26 August 2012

Cardiff to London

August 23rd
Not much happened on the 23rd - training, shopping, eating, recovering. We also packed the bag we are sending back in the first round of freighting back to Australia. Choosing which things could be sent back early was a bit of a task. It is slow freight so they get back home a few weeks after we do. Anything I might need when I get home I had to pack in the bag going to London.

August 24th
This morning we said goodbye to the bag going back to Australia. I then went shopping for a jacket with no brand name (a 'touring London' jacket). I also ended up getting the London Bus Thomas Sabo charm to represent my time at the 2012 Paralympics. They didn't have any Welsh charms which is a shame - the lady there said they would be a sell out. I told her TS should make a basketball charm - they would be a sell out too!

After training, recovery and showers we had a team dinner at Pizza Express - the same restaurant as the one we went to in Manchester! The night was a special night for us because it was our last night in Cardiff so we declared this night Gliders Goldlows night (also doubled up with the Glider's Karaoke Night)! So we all dressed up in whatever gold outfit that we had brought along with us to dinner. I went a little nuts at Supre before I left Perth so I managed to outfit me and one other Glider with suitable Goldlows outfits. While at dinner, BK and I practiced our skit for the first time. We got a couple of weird looks from the other diners :)

After dinner we went back to our hotel where the karaoke was set up where all the athletes have dinner. This was a bit of a surprise to us Gliders because we weren't expecting a large audience (the Rugby boys weren't expecting to come back from training to a dining hall full of singing and dancing Gliders!). But it ended up being good because the more laughs the better and we even had people from the mens basketball team, womens goalball team, track and field, APC administration and the Cardiff volunteers join in on the fun as well!

BK and I had a great time doing our skit. It basically involved me sitting on her lap with my arms behind her and my legs tucked away under a blanket (that was also covering BK's head). We danced and sang to the Proclaimers "I will walk 500 miles" - and by dance I mean BK moved her legs around to look like their mine and by singing I mean singing along to the chorus because I didn't know the verses and the words weren't up on the tv. We got a lot of laughs so I'm glad our skit was well received. I didn't even care when my legs became uncovered from the blanket and were bouncing around to make it look like I had four legs :)

The staff did a brilliant rendition of ABBA's Mamma Mia and I helped a group of people with the Spice Girl's Wannabe. AM was a crowd favourite (lets face it - she was the only one of us who could actually sing!) and sang a few numbers. Our manager did an appropriate solo song - "I did it my way". Oh, and the low pointers sang "I will survive". So in total, I was involved in 3 different songs. Which is quite surprising since I didn't really organise anything beforehand.

Midway through the karaoke night the Gliders Players Player for the Arnhem tournament was announced - congrats to SC!! We also voted for our best dressed - I won! Woo hoo! I'd like to thank Supre for their cheap and disgusting gold clothes and Accesorize for my sparkly gold shoes :)

My shoes and my trophy!
Afterwards we had to pack our bags ready to leave for London the next day.

August 25th
I'm glad we were only going on a bus and not a plane because my bag was HEAVY!! It took a few goes to close my bag - even with me putting some towels in SV's bag and carrying my toiletries and shoes with me on the bus. I have decided I will buy a small bag to take with me back home and freight the big Australian bag home to arrive several weeks after me.

We took the long drive to London, stopping once half way. It wasn't that bad of a trip. The only bad bit being me falling asleep on my arms and waking up with the worst tingling in my fingers. Took some time to get the feeling back.

SS and I - bus buddies for a few hours
The driver took us on a bit of a tour before going to the Village. We went past Big Ben, Parliament, the London Eye, the Abbey, and the Tower of London (which isn't very tower-ish) before finally driving into the Athletes Village. It is amazing! Much bigger and better than Beijing.

Extra large Benjamin
the Eye - much bigger than the one I went on in Perth!
the Tower of London
Since arriving I haven't explored much. I have unpacked my bag, had some treatment done by MW and had dinner. Dinner! The food hall is amazing! It's really hard to pick what you want to eat and it's hard to go back for more! I had asian tonight. Rice with a veggies, cashue and coconut curry sauce and some chinese broccoli and noodles. Yum! Tomorrow night I might try the carvery :)

Unfortunately there are a few rules about uploading photo's and footage of various places around the Village - so for now, I won't upload any. Instead I will end with this:

- 3 days to go til the opening ceremony!!

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