Monday, 6 August 2012

I Be'd to the Bearlympics - Hurrah

Well I've be'd to the Bearlympics and met up with Jack and LT.  We had a GREAT day and saw our team win one Gold medal and two Bronzes in four races - whoo that was incredible.  LT and Himself got very noisy at times and Jack and I had to put our paws over our ears. He's been lazy and Jack has beaten me to the net - but I still have the medal so nya, nya, ne nya, nya.  (Behave yourself.)

First we met up with some friends near Londing - I had never met them and the last time LT had seen them she was only wee. (Was she ever?  Oh yes, she was once.) Enough from you, LT is my friend.  Nigel is camera shy, but here we are with Leah and LT.  Leah's holding me up like that so I won't eat her dinner - not fair I say. (You did mange to get your paws into a few sticky sauces so that kept you going didn't it?)  Well yes, I suppose, but a few more bits of your pork might have been nice.  (What do you mean MORE?) Well, you should have paid more attention, you can't expect a hungry bear to sit by your plate and not sneak a mouthful or twenty.

Next morning we had to get up at silly o'clock. The Staff was going to get up at 6.00 but the people in the next room got up even earlier, so he got up at 5.45 and by 6.45 we were on our way.  Everything was very slick - first the car park had no queue and then the bus went from there almost as soon as we got on.  After about 10 minutes we got into the bus park and we had a walk-in of about 1km to the course itself.  The place was called Eton Dorney though I thought it was the Londing Bearlympics (Well yes, it's the London Olympics, but there's not enough room in the middle of London to do sailing, road cycling and rowing, not to mention the football, but given the GB performance there, it's best left unmentioned.) Well that's strange, they should just have knocked down half the city to make sure everything could happen in the right place. Anyway we were at the Eton Dorney Bearlympics and it was fun.

We were with LOTS of big people, and there were lots them helping us. The helpers are called "Games Makers." They had nice uniforms on and they were extra specially helpful. They all have taken time off work to volunteer and they deserve an extra special cheer of their own.

First we met a lady who was shouting, "This is the ROWING event.  If you haven't got tickets for ROWING ON 3rd AUGUST, please turn back because you won't be allowed in."  Now, we all thought, "Why would anyone be so stupid?" But I suppose there must be some.

This nice man was sitting singing to us and showing us his gold medal. He must have been very busy rowing and helping. (It wasn't a real medal, bear, it was chocolate and covered with gold foil. He didn't actually win it.) What! a chocolate gold medal? Wow he must have really, really done well to win a chocolate medal.  That's the best sort.  I 'spect he got his medal for being helpful. (Yes you're probably right.)

He was still there at the end of the day singing,
"If you're happy and you know it,
Stay with me,
If you're happy and you know it,
Please don't go!"

Then he wished us a safe journey.  Wasn't he a very nice man?

Some people were oddly dressed and some had faces with flags painted on them.

Other people wore strange hats.  I wonder if this Dutch man knew he had little orange creatures living on his hat?

This one is the best hat though.  It is a tin hat with a Kiwi on the top, it was almost the nearest thing we saw to a bear.  I hope it had a good view.  (He's from New Zealand and though the Kiwi was cute, the person underneath looked fearsome.)

Soon we were in our seats and for a while everything was quite quiet.  Jack and I got to sit on one seat back and then we had our photo taken with LT - do you like her London 2012 Rowing cap?

We were here to see the racing and the first few events were for the lower ranked scullers. Everyone got a cheer and this is the 33rd and last person in the men's single sculls - he was last in the 'F' final and he got a great big welcome.

There were lots of people to look at on the water and a British Crew in every 'A' final, something that He and LT got quite excited about.  In the race above the Brits were fifth.  The men standing up were from Germany and I think they cheated to win, 'cos you can't stand up in a boat.  (No they won fair and square.  They only stood up afterwards to say,"Well done" to each other. you can't actually scull standing up.)  Oh that's alright then, but what about the men in the white boat - it had an engine on it. They were definitely cheating.  (No they were the umpires, there to make sure nobody cheated or fell in.)  Oh, I see, 'cos there were lots of them and I thought they were cheating, but, because they were always last, no-one noticed.

This was the first race with a British Crew and we were part of what the press were calling either, "The wall of sound," or "The extra person in the boat," supporting the GB crews. It all got quite noisy and shaky.  I hope you saw us on the television, we had fantastic seats very near the finish.  Himself says they cost a packet, but were worth every penny.

Next we were third with a new crew including a young man who could have been rowing at under 23 level.  They weren't expected to win, but they did better than everyone had hoped.

The next race was Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins, and our Staff would have paid just to see this one race.  Kath had won silver medals at the last three Bearlympics and everyone wanted her to win this time (except the Aussies and the Poles and everyone supporting the other crews.)  Well yes, but they were stupid. (That's not very gracious, bear.)  

The wonderful news is that they won and in fine style.   LT and Himself cheered and shouted and stamped and jumped up and down and hollered and yelled and contributed to the mayhem.  It could have been quite scary for little bears but Jack and I felt so proud to be there and to be Beartish (albeit Jack came from the other side of the pond. All bears are Beartish.)  Himself had a wee tear in his eye when they won. 

Here they are after they'd finished - they are the boat at the to of the picture.  Then we got to stand up and sing the national anthem after they got their medals.  It all sounded a bit strange and echoey but we got through it nonetheless.      

Once they'd had their medals awarded Kath and Anna came along and thanked the crowd and showed off their medals. Anna and Kath rowed almost all the way down the course and came past everyone who had cheered for them.

Come to think of it all the other medal holders did too except the Australian Women that Kath and Anna best.  They just turned round and rowed back to the boat house, which was not very gracious. Nobody likes a bad loser.  Anyway we cheered Kath and Anna and they waved at us.  It was all very emotional.

The last race of the day was the men's single sculls and there was a man from Northern Ireland rowing in it.  Well Himself is from there and even LT was born there and they got very excited again.  The sculler's name is Alan Campbell and he won a bronze medal.  His cousin was sitting right in front of us, so she was very excited - but then everyone was - and again there was a lot of stamping and hollering and leaping up and down and getting deafened. After Alan got his medal we waited until he came over and showed it to us and we cheered him all over again.

Before we left it was time for another photo.  Here we are on LT's knee.  you can see that we were quite tired out - definitely wabbit, as they'd say in Scotland.  It's hard work all that jumping up and down and yelling at the top of one's little lungs you know. (Indeed it is and you two did vey well.)

High time to get going for a bit of a snack, but first we had to unwind the journey back to the car.  Again all the volunteers were very cheerful and helpful. On the way we stopped to get our photos taken with the Bearlympic Mascot called Wenlock.  As Jack says this one isn't the real one, we might have met him if we'd been lucky, but he was somewhere else so we had to put up with the purtend one instead.

As I said, all that cheering and leaping made for peckishness and we had a long way to go to get home, about 200 miles and it was already past any sensible bear's lunchtime, so I had the Chauffeur pull off to get something.  (Not to worry wee bear, this "Chauffeur" was kinda peckish too.)

I wasn't too impressed with LT's pink rice and Jack was so unimpressed that he didn't even show up to look.  But we did help Alan with his sushi, 'cos bears like salmon and stuff like that.  Himself commented that if you'd told him when he was a boy that he'd happily sit down in later life to eat raw fish with rice he'd have thought you mad. Silly boy.

Well, that was almost the end of our great big bearventure.  He says we'll not see the Bearlympics again in his lifetime, so it was very very very special.  We tumbled into the car and Jack and I had a good snooze on the way home.  

I hope you enjoyed our day as much as we did.



Thursday, 2 August 2012

Yippee - Off to the Bearlympics

Hi all,

Just a quick post to-day to say that we're all packed and ready to go off to the Bearlympics - though I see from my tickets that some people are calling them the "Olympics" whatever that means. (Sorry bear "Olympics" is correct, but you can call them Bearlympics if you like.) I do and I will. If they were meant to be called Olympics we'd all have to be Irish wouldn't we? (Erm, I am Irish, so it is appropriate  as far as I'm concerned.) Not my fault, I'm Bearish so Bearlympics must be right.
Here I am with my ticket and there's another for Jack, but I don't know what LT and the Hired Help are going to do. (The tickets are for the humans, bears get free entry, isn't that nice.) Smashing I'd say, but proper for a Bearlympics.  Aren't the ticket pretty colours?

Anyway we've packed our bags and I've got my Bearlympic rowing pin badge on a nice red ribbon. In a couple of hours we're off to pick up LT and Jack at the railway station and then a big long drive to near where the rowing will be held.  

Tomorrow we have to get up early to get to the park, but I 'spect  that Jack and I can go on snoozing while the help carry us. LT and Himself will be laden with cameras (and bears) and Jack and I will just go as we are, travelling light as ever.  

We're all ready to roar on Kath Grainger and Anna Watkins in the ladies double sculls and Alan Campbell in the men's singles, and we'll shout at all the others too. I hope I can get a flag to wave.  (Ehm, we'll see shall we?)

I'll tell you all about it when we get back.  Look out for me on the television, I'm sure to feature.