The Big One

So – today’s the day it all happens – Greenwich Park gets its moment of glory and is either ruined forever or just used for a day then allowed to go back to sleep (yeah, yeah, I know there are other days, but this is the one that grabbed all the attention from the start.)

What will the course be like? Will it be muddy underfoot? Will they run out of food? Will the toilets get blocked? And will I get enough work done to sneak away and watch it on the telly? I have no interest in the outcome of the actual event, but I’d like to see which bits eventually got used and how glorious the park’s going to look in sparkling sunshine. I also want to see that whizzy camera thing swooping up and down across the Thames from Gen. Wolfe.

Anyone got tickets and fancy reporting back on the events from the point of view of a park-loving local?

The Flower Garden’s closed today (otherwise we’d get a freebie) so unless you’ve got tickets the TV’s probably best, though we do need to get into the centre of town and have a nice cup of tea in the cafes that haven’t put up their prices – Red Door, Trafalgar Cafe, Royal Teas and Peter de Wits spring to mind but there are others – they’re suffering just now – loads of footfall, no one actually stopping. Let’s give ‘em a bit of support…

PS – wasn’t the Opening Ceremony amazing? All hail to the Phantom Webmaster whose bucket-bashing was clearly the secret of the event’s success.

7 Comments to “The Big One”

  1. Paul says:

    East Greenwich had been dead, all weekend and the local shops are suffering, LOCOG are directing people into Greenwich centre before and after the events also TFL have large matrix signs telling people to avoid the area. Do you have a business in Greenwich are you quite?

  2. parkkeeper says:

    “I don’t mind the park being closed…..”
    “…..view of a park-loving local?”

    Make up your phantom mind!

    Just what do you care about and what would you protect? Fenced in Disneyland or open to all park and precious but fragile World Heritage Site?

    Like many others can’t wait to see the back of Coe and all this half arsed chaos.

  3. Mrs P says:

    Re: Paul’s comment to businesses above (“are you quiet?”). Comatose, more like. We have a large food stall in Greenwich Market. Saturday was an unmitigated disaster – barriers blocking entry to the market from the East, West and North entrances. All potential customers were herded past by cheery volunteers with big false pointy hands. They even tried to herd local people and market traders themselves, blocking them from crossing the road opposite Rhodes to get to the market. There was another jolly volunteer standing at the portico entrance of the market. When asked what she was there for she said, “to make sure people find the right places to eat.” When asked where such places were, she pointed towards the Olympic catering area.

    Some traders and shops in the market took virtually nothing; at best, takings were at a guess, about 30-40% of normal. And to add insult to injury the few customers there were usually said something like: “You must be raking in a fortune with the Olympics on”.

    There is a glimmer of hope: on Sunday some of the barriers in Greenwich Church Street were moved (by incensed shop-owners it is rumoured) and the grinning volunteer army let well alone (perhaps due to the torrent of furious phone calls many of us made to the Olympic Authorities and Greenwich Council on Saturday night). Trade was still subdued but a great improvement on the previous day.

  4. Daphne says:

    Florist/Plant retailer La Fleur in Royal Hill can’t get to the flower markets so has converted to a full-time cafe for the duration. Excellent coffee, delicious sandwiches and charming environment. Deserves our support for enterprise…. Honest prices!

  5. To be honest I can’t see that Fleur has been much other than a cafe for some months. I love the place with a passion but florist it isn’t.

  6. Adam says:

    The Fleur place is a funny one. Twice I have I gone in to buy things: once I wanted some birthday flowers, the other time a table decoration for Christmas. On both occasions the shopkeeper looked at me like I was a madman (I don’t usually get that response!) and said, we don’t have anything. A shame, because on both occasions I would have bought pretty much anything if she had suggested something. So I’ve never bothered with it since.

  7. scared of chives says:

    I once bought a fabulous item from La Fleur, and said – if they got more in – I’d snap them up (they weren’t cheap). But they never sourced them again, losing a decent sale. It’s a lovely place to have tea though.