Friday, 3 August 2012

Front row, baby!

It was persistence, determination, blood, sweat, tears, grit and a whole load of luck which landed me three tickets to the Olympics yesterday. I refreshed the screen like a maniac and there, out of the blue, up came dressage tickets available at a reasonable cost of £40 for me and £6 and £4 for the kids, paying a pound per year they have been on this earth. Swept up in the excitement, adrenaline surging as I paid on line, I didn't give too much thought to how boring dressage is to children, they are not interested in horses particularly, even I have to put it third on my list of all equestrian disciplines. If polo was in the Olympics, dressage may even be relegated to fourth place.

The journey to Greenwich park was fantastic. London 2012 volunteers made the process of getting from the train to the stadium, efficient, easy and pleasurable. Everyone was happy! London was smiling! I felt so proud to be part of this occasion, tears welling up in my eyes frequently until I saw the stadium and then they actually began to pour down my cheeks. What an emotional idiot, the kids had no clue what was going on, thousands of people, everyone saying hello to them, telling them to wave their flags and their mother in tears. Actually, I've just wiped away a few now just remembering the emotion.

And then we found our seats. The official looked at our tickets, looked at me, looked at the kids and looked at our tickets again.

"Wow, you've got front row seats, " she said surprised at my unkempt, red blotchy face and two dishevelled children.

And there we were, at the Olympics, London 2012 in the middle of the front row, beneath the Olympic family and just above the riders and press.

We were so close we could hear the horses snort, we could see the expressions on the riders faces, I could see the movements in detail and hear the riders pat their horses neck after the test. The enormous roar of the crowd after British riders was overwhelming, it was also the time when the children were allowed to be noisy and wave their flags.

How I entertained the children in the front row of the Olympics through 5 hours of dressage? - well that's another story indeed.


  1. Wow, so jealous! And what an amazing day of dressage!
    But I am curious, what kind of witchcraft did you use to occupy the children? ;D

  2. Hi christie, it was a magical day, but really quite stressful in trying to keep the kids quiet and still! After considering heavy duty tranquillisers and pouring whiskey over their rice krispies, I resorted to colouring in, smarties, another packet of smarties, pringles (too noisy), taking lots of breaks, bribery with a burger king on the way home and the 'eyes' - you know the eyes which are scary and stop children in their tracks.