and lots of buzz'... How far from the truth can you get? Pretty damn far, is the answer!

Mixed Zone is the bit where the athletes, having finished their sporting achievements have to get through to get to their changing rooms. And here they meet the members of the press who thrust dictaphones in their faces and ask for quotes.

My job is to make sure the press stay in their places, don't get over the barriers, don't take photos and get to talk to the athletes they want. It's high pressured and stressy and kind of like being a bouncer for journalists while keeping a smile on my face... oh yes, and some athletes, having performed to their highest are prone to vomiting in the Mixed Zone we were told. Luckily (I suppose) my job isn't to clean it up, but to call some other poor bugger to come and do that bit. Ah well, at least I get to go to the Games and get up close and very personal with the athletes and the press. I'm now praying for badminton and not cycling (never thought I'd say that) as I'm not sure being in charge of a sick bucket is really me and I know the badminton crew wouldn't do anything like that... would they?

Getting over the shock of my role, I managed to negotiate my way back to Edinburgh, rush to pick up my car and zoom back to the Borders just in time to change my top, grab something from the fridge and get back in my car and zoom to Galashiels to see the National Theatre Live production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'. For some reason when I'd booked it I thought I'd have loads of time to get there. Anyway, it was unutterably brilliant from start to finish and I urge you to go see it if you can. It's doing a national tour later in the year so get your tickets, it'll be worth it I promise you.

I finally got home at 10.30 and crept into bed and of course couldn't get to sleep for hours. At which point I remembered that Thursday was voting day and I'd completely forgotten. That's the first time since I was allowed to vote that I haven't.

This morning I woke at 5 and sorted out all the things that had appeared in the couple of days I was away, then phoned Lynne in the hope of seeing her and Tweedy before picking up Odi. But disaster of disasters, he'd managed to pull out the catheter at his tear duct so was back off to the vet, so no visiting required.

I went to Susan's where I was studiously ignored by Odi and she wasn't at all happy at coming away from her pals where she'd had a great time. The 3 of them got on really well, though I think Susan and Gordon were rather relieved to see the back of her as 3 dogs - one about 16 weeks, another 8 months and another a year old - is quite an undertaking.

When we got home Odi sulked most of the day and only perked up when I took her for a walk where we met up with a neighbour walking her dog and that seemed to make Odi feel better.

Now all I'm looking forward to is a nice, quiet weekend where I can do the work I need to do for the poetry course I'm doing and for the course I'm teaching next week. Oh yes, and rest my ankle... that'd be a good start!

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