Commonwealth Games 2014

It’s seems like a very long time since I blogged (getting on for a year in fact) but, when things plod on at a leisurely pace in life there’s little to share or say.

However, a lovely week off work has made me realise that maybe I do have some stories and happenings that I’d like to remember and share, and maybe I could use the blog to my advantage to try and motivate myself to get off my bum and do some things that I used to really enjoy.

OK, so this week has been a delightfully sunny week off work and I spent the first part of it (with the hubby of course) in Glasgow at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. We spent Monday evening at the Netball, which was fantastic. I haven’t really spent any time giving Netball much thought since leaving school and forgotten how much I enjoyed it. The pace was fast and I really wanted have a go. Sadly I am just not of Commonwealth standard. This took place at the SECC, picture below. I have to say that, barring the Atheltics, the Netball had the best atmosphere with a decent amount of crowd involvement between games. We were seated at the back, but as you can see, we could see everything going on.

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After Netball we headed back to our Hostel. Now, we are not Hostel dwellers. Infact neither of us had ever been to a Hostel before. I went with an open mind. Drunk student ages people who came in all hours. A dirty place with no privacy and no respect for anyone else. A large room with small space where people were crammed in on bunk beds. As you can see, I thought very highly of them. And in the main, yes, it ticked all those boxes and more. And this isn’t a complaint, because quite honestly it was the cheapest place to stay in Glasgow, and we only needed a bed for 3 nights. And that was exactly what we got. A bed. The bathroom disappointed me, with locks that didn’t work and a fairly mouldy gross shower. But I managed a shower, and I don’t appear to have caught any contagious diseases from it!

The obvious problem with hostels I guess, is lack of convenience in terms of everyone is running on their own schedule. If you time it wrong, you’re going to have to wait for that one working shower to be free. You want to charge your electronics, but there’s limited access to plug sockets. You want to get up 6 hours before everyone else, but you can’t turn on a light to get your stuff. All this sort of adds up to a rubbish experience if you’re not into the whole social aspect of a hostel. Infact, it was kind of what I imagined first year of university to be like, if I’d gone!

Tuesday we were up nice and early (fumbling around for items in rucksacks, disturbing others in nearby bunks etc) for the badminton, in which my love for the Norfolk Island participants began to form. I knew nothing about Norfolk Island until these games. It rang in my mind somewhere, but I couldn’t tell you where it was or who they were. Now I am a huge fan of their badminton team, in particular a competitor called RIchard Cribb. Apparently this Island is to the East of Australia, above New Zealand and has about 2300 people living on it. Needless to say, their Badminton wasn’t so good. But that didn’t matter, because they smiled throughout and had the entire crowd supporting them. We had good seats for this and were situated just behind Court Two, I suspect we made it on to the television multiple times (mainly to do with the South African flag being waved behind us, or more accurately on top of our heads). Here are some of the photos because I’m such an aspiring photographer (like I’m an aspiring everything!)

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And Norfolk Island in action (not the fantastic Richard Cribb though, sadly…)

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In the evening we were at the Athletics – which as expected was excellent. I hadn’t ever been to any kind of Athletics event, but I’d say I’d definitely want to go again. Plenty to watch, fantastic atmosphere.

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The heros of the Games though, and I’m sure it’ll be said time and time again afterwards that everyone will get bored of it has got to be the volunteers and staff. Slushy I know. My favourite volunteers being the directional ones on the street corners who knew how to get you where and did it with for more enthusiasm than I can manage on any day! Not to mention the fact they had the giant green finger hands. Mighty cool indeed. All volunteers did a great job in any capacity they helped, but I’d certainly give the ‘gold star’ to those in the streets. And of course the policeman that directed thousands of us to the train station. From his horse he firmly told everyone where they ought to be going and what they should and shouldn’t be doing. And then he joined in with a rendition of “If you’re happy and you know it…” He was happy, and he knew it too!

FInally, we went to see the Hockey (England vs Scotland, nonetheless). A bit disappointed by this, although the weather was a bit off putting. The game itself was good, and England won which was a nice boost – but I found myself less than interested in the goings on. Perhaps our seats weren’t the best either. But then, hockey was always my least faovurite school sport, so perhaps it just doesn’t interest me like the others. However, England vs Scotland proved to be a close and exciting game, and I was glad to have been there. Disappointingly for hubby he was situated next to an NCFC fan, this is no good when you support Ipswich.

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Quite fantastically, if you want to read about the hostel we stayed in, you can do here:

Blue Sky Hostel, Glasgow

As apparently it’s had a lot of internet coverage during our stay there, although we were oblivious whilst we were staying.

 

Right, off to become and athelete, because that’s what I fancy doing this week…!

 

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