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31 July 2012

Posted by DMC on 1 August 2012 in Diary |

The Olympics are well underway and by Wednesday, when the field sports start in the main arena, it will be wall-to-wall Olympics for the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, team GB is not doing well, just missing out on a medal in a number of instances. I think it unlikely that we will do as well as we did in Beijing and come fourth in the medals table, but time will tell.

We had a mid-morning consultation with the Arthur Rank Hospice OT (Myra). Myra, apart from having all the normal OT training, is also a specialist in palliative care. She was here, as much as anything to demonstrate to me how to control my breathing, when I found myself gasping for air and to use this technique in lieu of popping an anxiety pill. She also took note of the commode problem and less importantly the recliner chair but with a new control system. All it needs to do is to go up and down by means of me striking or nudging a large button or lever rather than attempting a single finger press which I have found more and more difficult over the past two or three weeks as my hands and become almost useless and certainly and fingers much weaker.. I warned Myra we were’ falling between the stools’ at present since Harriet had, with the best will in the world, intervened and introduced Avana, an independent OT. Add to that doctors Saunders and West also trying to acquire the right sort of commode for us you can see, quite clearly how we might have got our wires crossed and alienate it our own OT and as a consequence do not seem to have made any progress in that direction.

My laptop started playing up this morning when I was writing my blog, Suddenly, for no apparent reason, it decided to capitalise every word of the 71 pages in chapter 10.

Of course, I should have immediately pressed CTRL+ Z to reverse whatever order it had received. However, instead, I tried different commands, without success, until I decided that the simplest way would be to go into the blog itself and cut and paste each entry back into my blog diary. A fairly lengthy and arduous task, but one which should be fool proof. Then I remembered that Paul’ the computer’ was due to do a three-hour stint of babysitting this afternoon so, as soon as he arrived, I explained my stupidity and, in his usual calm manner, sat down and got on with the job, finishing it just before he left three hours later. Good old Paul. It’s not that I couldn’t have done it myself but I suspect it would have exhausted me.

Regular readers may recall that I have noted, more than once, that ‘extreme fatigue’ is listed as the main characteristic of MND patients, but to date, I have been able to say, that might be the universal feeling but as things stand, I could not claim to suffer from extreme fatigue. I believe that has now changed as there is no doubt that any prolonged effort does exhauste me. In addition, or part of it, my breathing gets shorter until I am virtually gasping of the to each few lines of dictation. Thinking ahead there will come a time, and I do not think that is very far away, when I will not be able to have a shower (unless there is a seriously totally waterproof respirator, which I very much doubt). Also, I can see that I will have to use the respirator more in short blasts during the day rather than solely at night.

I have accepted then that I’m getting weaker by the day and I’m certainly finding it more tiring cope with everyday living. However difficult that becomes I have extracted a promise from ‘my lovely’ that she will not attempt to send me the hospital or a hospice, even when the end is nigh. manner

 

 

 

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1 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 2 August 2012 in Diary |

Another, drama last night. Around 3.30 this morning I wake up with a very painful hip. I immediately called out the name of my night carer, who should have been sitting a few yards away. However, after receiving no response I tried to find the alarm button. Unfortunately, I was lying on my back at the time and my arms were under the blanket and they were so weak that I could not get either of them out in order to grope for the alarm. I had no choice. therefore, but to yell as loudly as I could through the respirator. Of course, I had absolutely no idea what was the time. It could have been that the night carer but had gone home and had handed over to, Alice, in which case I should just have to lie there until such times as she looked in to check on me.

Then suddenly I heard a noise and listening carefully it became obvious to me that my night carer, sitting a couple of yards away, was dead to the world.
The noise I had heard was a loud regular snore!. I continued yelling out her, name under the mask, hoping she would hear. Who could say, she can go on sleeping like that for another hour or two, whilst I was trapped by the bedclothes and totally vulnerable.

Ultimately , the carer did here and when I complained that I had been calling out for half an hour she snapped back in and said I had not. I then realised that this night carer was of an uncertain temper and in my totally vulnerable position in no way should I upset her. Had I done so heaven only knows what the outcome would have been.

It doesn’t take a vivid imagination to envisage pushing an unstable person over the top. After all the patient has no idea what is the background of the night carer provided.

There is a contract, presumably between Essex County Council and the company, who tendered for the work. What sort of check the Essex County Council carries out on the staff to be provided, I have no idea.

One reads about the odd nurse who flips and systematically bumps off her elderly patients. I suppose it was the tone of the carers reply, when I suggested I had been yelling for half an hour or so, that alerted me to the possibility of an unstable person. This was all in a fleeting moment and realising I had to placate the carer I mumbled something about ‘I expect I was dreaming’ and the carers voice softened and I realised that the worst was passed. She resumed her duty and turned me without further ado.

The following morning, when the carer had gone home. I explained what had gone on to ‘my lovely’. Like me, she was adamant that we could not use this particular carer again. On a humane level. I felt very sorry for the carer. I have absolutely no idea what is her background but I suspect that she works during the day and therefore has very little sleep. In this regard I felt very sorry for her but nonetheless we both agreed we had no choice but to ring the office of the company providing her and to explain why, under no circumstances, why she was never to be sent here again.

In fact, later in the day, I received a telephone call from this particular lady, who seemed surprised that we did not want her to come again. I did not go into any detail with her other than to confirm that we did not require her services now, or in the future.manner

Apart from that rather alarming start, the rest of the day went smoothly enough. We had Peter, my stockbroker. down, from London, for a laptop lunch, whilst we discuss my various investments. Peter, who was sensitive to my condition, ordered his taxi for 1.55 but, even then, the couple of hours I spent talking to him had drained a lot of my energy and the rest of the afternoon, and evening, I did very little between resting and watching the Olympics on television

Coming back down to earth after that flights of imagination, all of  those ladies who consider they are’ golfing widows’ should click here.

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2 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 4 August 2012 in Diary |

I am glad to say that I had a good night’s sleep with a wide awake carer responding quickly to any of my calls. I know that this is what they are employed for but having been through the nightmare of one of them dead to the world storing the head of an unable to wake them, I have become hypersensitive on this issue. You and for

Great alarms this morning. I was halfway through drafting this entry when suddenly the whole of 68 pages of this present section of the Blog Diary was wiped out. I went through all the methods I know of recovering documents but to no avail. Thank heavens I managed to track down Paul ‘the computer’ who happened to be close by and was here in no time at all.

I know that we have all of data auto-saved every 10 min., so Paul was able to restore me almost to where I had been prior to the crash. Everyone who has a PC or laptop needs a Paul. (Lucky old me!)

Today was a golden day for the team GB, which I enjoyed looking from one event to another. After such a disappointing start where mental hopefuls were just missing out. It was great to watch a number of events where we did pick up medals or gave the opposition a good run for their money. The first excitement was seeing our two girls, Helen Glover and Heather Stanning, row their way into the record book by taking gold in the women’s pair..

13 miles down the River Thames at Hampton Court Palace, Bradley Wiggins enjoyed another coronation as King of the Road, by winning the 44km time trial, only days after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

Then we saw our two canoeists, Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott, take gold in the canoe slalom and in doing so, beating the world champions.

Team GB’s Michael Jamieson won a Silver Medal in the 200 M Men’s Freestyle. Our men’s rowing Eight celebrated winning a bronze medal.

After that we witnessed some fine trap shooting of clays by Peter Wilson, who took gold by the narrowest of margins but all credit to as he is something like 15 years younger than any of the other finalists.

And so Team GB’s golden day finished by moving up in the medals table which changed by the hour, but at one stage they were shown at fifth place.

 

 

 

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3 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 4 August 2012 in Diary |

After reading yesterday’s blog’ my lovely’ pointed out the futility of me recording what everyone else was getting from their newspapers or other news sources. Of course, she is right and I should restrict what I record on this blog to exceptional circumstances, possibly, in the case of these Olympics, any triumphal win by Team GB.

So, in that spirit , I should record Victoria Pendleton’s disappointment at being disqualified, together with her partner, Jess Varnish from one of the cycling events in which they were almost certain to win a gold medal. The disqualification arose over a technicality involving inches of one wheel being in front of the other, rather like foot fault at tennis. A number of critics said that the rule was too strict and must be changed.. As one commentator put it, “Imagine if you drive a car at 65 mph and there is a small white piece of tape on the road. That is what you have this to see to mark the changeover.” In other words, damn difficult even if you practised it 1000 times. We are talking like 100th. Of the second; a blink of the eye, Pendleton said. Unfortunately, there is no appeal on such disqualification. So that was that, no medal. However, she made up for it by winning gold in the individual sprint and gold again for our men’s pursuit cycling team.

One of the most exciting gold medals won by Team GB, .today was that won Catherine Grainger and Anna Watkins in the women’s double sculls rowing.

We also won a clutch of bronze medals. There was Rebecca Adlington’s third-place in the women’s 800 m freestyle swimming. Finally, there was well deserved bronze for Karina Bryant in the women’s +78 KG Judo.

Olympics aside, Chloe and the three grandchildren came down for a brief period over lunch. Although the weather looks very clement, apparently there was a possibility of a shower and for this reason ‘my lovely’ decided we would eat in. In any event, although I did not spend a lot of time with children, who all looked very bonny and were all pursuing their own interests with a degree of success. Seb., For example, was on his way to purchase another fish for his aquarium. I think one of his previous stock and unfortunately been eaten by another inmate of the tank!

Alice and I were embarrassed in failing to remember. Chloe’s wedding anniversary, 31 July – can it really be 19 years since our lovely wedding in the marquee on our so-called croquet lawn?

In keeping with our new practice nobody spends more than an hour or so with me in order to preserve my voice – which tends to get weaker and weaker if I talk too much – the little family went, shortly after lunch, to the before heading for home. From my point of view their visit was perfect. Long enough for me to see them all and catch up with their news but not so long as to exhaust me.

 

 

 

 

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4 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 5 August 2012 in Diary |

I promised my readers that would I would not to go into great detail about the Olympic Games but I cannot restrain myself from mentioning what a great day it was for team GB. In cycling and rowing, in particular. There were some extremely close finishes to some of the races, although on the whole the team GB appeared to be in a class of its own. The result was that by the end of the day. Team GB were third in the medal table behind China and America.

With all this excitement going on. I had rather lost touch with the second test match between England and South Africa. Played at Headingley, the South Africans were all out for 419. England made a shaky start and that one stage work 173 for 4. However, a magnificent knock by Pieterson, rendered the day 149 not out brought the English team within 68 runs with six wickets in hand.

With such a surfeit of riches to entertain me. My dear wife had arranged for Barton W-P, to drop in for coffee about 11 (and to be thrown out, unceremoniously, just for 12, when the carers came in). It was good to see Barton, I gather, together with wife Judith was looking after a clutch of grandchildren and I had the sneaking suspicion that Barton was relieved to have an hour or so off!

We concluded what had been a very pleasant day by listening to Handel’s Water Music, written originally for a Royal pageant on the River Thames in 1717 George Frederic Handel was a British-born German Baroque composer who became a British subject. Born in 1685 (the same year as Bach). Handel was commissioned by George I to write some music suitable for a River pageant. It is as a result of this commission. we have the Water Music and the Royal Fireworks suite.

As part of the recent Jubilee celebrations for our present Queen, she also had a River pageant, which include a barge accommodated to take the 50 musicians, as did the original pageant. Unfortunately, the music could not be heard clearly from the shore, which rather disappointed those subject who had turned out to watch the pageant. The music we heard last night, from the Royal Albert Hall was played on instruments available in Handel’s day. Frankly, I prefer the modern version which is crisper and more melodious. Those readers who are interested in hearing this music can click here.

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5 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 6 August 2012 in Diary |

The good Doctor Michael flew in this morning from Australia, en route to Sweden. The object of his flying visit (literally, as he leaves early tomorrow) is to assess my physical condition in view of our plans to go to Lord’s, for the Third of the Test Matches against South Africa. More to the point, it is my 78th birthday and I have invited a number of friends and relatives to Lord’s, for that match as a fitting farewell, as I have a feeling in my bones that I will not make another trip to Lord’s. Obviously this is a great blow as my friends and I have occupied the same corner of the lower Warner stand, for the best part of 37 years.

Anyway having got the thumbs up from the good Doctor, I can now confirm the arrangements, after all, is now less than two weeks away.

I’m ashamed to say, with all the excitement of the Olympics, coupled with the flying visit of the good Doctor Michael, I completely forgot to watch or listen to the cricket. I know, as I recorded, the day before yesterday, Pieterson had had a field day and was 149 not out. It seems that England just passed the South African total of 419, by 6 runs. At close of play South Africa were 39 with all their wickets in hand. It is feared that the threat of rain means that a positive outcome to this Test Match. is unlikely.

Michael was in pretty good shape considering he had literally come straight from Melbourne. As he travels thousands of miles every year he had built up over 1 million Air Miles which he uses, from time to time, to upgrade. On this trip he was upgraded, to First-Class, by the airport staff without using any of his Air Miles. What goes round comes around, as the saying goes, and, during the flight, Michael was asked by the Qantas staff if he would look one of their passengers, who was feeling ill. He obviously formed a good relationship with these stewards and had told them of the purpose of this visit-basically to check me out for my trip to Lord’s on 18th. Just as he was about to disembark, having arrived in London, the head steward presented him with an excellent champagne, which the staff specifically wanted him to give to me.

It really was a special bottle of vintage champagne – Comtes de Champagne, Tattinger, Blanc de Blanc, 2000. He had obviously built me up as some sort of hero and this was their very kind response. I’m only sorry that it is virtually impossible for me to locate the right person to express my sincere thanks for this extremely generous gift.

I promised you that I would not give you a blow by blow description of today’s highlights in the Olympic Games but I would be remiss in not mentioning that it was another golden day for Team GB. who ended third in the medal table after China and America. Beyond the winning of gold medals there were many tales of sacrifice for those Olympians who won silver and bronze but keeping my promise to my readers. I shall just mention the gold medallists.

First of all I suppose I should mention Andy Murray, who overcame Federer in straight sets to become Olympic champion. The match, which was a repeat of the Wimbledon final, a couple of weeks ago, fortunately had an entirely different outcome. Murry won in three straight sets, -6-1, 6-2 and 6-4.

On the water, Ben Ainslie, in winning his gold medal, apparently became the greatest sailing Olympian ever.

There was gold for Victoria Pembleton at the cycling velodrome.

There were also gold medals For Kat Copeland and Sophie Hosking , who sobbed in disbelief in winning their medals for the lightweight double sculls

We won three medals in track and field events. Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon. A victory in the 10,000 m for Mo Farah and in the long jump for Greg Rutherfor.

What had appeared as an unreachable target by national Olympic officials -to better the 47 medals won in Beijing-now seems a distinct possibility. There is no doubt that ‘playing at home’ is raising the adrenaline in Team GB who are exceeding their personal bests and getting their share of new world records.

Wallowing in front of the television set, at the success of Team GB, we enjoyed a super curry, prepared by my dear daughter in law who, we all agreed, should be awarded a gold for it (although I’m not sure that my Aussie friend, the good Doctor Michael, was quite so euphoric about the successes of Team GB!

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6 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 7 August 2012 in Diary |

Readers may recall my trip down to Cornwall in May of last year, for the wedding of my niece, Augusta Grand, and how I was splendidly looked after by Barry, our long-term driver. A week or so. Following this trip, Barry was rushed into hospital, where a number of cysts were identified under his spine. I’m delighted to report that Barry seems to have made a full recovery.

As we saw him this morning, picking up the good Doctor Michael, to take him to the airport and, at the same time, leaving some photographs, for me to see, of Barry and wife Denise, looking very regal, in photographs they had had taken in Las Vegas.

By the time I went to bed Team GB’s tally of gold medals had risen to 18. The last of these I saw being one just before going to bed and it was won by our show jumping team in a dramatic jump-off against the Dutch team and was apparently the first such medal since 1952.

I learned today that Greg Rutherford , who won the gold medal for the long jump , with a staggering jump of 8.31 m, went to school in Saffron Walden (our nearest town, about 5 miles) and now lives in Bishops Stortford. For every gold medal won, one Royal Mail letterbox is being painted gold, to remind local people that one of their own is a true Olympian.

Then there was the silver medal won by Louis Smith with a magnificent routine on the pommel. He and the representative from Hungary, scored exactly the same marks but our man lost it on elegance of presentation

Our success in the cycling Velodrome continued when Jason Kenny won gold in the men’s sprint. We have been so successful in the whole of the cycling events in this Velodrome that it has caused Gregory Bauge, who Jason Kenny beat, to question why Britain are so indomitable in the Olympic Velodrome

I believe that the true stars in the Olympic Games are those who compete in a number of events. For example, triathlon, heptathlon and the decathlon , these are the true athletes of the Games and should be overlooked when it comes to the blue ribband events, For example, Jesse Ennis’ gold medal in the heptathlon (seven separate events). to me this is a far more impressive than the 10 seconds or so it takes to run 100 m.

One thing that has not let us down is the weather. It has mostly been idyllic summer days; not too hot and no rain insight. There is plenty of excitement ahead between now and Saturday, when the last events take place. Plenty of opportunity for team GB to pick up a few more medals and beat their tally in Beijing

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7 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 8 August 2012 in Diary |

By the time I was wheeled off to bed, last night, our tally of gold medals and reached 22 having racked up two more very exciting races in the velodrome. Sir Chris Hoy, in what possibly will be his last race struck gold, whereas Victoria Pendleton, on whose shoulders so much rested, having been built up by the media to be a super star, failed by 800th. of a second, to beat her arch rival, the Australian, Anna Meares, and had to settle for silver.

Our 19th. Gold medal was won by Alistair Brownlee in the triathlon with brother Jonathan taking bronze.

Our 20th gold medal was won by a new star of women’s cycling, Laura Trott.

Our 21st gold medal was for dressage, the first ever for the GB. I watched this event and as an erstwhile polo player, understood only too well the work that one needs to put in between horse and rider in order to achieve anything like the exquisite control the riders demonstrated over their horses. I can quite believe that it normally takes six or seven years to get these horses to respond to the rider as they do.

With 17 more events in athletics, plus opportunities in Boxing; Canoe; Cycling BMX; Diving; Hockey; and Sailing. There are plenty of opportunities for us to add to our present medal tally of 48 medals -22 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze-making it the most successful Games since the London Olympics of 1908.

I feel as though I have broken my promise to my readers and gone into more detail than I had intended over these Olympics. On the other hand, I did promise only to deal with the gold medallists and, such is success of team GB, that there has been much to write home about.

On the home front, son Miles came to supper, on his way back from Wales. A short, but as always, a comforting visit.

 

    
 

 

 

 

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8 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 9 August 2012 in Diary |

No more gold medals today    as the Games draw to an end, we did however increase our number of silver medals to 13 as indeed we also did with our bronze medals. There is of course a chance that we will pick up more medals in these dying days but the likelihood of our being displaced from third position in the medal league-compared with 4th. in Beijing-we are told, is remote. So, well done Team GB-an inspiring result

In terms of involvement with the Games themselves, leaving aside the hundreds or thousands of volunteers of bag carriers or just being available to help a particular team over any local difficulties, I think my family was fairly representative. In other words, the young’ balloted for and successfully obtained tickets for three or four events, the rest was on television. Full marks to the BBC for the quality of their presentation.

Chloe and family obtained tickets for the hockey-semi-finals in which Team GB played Argentina in a fast moving exciting game which the visitors won by the narrowest of margins, 2-1. This physical exposure to an event would be sufficient for the children to recall for the rest of their lives, as there is nothing comparable with being there, for being swept along with the enthusiasm of the surrounding crowd.

There has been much discussion about the’ legacy’ from these Games and this, physical exposure, I suggest, is one of them. I remember being taken to a baseball match in the USA. I think it was a final of some sort in the famous Rose Bowl Arena. I was merely visiting on a business project and my hosts had obtained the ticket for me as good hosts should. I knew very little about the rules of baseball and nothing about the two competing teams.

Yet, very soon I found myself standing cheering myself hoarse with the rest of the surrounding supporters of one team or another. The point being that I was absolutely swept away by the drama of the occasion and indeed will have never forgotten the rise in my adrenaline and, no doubt, in my heartbeat, as my excitement level rose in keeping with my hosts when the team they were supporting did something challenging to their opponents.

So, there is the legacy of physical attendance at an event or other by an individual but far more important is the effect it might have on the population of a particular town or region. The Games are deliberately designed to be partisan. No matter how famous is the participant, all that matters, in this particular event, is as representative of his/her country.

There is, no doubt, that, in watching the effect of these Games on thousands of youngsters is quite dramatic. The little seven, eight, nine years seriously believe that they too can become champions of the world and receive their own gold medal. This raises the level of enthusiasm very quickly from the masses who decide that they are going to be the best shot putter in the world or 10,000 m runner, or other. Unless the infrastructure to follow through on this enthusiasm, maintain its height long enough for this new enthusiast to be swept along, is in place, this new passion will quickly pass. So, in terms of legacy of inspiring future generations to dedicate, day by day, the hard work of practice and exercise to build up this new enthusiast’s strength, six months or so later I suspect that the flame of enthusiasm will have all but burnt out.

That leaves me with the all abiding sense of achievement – there were as many stories of the hardship suffered by someone who had by dint of personal sacrifice and hard work found themselves in the Olympic arena. It was, I believe, these individual stories that will inspire a generation of youngsters, the small residue of which will go on to compete for this country.

Finally, I suggest, that the whole affair, coming at a time of extreme global financial uncertainty, will have affected most people in this country with a realistic sense of being able to get through this present financial crisis and the sheer believe that we can make it will be sufficient, in itself, to get through the crisis, safely and securely.

‘ What the mind of Man can conceive, and believe, Man can achieve’.

 

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9 August 2012

Posted by DMC on 10 August 2012 in Diary |

I should have finished yesterday’s comment with a small explanation concerning the quotation I included. The point being is this. Many of us have good ideas. Some of them, undoubtedly commercial, if they could be taken through the obstacle course of development; Mock up models; further temporary patent applications and so on. So conception is not so difficult. We all have good ideas from time to time, but the key to the whole business is Belief. In order to progress your idea further you must have an unwavering belief in it. Unless you have this hundred percent belief in whatever you have conceived there is no chance that you will bring it to conception…

This applies equally to the making of a household gadget to believing that you can rise to dizzy heights in leading the world in a particular challenge, relating to taking your idea, for an example, ridding the world of a horrid disease. A recent example of this is Bill Gates and his wife’s attempt to wipe out malaria. I believe there are close to achieving that dream. The object lesson to be learned from this is that it would not have been the same had Joe Bloggs conceived the idea because, unless he was as wealthy as the Gates’ there would be no way he could be met with the same success. In other words, deep down he will not have believed he could achieve it.

Our tally of Olympic gold medals rose again today in an historic event- we won a gold medal, the first ever to be awarded for women’s boxing, as this event was only added this year to the Games.

Yet another gold medal was awarded to Team GB for those exquisite horses. In fact, two medals-a gold and bronze for dressage (or what some people call ‘ dancing horses’.

The English weather, which is notoriously changeable, behaved itself immaculately up to this point in the Games. It only needs to maintain this for a couple more days to have been the most perfect weather covering the whole fortnight.

On Sunday next we will have the Closing Ceremony. I wonder how much the Olympic Development Team have dedicated to this Ceremony. I hope that our Opening Ceremony together with our success in the Games itself would speak for itself and we can get away with a short spectacular finish..

Of course, we must not forget the Para-Olympics which I believe immediately follow on these Games. I can understand why the organising committee may had been forced into making this decision but cannot help feeling that we are suffering from a surfeit of Olympics and it may take a little while to bolster our enthusiasm for another fortnight of the same, As much as anything, I think, the whole country will sigh in relief that these Games have passed without incident. Behind-the-scenes the security arrangements must have required immaculate planning and it appears that the effort put into this aspect of the planning, has paid off. The substitution of 3500 troops for the shortfall from the security company, who won the award (at a cost of £53 million), has achieved a double purpose.

First all, the effect of the fraternisation of the public with our troops, who are currently engaged in this futile war, will have raised the public interest and perhaps have encouraged some people, who were sceptical about our presence in this arena, to think again.

Secondly, there should be a substantial saving in cost or will this be another example of an incompetent civil servant negotiating a contract full of holes that allow the contractor to slip through unscathed.

I mentioned earlier how impressed I had been at the enthusiasm whipped up around these Games. We had our own personal demonstration of this yesterday when, our granddaughter, little Lara, telephoned Granny to tell her all about her visit to watch the women team GB, play hockey. Lara was terribly excited about the whole affair despite never having seen a game of hockey in her life you realise that the event was something rather special and in no time at all was shouting and screaming for the British team. So, here is a little girl who will probably remember these Olympic Games 60 or 70 years hence. That in itself, is a wonderful personal legacy of this staggering stravaganza..

 

I should have finished yesterday’s comment with a small explanation concerning the quotation I included. The point being is this. Many of us have good ideas. Some of them, undoubtedly commercial, if they could be taken through the obstacle course of development; Mock up models; further temporary patent applications and so on. So conception is not so difficult. We all have good ideas from time to time, but the key to the whole business is Belief. In order to progress your idea further you must have an unwavering belief in it. Unless you have this hundred percent belief in whatever you have conceived there is no chance that you will bring it to conception…

 

This applies equally to the making of a household gadget to believing that you can rise to dizzy heights in leading the world in a particular challenge, relating to taking your idea, for an example, ridding the world of a horrid disease. A recent example of this is Bill Gates and his wife’s attempt to wipe out malaria. I believe there are close to achieving that dream. The object lesson to be learned from this is that it would not have been the same had Joe Bloggs conceived the idea because, unless he was as wealthy as the Gates’ there would be no way he could be met with the same success. In other words, deep down he will not have believed he could achieve it.

Our tally of Olympic gold medals rose again today in an historic event- we won a gold medal, the first ever to be awarded for women’s boxing, as this event was only added this year to the Games.

Yet another gold medal was awarded to Team GB for those exquisite horses. In fact, two medals-a gold and bronze for dressage (or what some people call ‘ dancing horses’.

The English weather, which is notoriously changeable, behaved itself immaculately up to this point in the Games. It only needs to maintain this for a couple more days to have been the most perfect weather covering the whole fortnight.

On Sunday next we will have the Closing Ceremony. I wonder how much the Olympic Development Team have dedicated to this Ceremony. I hope that our Opening Ceremony together with our success in the Games itself would speak for itself and we can get away with a short spectacular finish..

Of course, we must not forget the Para-Olympics which I believe immediately follow on these Games. I can understand why the organising committee may had been forced into making this decision but cannot help feeling that we are suffering from a surfeit of Olympics and it may take a little while to bolster our enthusiasm for another fortnight of the same, As much as anything, I think, the whole country will sigh in relief that these Games have passed without incident. Behind-the-scenes the security arrangements must have required immaculate planning and it appears that the effort put into this aspect of the planning, has paid off. The substitution of 3500 troops for the shortfall from the security company, who won the award (at a cost of £53 million), has achieved a double purpose.

First all, the effect of the fraternisation of the public with our troops, who are currently engaged in this futile war, will have raised the public interest and perhaps have encouraged some people, who were sceptical about our presence in this arena, to think again.

Secondly, there should be a substantial saving in cost or will this be another example of an incompetent civil servant negotiating a contract full of holes that allow the contractor to slip through unscathed.

I mentioned earlier how impressed I had been at the enthusiasm whipped up around these Games. We had our own personal demonstration of this yesterday when, our granddaughter, little Lara, telephoned Granny to tell her all about her visit to watch the women team GB, play hockey. Lara was terribly excited about the whole affair despite never having seen a game of hockey in her life you realise that the event was something rather special and in no time at all was shouting and screaming for the British team. So, here is a little girl who will probably remember these Olympic Games 60 or 70 years hence. That in itself, is a wonderful personal legacy of this staggering stravaganza..

 

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