21 August 2012

Cardiff, Wales

20 August 2012
Today was a very exciting today because one of the first things we got to do (apart from breakfast!) was to get our Australian Paralympic team uniform! We had already seen it in Sydney but to finally get it was very exciting. There were some Welsh seamstresses there to do any alterations. My jeans and another pair of pants will be re-hemed and I swaped my opening and closing ceremony blouse for a bigger one.

310 is my 'admin' number on the Australian team
Oh yeah, I also managed to get some rice for my iPhone. It will now spend probably the rest of this tour in a bag surrounded by rice.

After lunch I went with TM and SS for a wander to find the laundry mat. We had a map in our welcome package but it was a little difficult navigating the streets when the street names are slightly hidden. Along the way we found a street performer dressed top to toe in gold and had some photos with him. The Gliders get a bit excited when we see gold :)

We eventually found the laundry and wandered the streets around it while we waited for the clothes to wash and dry. There wasn't much to see, mainly terrace houses and a few small food shops.


On the way back I found the O2 shop and got a UK sim card. I have 15 pounds worth of calls and texts but apparently it is free O2 to O2 so that much credit should last me a while. It costs me 10 pence to text an Australian number. I didn't bother getting a data package because my old Nokia doesn't need it. So no instagram photos from me unless I do it on my Iconia and upload them when I get to the Village.

I hung my washing up (I didnt do the dry option) and then potted around for a while before starting to get ready for the Team Reception at the Town Hall. It was at this moment that I realised I had washed my APC polo so had to sit there blow drying it dry. It was still a little bit moist when I had to wear it.

Qantas put on a small reception at the Town Hall across the road from the Hilton where we are staying. We mingled and schmoozed and ate a little bit of finger food if you were lucky for a waiter to walk past you. We then were given the nod to leave and had some photos in front of the Paralympic symbol (the Paralympic agitos) which stands proudly outside of the Town Hall.


Dinner followed and then I went back to my room and spend a long time opening up all the packets of uniform and putting my name and team number on them in laundry marker. I had a bit of a 'blonde' moment when I realised I was trying to find a tag to write my name on my playing singlet. Duh!!

My first playing singlet with 'NOTT' as my name!! So proud!
I then got a call from my Aunty who coincidently has one night in Cardiff on the tour she has been on for a while. So I was able to catch up with her in the foyer of the Hilton. It was then time for bed but sleep was delayed due to the singing on the streets below.

21 August 2012

Today was a very important day for the Australian team. It was the day the opening ceremony flag bearer was announced! The entire Australian team wandered over to Cardiff Castle where we gathered surrounded by what reminded me of Game of Thrones - a magestic castle with green lawns, cobblestone pathways and remants of stocks and a catapault!

Aussie team on their way to the Castle
We have fans!

The announcement was opened by a choir group called Only Men Aloud who apparently won some UK TV show. After some speeches we had a surprise visit by Australian band Ice House who also performed for us twice. To be honest, I didn't know who Ice House were until they started singing Heroes and Great Southern Land. I took some footage which you can see below. Unfortunately there was a particular photographer who kept getting in the way and I was very shakey when I got a bit excited and was turning around to talk to people and forgot to keep my hand straight.


Wheelchair rugby player Greg Smith was announced as our flag bearer for the opening ceremony and it was great to see how humbled he was to be the chosen one. Only Men Aloud sang our National anthem while Greg sat there practicing for the opening ceremony :)

Afterwards I went shopping and bought a pair of shoes when I was actually trying to find a Cardiff City Football club playing jersey. Apparently I need to go to the actual stadium merchandise store to get one because they wont sell the shirts in sport shops til later in the year.

We had lunch at 12.30 and I am now sitting here on the comp typing up this. I might go for another wonder around the shops before meeting up with the other Gliders for a video session. We have a gym session later today.

- 8 days til the Paralympics!!

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