London, Out and About, The Kidlets

The Moaning

…and not of the sexy variety.  Moaning about the weather is part of being British and I’ve embraced it whole heartedly.  Ordinarily my complaints about the weather are different to everyone else’s but I think everyone’s cool with that.  I’m a gloomy weirdo who’s fond of the rain, cool weather (10-15 degrees is my favourite!  5-10 degrees whilst sunny is even more glorious, but very rare) and I even adore the snow and ice now that I don’t have to drive in it.

Anywho!  The moaning I’m referring to is over the 2012 London Olympics.  I know there have been big issues over the past 12 or so months (eg. the ticketing and more recently the private security company hired for the games messing up) but all in all I think the Olympics are something to be hugely proud of.  I’m crazy excited about not only living in this wonderful city whilst the games are on but also to be seeing 3 events (albeit not very exiting ones, but hey! we took what we could get).  It makes me want to puff my chest up proud to be a Londoner!

I completely agree that the strain on London’s Transport System is going to be a pain in the behind.  Already travel has become more difficult and we’re still a few days out from the Opening Ceremony but considering the huge amount of tourists who have already started to pour into the city, is it really surprising?  So many times I’ve heard moaning about the Olympics being a huge waste of money and resources and a big disruption to everyone’s lives.  I just don’t get it!  Isn’t it an honour to hold such a huge event in the U.K?  Won’t it bring thousands of tourists who will spend money on accommodation, food, sight-seeing and more?  Isn’t it something to be proud of?  A huge achievement and the opportunity for the U.K to be in the limelight.  Sounds like a positive thing to me.

Yes the adding an Olympic lane business on London’s roads is a disaster just waiting to happen (have you heard that they are ditching some “bus lanes” and painting over them with the silly olympic lane logo? currrraaaazy town!) and I cringe to think about the chaos that is about to ensue.  In the end though those are all obstacles that everyone will work around and it might even be worthy of a giggle in years to come (maybe).  The whole planning process certainly hasn’t been perfect but in the end, we get to host a huge event that will have the worlds eyes looking at London and that’s got to be worth a bit of inconvenience.

Londoners already expect travelling to get a little annoying in the summer time when we’re inundated with tourists.  As a foreigner who was once one of those tourists most of the time they make me smile.  I love seeing them wide-eyed taking in the sights with their map in one hand and camera in the other.  It’s refreshing seeing the little things I take for granted through a visitors eyes.  A little nudge reminding me to appreciate all that London has to offer.

I happily take people’s photo for them when asked and I even kinda love it when someone asks me for directions and I know the way (for the record I’m atrocious with directions but boy do I try!  I can picture it in my head but it comes out of my mouth a bit gobble-dee-gook and I’m sure half the time they smile, nod and ask the next person they see).

Yes certain things annoy the heck out of me (Please, for the love of all things stripey, Stand on the Right when travelling down the escalators!) but all in all it’s part of living in a big city and I’m okay with that.  If anything it makes me feel proud to live here because other people appreciate all those things that drew me to London.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times I curse tourist season. Last week with all the kids in tow I had two run in’s with the crowds whilst just trying to go about our normal routine.  The first time was on the way to the Dentist.  I should have seen that one coming since we had to go via Westminster but the groups of tourists gawking at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament blocking the walk way were frustrating all the same.  The second time was at Baker Street Station on our way to Fencing lessons, the groups mulling about waiting to go into Madame Tussaud’s made my head feel like it was going to explode.  I was a flustered sweaty mess by the time we got to our destination!  I’ve had to accept that sometimes I just have to be rude and loudly excuse myself whilst pushing through groups of people.  It makes me feel a bit mean and rude, but It’s part of living here and one day I imagine these moments will make for fond memories.

Yes, things will be a bit more hectic and over run in the next few months but I’m trying to look on the bright side.  I don’t even like watching sports, or playing them for that matter (unless there’s a who-can-sit-on-their-bottom-the-longest-without-it-going-numb Olympic event?) but hosting the Olympics and showing off this great city to the world feels awesome!

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