An unusual delivery
So, by now, you'll hopefully know that I spent all of the Olympics in London. Not working for the IOC or LOCOG or watching any sport, but working at the Danish hospitality house, 'IMAGINATION', with a pretty large display of the Olympic Park. Piccies here if you didn't.
Anyway, I returned home late on Monday night a couple of weeks ago to an email. Literally returned home - I sat on the sofa, wondered why my phone was buzzing at me and opened an email. It was from the GB Paralympic team, asking me if there was any way the Olympic display could be borrowed for the Paralympic games. Well, there are some things you just don't say no to - and your national team asking for your support is one of them! So, queue some very rapid changes of plan.
Thanks hugely to QD Plastics, who managed to get the display cases re-polished in just 2 days. And thanks hugely to Bill Buchan who volunteered to drive my van back down to London whilst I was busy in Denmark, all the pieces were set. So, last Wednesday night I left the customer in London and picked up the van. Driving the 2 miles to the Olympic site my sat nav took me to a gate with big bollards and lots of security men.
Sadly, my sat nav wasn't quite upto date with the recent London road closures ;-) In face, after the first security gate I tried another security gate outside the huge mall attached to the Olympic site. Nope, the codes I was give weren't valid there. So I parked up, made a phone call, had no luck with the phone call, then tried dead reckoning. Third time lucky! This gate (though still, apparently, the wrong gate) did know where I was trying to get to. They matter of fact told me that they didn't know how to get to where I wanted to be, but they would let me proceed down a closed road to another gate to see if the staff there did.
I guess, then, fourth time lucky. This time my special instructions worked and I was diverted again into a checkpoint, following the shouts of 'LEGO' and 'Have you got any spare?'. Into the checkpoint I went and the van was thoroughly checked over. I won't say just how thoroughly - just in case - but it was certainly more than the freight Eurotunnels. Even with their X-rays.
Finally, I'm in. The LEGO van and I are in the Olympic Park! For all of 100 yards, then we're back out again into the Westfield mall loading bay. Exciting though, none-the-less. Some heavy unloading later and I find myself 9 floors up in Paralympic GB HQ. How cool is that? An hour or so later I'm all setup and the display is ready for our Paralympic athletes and their family to enjoy :-)
Which, I guess, is a very longwinded way of me saying THANKYOU to the Paralympic team bosses. Firstly, for showcasing my display in their headquarters. But secondly for the (very) unexpected gift of tickets to see the Paralympics. We didn't get to see any Olympic sports live, but we'll get to see the final days of both the Aquatics AND track and field events next weekend. And to cap it all off, an invitation to check up on the display and see the HQ in action. It's a very, very good omen to me for the coming months and something I really never expected. Now all I need to do is prepare to feel very, very small at some very, very impressive achievements.