Friday Fun for an Olympic Hangover

I thought I’d have tons for Friday Fun this week – but it turns out that in the week following the Olympics, everyone is so desperate for fun that what gets out there ends up being circulated endlessly. Usually this would render items redundant for Fridays, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 7 days, here’s two Team GB beauties.

Firstly, Mo Farah running away from things. A simple concept that’s managing to have a little bit of longevity. One of my favourites only appeared a couple of days ago:

Lest we forget, Boris was alternative Olympic entertainment…
Secondly, a good ‘un in the long tradition of nice people lip-synching to cracking tunes – Team GB’s Don’t Stop Me Now. Even if you’ve seen it before, watch it again. I guarantee it’ll make you smile. 

Returning to Boris, did you manage to miss his dancing to the Spice Girls during the closing ceremony? I did – I was too busy composing some witty Twitter banter. But fret not, someone out there (within minutes) had created a gif so you could treasure the memory:

It’s also worth sharing what was without doubt the best part of the closing festivities. Britain got back into its natural cynical state during the ceremony, but I think even the biggest moaners had a smile on their face once Eric Idle appeared: 

Finally, a little bit of fun from the real star of the last few weeks – the glorious city of London. Specifically, its transport network. Someone’s been having a bit more fun with stickers on the tube – remember Stickers on the Central Line? I think most of these have originated from that source. But peruse ‘Fake Subway Signs in London’ and chuckle. This was a particular favourite:

I hope this goes some way to easing your Olympic grieving process… 

In my head…

…I’m a cyclist.

Well, I’m cyclist in the same way that I believe I’m a Mac user. [I’m possibly delusional.] I’d never dare cycle on the streets of London, but I have enormous empathy for those that do and desperately covet a gorgeous Dutch bike that I could glamorously swan about on. (It would have a wicker basket full of tulips at the front and wonderful leather panniers, plus a delightfully shiny and tuneful bell.) 
London’s currently awash with wannabe cyclists thanks to Mayor Boris’ latest initiative – public bikes. I’ve not had a go yet, but will (I have a theory that they might aid my journey to pilates, I’m just a little apprehensive about actually cycling on one). I’m not sure the hard core cyclists are happy about this development, but then it can simply be another valid concern hard core cyclists can add to their lists.
Like the abuse female cyclists suffer at the hand of male drivers and pedestrians – last week I discovered a rather fabulous blog written by one such bike user entitled: 101 Wankers. (To be honest, I’m sure the total number of such people in London is far higher than 101!) In it she details her awful encounters with utter idiots, including drivers who simply like to make a game of toying with cyclists and yelling abusive comments at them, oh, and the biggest w*nker of all – the one who stole her bike! 
Continuing the bike theme, as I mentioned, I covet Dutch bikes. For some months (actually years) I’ve loved one that’s often parked outside my office as it’s pink and particularly pretty. Witness:
It took me quite a while to notice that this bike is actually sponsored – observe:
Not only is it a beautiful bike – it’s educational too! And yes, I’ve looked the site up – it’s bona fide. I just can’t quite understand how it’s taken me two years to get round to taking a photo, or why I didn’t think to use my actual camera when I took these last week (the fact that I was on the way home from the pub may explain the latter). 

The Boris connection

I love sitemeter, but sometimes it tells me things that worry me.

Like this morning when I discovered someone at the London Assembly had googled dear old Boris Johnson & got to my blog. If we didn’t live in such liberal times, I’d worry that saying something against our dear Mayor might land me in the Tower of London.

Then this afternoon I discovered that yesterday’s post, particularly its mention of Boris has been quoted on another blog, a political blog nonetheless. Thanks Tory Troll!

I could start to get a reputation as a political blogger, that could be interesting…though unlikely!

The morning after the night when London goes nice

I have a love-hate relationship with New Years. It continues to annoy me that so much attention is paid to one night of the year, and for weeks people ask what your plans are. Why should it matter?

Anyway, last night I ventured out for what turned out to be a pretty good night all in all (to be honest, there’s not much competition in the “best new years eve” category), and remembered that this is the one night of the year when London is different.

Newcomers to the city always talk about how unfriendly the tube is – how no one makes eye contact, or talks, or seems to care… To be honest, when you’re subjected to the stresses and strains of a daily commute, you stop caring about whether the people around you are being nice, you simply want to get where you’re going.

But New Year’s Eve is different. There’s the practical aspects: it runs all night long and is free; combined with the atmosphere. People smile, talk to eachother, offer directions and not simply because they’re plastered.

Last night also saw mass breaking of Boris Johnson’s law against alcohol on the tube, which initially I thought was great, always good to defy Boris (especially as thanks to him my travelcard costs more as of tomorrow). I was less keen on it on my way home when I came across several incidences of tube chunder. Honestly, sickness and the tube just should not be combined – I think it’s something every Londoner fears, either feeling sick on the tube & having nowhere to go, or being with someone who gets sick. Ewwww.

Anyway, I digress. Minus the vomiting, last night is really how London should be all the time. Shining, happy people on the tube, proferring A-Z’s to baffled and lost tourists; public transport that runs all night without having to resort to surreal night buses and general merriment. All good.

So 2009 is now upon us. I’ve not made any real resolutions yet (though some have been suggested to me – not sure that’s a good thing!) and really nothing is different to how it was yesterday. But, there’s a part of me that likes the idea of a clean page, and wondering what might happen over the next 12 months, it’s kind of exciting, possibly.

And one day I’ll wake up from this nightmare

I’ve just got home from watching Have I Got News For You being recorded (very funny, it’s on at the weekend), and during the programme it struck me that when I last went – pretty much a year ago – some things in London were very different.

There was no financial crisis; Lehrman Brothers was still in business; Howard still had a job singing cheerful songs in Halifax adverts; you could drink alcohol on the tube; and….we had a Mayor of London that wasn’t Boris Johnson.

During the show, they used a clip of Boris’ speech from the post-handover party at the end of the Beijing Olympics, in which he referred to table tennis being invented as “Wiff Waff” on the dining tables of the British.

I sat there and wondered if at some point I’d wake up and realise that it was all a terrible dream and that Boris Johnson hadn’t actually been elected. But it’s real, and this is what the American people need to remember when they vote in a couple of weeks time – choose your politicians carefully. Enough said.

If you’ve not seen it, here’s the clip (taken from Irish station RTE, just for fun!):