The main event (23rd July)

I woke up super excited on Wednesday, the day of the opening ceremony. The excitement was palpable on the train as my fellow Clyde-siders and I made our way to Celtic Park and the weather was beautiful.

As field of play first aiders we needed to be able to get a cast member off the arena as quickly as possible without causing too much disruption to the performance, so during the afternoon we practiced this in the blazing sunshine.

I don’t need to describe the opening ceremony as I’m sure everyone watched it on the TV, I can only put into words the amazing experience I had that night. The atmosphere was electric way before the performance even started and was off the scale once Des Clarke had finished his warm up.

My partner Scott and I were well positioned at gate one, just to the left side of the big screen, which meant we had a fantastic view of the performance and of all the stars as they left the stage, Rod Stewart definitely blew a kiss at me when he walked off. It was so easy to get caught up in the spectacular sight and forget that I was there to do a job.

It was the first time in my life, and maybe the only time, that I got to sing the national anthem in the presence of the Queen and I felt so proud to be British.  The atmosphere hit the roof when the athletes came into the stadium, but the noise was so deafening when the home team arrived that the arena floor seemed to shake and at that moment I wished I was Scottish!

I have to say that night was probably one of the best in my life so far and even the hour long wait for the train couldn’t dampen the wonderful feeling inside I had after such a fantastic day.

opening ceremony

Going for gold part 2

At the beginning of March I jetted off again to bonnie Scotland for orientation for volunteering at the Commonwealth Games. I have been accepted into the medical team and will work as a first aider at the opening ceremony and rugby sevens event.

These are the twentieth Commonwealth Games and the third time that they have been hosted by Scotland. I am one of 15,000 volunteers known as Clyde siders.

I was part of the first group of volunteers, there were 4500 of us in the Emirates stadium in the east end of Glasgow, where the badminton will be held. The orientation extravaganza was hosted by sports presenter Hazel Irvine and Capitol Radio’s Des Clarke. ¬†Although it was a very entertaining 3 hour spectacular it didn’t really enlighten us about what to expect in the coming months.

We did however get to see our uniforms, I must admit I have been a bit worried about these since seeing a mustard coloured top in the volunteering centre when I went for my interview.I don’t think a colour that resembles vomit looks good on anyone and would have put a damper on the whole experience for me. So imagine my joy when visions in red and grey were modelled for us and we get quite a lot of kit.

It goes without saying that I am very excited about the whole thing and can’t wait to get up there in the summer and do my thing.

clyde siders uniform

After the orientation event I had quite a bit of time to kill in Glasgow so I made my way via Scotland’s very efficient and cheap rail network into the city centre. As a fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh I made a bee line for the Willow Tea Rooms for my lunch.

This little gem came about as a result of a collaboration between the Art Nouveau designer and Catherine Cranston, between 1896 and 1917 he designed and restyled all 4 of Catherine’s tearooms in Glasgow. The building was originally a 4 story warehouse and in it’s hey day it had several different dining rooms. Mackintosh designed not only the exterior and interior, but the menus, cutlery and even the waitresses’ uniforms.

Now I’m afraid to say it looks a little tired, they is only one dining room on the first floor and the ground floor is taken up by the gift shop. But the food was very nice and reasonably priced.

willow te room sign

 

I have another role specific training to attend in June and I hope I’ll have more time to wander around and explore this lovely city some more.