364 Days to Go: A Personal Story

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Yesterday there was more coverage about the Olympic Games being just one year away than there was about the global financial problems, the African famine, the Norwegian shootings or even Cheryl Cole. The Metro had a 12 page supplement and London’s Evening Standard also had quite a lot of coverage.According to the Daily Telegraph this morning, over 200 BBC journalists covered the day which suggests about 199 too many. In Trafalgar Square, the prime minister, Jacques Rogge (IOC Chairman) and Seb Coe made all the right gung-ho noises. But how are we ordinary mortals considering the games? If we are at all?
One small survey from the big multi-national accountancy practice, PwC, has suggested that 16% of us won’t go away at all next year because we will be sitting in front of TV’s watching the games. A further 9% will delay or bring forward holidays so that we can watch them and 10% of all Londoners want to get out of the UK entirely to avoid them. What of the other people? No word.
From a personal point-of-view, I plan to get away and try to find some remote part of the world where television doesn’t exist and where the internet either malfunctions consistently or I cannot get a signal. But until then I will be slightly inconvenienced. Why? Because where I live is near where the cycle race (or races, I have no idea how many there are) will be held. If I stayed, I would feel like being in one of those western films where the wagons are turned in a circle so that the settlers are protected from marauding Indians. I am the settler, unable to escape because all the roads encircling my house ( and the village) are closed as they are being used for the cyclists’ course. For at least seven hours each day I can drive to the next village but that’s about it. The same happens in about two weeks when they also close the roads so they can test it. My thought is that the roads are so potholed, we might even get some road maintenance. If that happens maybe they can close every single road and have a go at filling in the ravines!
For the good of the Games, I can live with that this year but for the wall- to-wall coverage we will get next year I cannot. It’s just that sport doesn’t interest me. So, as I said, I will go away. Tour operators are already falling into two camps. Some cruise companies are promising huge screens so that, while you cruise, you will miss nothing. Small tour operators are offering get-away –from-it- all packages.
I’m one of the 25% of people who has decided what I am doing. Have you thought?

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