The London Olympics – My Part In Its Downfall: Part One

Where I Heard The News

6th July 2005. Overcast, a bit sticky. I’m lawyer in London. A partner in an international law firm. I’m head of Global Real Estate. I have the official VIH (or CDI in French – the Very Important Hat or Chapeau D’Importance). I’m a Big Cheese (Grandest of Fromages). And I’m skiving. I should be in a meeting on the Importance of Font Consistency in Brand Awareness (the paper was titled something like Fonts: Uniform Consistency or FUC for short). Instead I’m skulking in a small grubby passage the haunt of the homeless, the tobacco pariahs and the desperate knee tremblers, about five minutes from my office, a small radio clasped to my ear awaiting the following (imagine smug Belgian accent mispronouncing this):

… awarded to the City of… {dramatic pause} … London…

I squealled. I’m 49 and 3/4s, I’m in a bespoke grey suit and white shirt (the time has a cartoon Tigger on it, but you get the idea) and squealling is frowned on in my profession (it’s one of the top three unforgivens alongside misusing client funds and inaccurate Latin usage).

We had won the Olympics. Okay, so we probably bought them or, given that Blair was PM then, sought Divine Intervention and, unlike the Norwegians we have no issue with prostituting our royals in the aide of a bit of patriotic ego-polishing.

But at that moment I didn’t give a flying fudgekins with what egregious act of self-abasement Prince Charles would have to go through; it makes the Civil List worth it (for those not familiar with the constitutional bollocks that has kept us vaguely democratic for 500 years it’s the bung we the tax payers make to keep the Windsors in ermine, thick cut marmalade and the odd and oddly compliant commoner to ensure the upcoming generations sport the established quantity of eyes (two) and fingers (ten)).

It think it may have been then that I seriously thought I should give up this day job that I had been doing 25 years at that point and try my hand at something else. It was all rather watersheddy.

Twenty-four hours later London’s euphoria was kicked in the gonads by four bastard terrorists who blew apart a swathe of the public transport system killing over fifty and injuring many more. Life was, very obviously, short and bloody uncertain. I needed to plan my next phase but what…?

Little did I know then that it would involve those self same Olympics

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in miscellany, Olympics, work and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The London Olympics – My Part In Its Downfall: Part One

  1. trifflepudling says:

    Underestimate the value of the Royal Family in certain situations at your peril! It’s difficult to quantify, but I’d say it’s worth the money. Can you imagine if all we had to offer were Boris, Jezza & Co? Also, I don’t think its existence has any effect whatsoever on how democratic, or not, the UK is šŸ˜‰ (Big fan of Her Maj).
    Yes, the bump to earth the next day was very sobering but I think it made people, and especially Londoners, more determined to make the Games a success.
    Looking forward to this series.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I remember that day well – we were actually in Singapore when it was announced. And I remember trying to get in touch with our sisters, both of whom worked in London, a few days later. (Both fine thankfully.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now this will be interesting – the LePard wades into modern history, Tigger tie and all! Looking forward to this series šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I wait for the sequel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JT Twissel says:

    Squealing lawyers – yikes! That would be a sight.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This looks to be a super ride. Thanks for inviting me along. Oh, I see. Well, thanks for making the post public so a revolutionary yank can enjoy too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. arlingwoman says:

    Well, I look forward to what happens next. As for the royals, being from the rebellious colonies, I had best not comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Terrible day. Good pins and needles here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Widdershins says:

    Even here in Canada that day sent a shiver through me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. willowdot21 says:

    Tardar ! Everything changes in s minute. I remember that black day I was away from home and worried sick by the new šŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Rowena says:

    Ha! I had to scroll through quite a few posts to find my way back to part one. You’ve been busy.
    Sorry, but I don’t remember anything about London being granted to 2012 Olympics, although I think you and I first connected around that time because I remember reading about what it was like when the Olympics ended. That’s five years ago now.
    I actually popped over here with an outing suggestion for you and dog. You’re not the only person I know in the UK but I don’t know many and none over there that I associate with dog walking quite like you.
    I was managing to write a couple of thousand words on the book project today. This was about Geoff’s first ancestor to arrive in Australia, a convict by the name of Richard Keep who came from Bedfordshire. Although he was but a common man and a lot more common than some, he fits into that great puzzle called history and he was married the year the first fleet landed in Australia and the French revolution broke out a year later. I was researching the impact of the French Revolution, when I found this site: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/how-did-the-french-revolution-affect-england which linked me through to a magnificent palace called Waddesdon which was built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 to entertain the fashionable world and to house his collection of fine art. I thought you and dog not to mention other members of the family would enjoy it there. You could have high tea there perhaps and think of me.
    https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/waddesdon-manor/features/bringing-your-dog-to-waddesdon
    Best wishes,
    Ro

    Like

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