We were all back together as one big happy group, minus Olu who had the day off as she was working both the Friday and Saturday. This was quite an exciting day for quite a lot of people as we were finally getting our hands on those immense LOCOG BMWs that we were told we wouldd be able to use.
Unlike the rest of my NOC colleagues I had not passed the first driver training, mainly due to having an irate Nigerian in the car with me telling me to jump thru red lights and go in front of Ambulances on blue lights, not good! However, i found out about extra training for those who either never attended the first training or never passed, ie me!
The team was split up with me and Katrina left manning the desk incase the BMW satnav brokedown and they needed people to give them postcodes to get to their destination, which happens alot I can tell you.
It was quite a slow day as we were just sitting at a computer waiting for people to phone us, sitting, waiting for it to ring. We weren’t dissappointed as phonecalls came in their droves as the specially installed BMW satnav, which reconfigures due to traffic etc was offline. Only in the UK.
It wasn’t until after lunch I would get out of the village like everyone else. Katrina, Sarah and me headed towards ExCel with Katrina driving, Sarah as co pilot having been out that morning and then me feeling like the VIP in the back of the car.
Now we could have went absolutely anywhere….but ExCel had a special meaning to Katrina. What was the reason you ask? Simple…army personnel were manning the vehicle checkpoints at that venue. I wasn’t surprised when I heard this. The journey to ExCel was actually pretty smooth…that was before we hit the Blackwall tinnel which goes underground to Canary Wharf and was the option favoured between that and an over water bridge. I went thru here on my training and god was I scared for my life. They drive so close to you it is actually unreal, Katrina told a story from her day that if you were able to put a thumb between you and the car infront then you’ve got too much space, something that didnt give me a positive thought if im honest.
We entered the vehicle screening area of ExCel and had our first proper experience of what was to come everytime we went out in the car. Katrina, as the driver, was taken aside and searched as was the car whilst me and Sarah both had our bags scanned and a chat about why some people would let us thru with water and others made you chuck it. Pretty annoying as the people from G4S couldnt make up their minds at the best of times, whereas the army personnel said, ‘Its common sense really. If you are coming thru with one bottle thats cleary been drank then we just get you to take a sip. No big deal’. These guys actually knew what they were which was actually reassuring more than anything else.
We got thru with no issies and carried on lookibg for the P3 parking designated for NOCs. Unfortunately we couldnt park as we couldnt actually find the place to park, nonetheless we carried on our journey and headed back towards the Village. Driving along the car satnav says, turn lefy in so many yards. I highlighted this fact and was told by Katrina and Sarah, no its the one further up. You shouldn’t argue with women, especially Satnavs. I kept my mouth shut when we double backed and took the turn off that I had mentioned. I wasn’t risking being dropped in the middle of nowhere.
Coming back into the Village we had to go thru another vehicle check. This was alot different to the one manned by the military as it was G4S undertaking these duties. Oh my word, it felt like they really had no clue.
Best Quote of the day was when Sarah asked, ‘Do you not want to look under the bonnet?’ He simply turned and with a smile shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘I don’t know, on you go’. Can you see why we were brimming with confidence after we had been checked by tge Army first and then G4S?
Anyway, we entered the village and had a small discussion amongst ourselves as to where Team GB would be situated. Rumours were ciculating that they were directly across from the Aussies so we thought we would do a little more digging. Taking an alternative route compared to usual, we headed arpund the so called ‘GB block’. We couldn’t see anything to start with but you could see into the rooms.
Across the bedside table was an array of hygiene products and more. Plus a Team GB embroidered bath robe for each one of them. Now I know what their NOC Assistants had been up to for the past week.
Their decorations were different to ours, but still pretty cool: