And it was. In my last update I had mentioned that it was 32c, beautiful sunshine, and the stadium looked as beautiful as ever.
This afternoon, not for us the cool relaxation of the air conditioned IT office. This afternoon we had a task to do, and it would take us all the way up to 5pm!

I have mentioned before that a lot of our work involved working in the press and media areas, and of course the press and media tribunes. We were responsible for all the IT equipment in these areas, and our bosses made sure we knew it!

This afternoon we found out that as there was over 500 PCs and touchscreens all outside in the stadium, with a tendency to sometimes walk about, that we would have to Kensington Lock all the moveable items to the furniture (each press area had a desk that we could lock items to).
Not a bad idea really. Makes a lot of sense and although it was very unlikely that anything could leave the stadium or the park, if it left a desk and moved to another part of the stadium, that would cause significant problems for us and the press who had to use it.

The PCs had already been locked to the furniture, our task this afternoon was to add the screens to the already locked PCs. Easy yes?

No!

Hopefully if you have been reading from the start, you will remember that in the Lower Tribunes, to keep the PCs nice and dry, they were all positioned side on, underneath the desk.

The Kensington Lock slot is at the back of the PC, which was safely stored under the desk.
The screen is on the desk.

Our task involved unlocking the Kensington Lock cable from behind the PC, extending the lock cable and passing it through the cable holes in the desk up to the screen, adding the locking pins to the screen, passing the lock cable through the pins, and then locking the cable again.
Dusty, dirty (we were on our hands and knees for most of the time, pulling out chairs, and trying to locate the PC under the desk) bent over, wiggling armoured lock cable which isn’t easy, having pockets full of pins, outside in 32c heat, and me without a hat.

It was still an amazing experience, but wow it was hot and hard work. Sometimes a volunteer would pop down to the air conditioned IT office and bring back a bottle of ice cool water, and crikey did we need it!

There were upsides, it wasn’t raining, it was actually a beautiful day and the stadium was getting ready for tomorrow night. We had sound checks. Wow did we have some sound checks, base thumping, feel it in your bones and rib cage volume level sound checks. We had lighting checks, we had TV camera checks. And we had the London Symphony Orchestra performing a full rehearsal here today too. I’m going to use that word awesome again, but how awesome was that. We must have been about 20 metres away from the London Symphony Orchestra, performing their routine for tomorrow night, in an empty stadium, just us and a few others (20-30 other people maybe).
We may have a fiddly, dusty, tiring and hot job to do, but we couldn’t ask for better accompanying entertainment now could we.

As I have mentioned before, when most of us met up on our final training day before we started, we all thought we were very very lucky to be working in the Olympic Stadium, and each day so far, that feeling of being lucky was generally increasing. So far most of us had seen the Opening ceremony rehearsal, and areas of the stadium that others would never see. And today, we got a virtually personal audience with the London Symphony Orchestra, in full flow, on a gorgeous summer day.

It couldn’t get any better than this could it, really it couldn’t. We had been so lucky so far, it would be unfair for us to get any more surely.

We finished by about 17:30, exhausted, hot and dusty. But strangely satisfied. All the screens in the lower, and upper tribunes had now been secured to their relative PCs, and the desk of course. We were content in a job well done.

Back in the IT office, we packed up our things, and prepared to leave. We wished all those who were in tomorrow good luck, and expressed our jealousy. Some of us would only be able to watch it on the TV. But we didn’t mind, we had been part of the build up, and we were happy for those who would experience it for real.

We made our way to our evening meal, and again it was delicious. Confit of Duck I think it was, and it was brilliantly well cooked. Content but weary we made our way out of the park, on our way home, hobbling for me. Today would be the final day that we had the park to ourselves. After tomorrow, although the stadium would still be closed for another week, the park would be open and full of people. What would change I wondered? Well in a few days, I would find out.

One thing I did know, was that my upcoming Sunday shift had been cancelled. It had been decided that there would be just too much heavy equipment and machinery in the stadium removing the opening ceremony set, and there would be no need for an IT team in that day. I had four days off before my next shift in the stadium, time to rest my poor painful feet. Well once I had hobbled home that is.

I had told all my friends and family that they must watch the Opening ceremony on the TV as it would be amazing. And I think for most it was. But not for me, Unfortunately the TV pictures just couldn’t do it justice. Don’t get me wrong, it was still excellent, but I sort of missed being there. Although I did like finding out about all the bits that had been hidden from us so far. They were all really fun, and finally I could talk about what I had already seen! I could explain the NHS, the chimneys and the music. It was great.

Next shift another early 07:45 am start, 18:15 pm finish, full day affair on Tuesday 31st July. What would that entail I wonder?

To be continued.

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