Best. Venue. Thing. Ever.
I’m at the archery yesterday at Lord’s, settled into my seat when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, this great orchestra strikes up down the row from me.
Right there on a veranda off the pavilion at Lord’s, as hallowed British sporting ground as exists. It was wild and tres, tres cool.
It was the Band of The Royal Yeomanry, part of the British armed forces, I’m told a rather significant band and it was excellent.
Having just arrived at Lord’s from beach volleyball where my senses were dulled by electronic (alleged) music with some Stones and Pet Shop Boys and Beatles thrown in for good measure, it was an incredible study in contrasts.
First off, Lord’s is old school. I mean guys in white sportscoats (Stewards? Members? Princes? Wannabes?) ushering to your seat and being ever so helpful.
I’m pretty sure, if truth be told, the last thing the lords of Lord’s wants is the hoi polloi like me wandering in their clubhouse or offices or whatever it’s called.
I’m pretty sure I was one of few middle-aged Canadians looking bedraggled in shorts and t-shirt who was simply walking around soaking in the atmosphere. No one said anything – they were far too polite for that – but it was one of those “when worlds collide” moments you get at things like this.
But a band?
A band is cool.
Usually it’s the PA announcer trying to entertain the crowd by talking and telling them what they’re about to see or, in the case of the beach, the blaring music and sights to stimulate the audience.
Archery? At Lord’s?
A full band in full military dress playing upbeat tunes that I didn’t know but that I liked an awful lot.
Sometimes when you come to things like this you’re not sure when you’re going to have a “moment.”
Sitting at Lord’s, watching archery after a military band played is the “moment” so far.
Okay, okay, okay.
I haven’t used this yet because a bunch of readers have mentioned it so …
And, no, I haven’t seen a werewolf yet.
But I don’t tend to run in werewolf circles.
When non-stories become stories, Vol. 5,240,981
I understand there’s a big kerfuffle about tickets and empty seats at some venues and how it’s cheating the poor Brits out of a chance to see things and, well, and yawn.
You can go back to whenever you like and hear tales of the IOC “family” not using their seats, especially early in the Games. Happened in Athens, happened in Beijing, happened in Barcelona and happened everywhere.
There’s no real solution. These are seats set aside for officials, other athletes, sponsors who pay enormous rights fees and it may not be the best thing in the world but it is, simply, what it is.
Short of offering them as rush seating at the venue at the time of the event – no one knows ahead of time how many are going to be used – I’m not sure there’s a solution.
I chalk the whole thing up to a nitpicky local tabloid media with nothing to do since they can’t tap into cell phones any more and most of the Tall Foreheads are either fired, in jail or on their way to the hoosegow.
It really is a non-story, actually. Heck, I was archery yesterday and the stands – including the IOC “Family” ones – were packed. Ditto beach volleyball and ditto basketball.
Every Games is going to have an early tempest in a teapot, ticketing is this ones. Thee will be others, and some of us will try to put some context on it.
And the tabs will spin it as they do.
I’m typing most of this on the half-hour bus ride from the hotel to the main press centre while a lot of you are asleep.
Pardon the typos, luv.
(I heart this use of the language)
Remember when I put out the plea for alleys around Trafalgar Square to investigate and one helpful Irregular gave me The Harp on Chandos Place?
I’ve been there!!!
One night after a shindig this Tall Expat and her Somewhat Less Tall Partner In Crime shepherded a gaggle of us there and if you haven’t seen Tall Expat and Somewhat Less Tall Partner in Crime leading 20 confounded Canadians around Trafalgar Square you should imagine human ducks trailing after the Moms with the food only more disorganized and a bit more wobbly.
Anyway, it was a great place, we stood outside taking increasingly large chances of being hammered by an oncoming taxi and had a fine night.
Yo, Raptors fans? You still here?
Presume you saw that they signed Alan Anderson yesterday but I wonder if you know that the deal is fully guaranteed because they like him so much as a quality guy and solid end-of-the-bench swingman who won’t hurt ‘em if he has to play long minutes.
Helluva story, Anderson is, and it’s a testament to him that he’s got a deal that’ll make him a little guaranteed money.
I’m told by People Who Know that with a roster now at 14, there’s virtually no chance of any additions right now, they want the flexibility an open slot gives them and the most likely thing is they’ll sign maybe three guys to non-guaranteed training camp deals.
Still some Jose chatter going on but nothing of huge significance and they’d still be fine opening the season with what they’ve got.
Dude had a good day.
Best thing I saw yesterday that wasn’t an orchestra on a veranda at Lord’s?
Am standing on the street outside 10 Downing waiting for a bus and there’s a war monument on the island in the middle of the road.
This soldier, in full uniform because he’s been working at the Games and in full on military gait, walks by me and, as he’s walking, turns his head to the right, looks at the statue and salutes.
He holds the salute for the 20 or so paces it takes to clear the monument that he keeps staring and I’m thinking this is pretty cool.
I have no idea if others do it or if this guy was just a tad over-exuberant but it was truly impressive to see.
I was on a bus for 40 minutes to the press centre early, a bus 45 minutes to the Horse Guard’s Parade in the morning, another bus to the media transportation hub after that, another 25 minutes to Lord’s, 45 minutes to the MPC (Main Press Centre) after to catch the basketball and then 40 minutes or so home.
Busy day but a fun one and at one point, all I really wanted to do was sit on the grass in Russell Square and chill.
Looks like a nice spot, doesn’t it?