Friday, 15 August 2014
A Summer of Culture and Sport
This is my summer - a summer of culture and sport. I’ve fulfilled one long-term ambition (seeing Rick Wakeman perform Journey to the Centre of the Earth), enjoyed the football World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, an opera (La Traviata), a rock festival in Hyde Park (watching Black Sabbath, Faith No More, Motorhead and Sound Garden), several Proms (with 7 to go plus Proms-in-the-Park), the tennis (I went to Queens for the day and watched Wimbledon on the telly), and the cricket (two series: England vs Sri Lanka and now England vs India).
Monday of last week was my birthday. After two weeks in which I saw Simple Minds perform at Kew-the-Music, drove from London to Scotland, went to four events at the Commonwealth Games (the opening ceremony, Rugby 7’s semi-finals, hockey and the athletics on 100m finals night), delivered the FY15 Plan (budget) to the Powers That Be in Glasgow, re-enacted the Battle of Bannockburn, attended a 60th birthday party, attended three Prom concerts (a Greek-themed one, Mozart’s Requiem and the War Horse Prom) and went to the Ballet (Swan Lake), I took a much needed day off work on my birthday and crashed out.
It took me the best part of a week to recover from the Scotland trip plus the weekends that bookended it. Scotland was a mixture of holiday to attend the Commonwealth Games and work, both coupled with little sleep – I trekked into the Glasgow office on 4 days including on the morning after the Opening Ceremony, when we’d got home at 2.30am and I had to be up at 6am in order to get the one-and-only direct train into Glasgow from Inverkeithing.
Somewhere in there, I've also managed two overnight trips to Manchester - it doesn't feel like work when you're spending the time at work with friends - plus several days working in the Tower Bridge office. After one of those days at Tower Bridge, I even managed to extend my birthday celebrations by going for drinks/dinner with Dark. (We were surprised at 9pm when there was a gun salute at the Tower. I can't find out why there was a salute at that time so I've assumed it was to commemorate the start of the Siege of Lierge in WW1.)
The weather has been glorious, too – long, hot sunny days for most of the last two months. I managed to get sunburnt at Queens and again at the Commonwealth Games (I never thought I’d ever get sunburnt in Glasgow!).
As an August baby, I'm a child of the Sun - I was born in the week that Spring habitually returns to Melbourne. Long, hot, sunny summer days feel like my birthright. Bring them on Apollo. Bring them on.