I was in Canonbury, north London, last weekend. To get there from where I live in Forest Hill, south east London, I simply take the overground train that was completed in its entirety only in February. No need to change. All very easy, and for once the sun was shining. But my bright outlook received a dark cloud when I saw the posters all over Canonbury Station saying that it will be particularly busy during the Olympics, hinting that really I should walk instead. It is one of hundreds of stations to display this poster.
Will it? Should I? Why? It's a very small station and despite being on a line that will go near the main Olympics site, it is still a long way from it. I wonder how many events have been scared away from anywhere else in London, perhaps even the Home Counties, for the six weeks of the Games? I gleamed the notion that Sisyphus would have an easier time getting his rock up his hill than I or anyone else would have moving around the city... and I will compare 2011's pound sterling figures for event business between mid-July and mid-September against those that eventually the Olympic organisers will announce. Might make interesting reading.
I am not being selfish. I love sport, and I also certainly know that it is never about me. Sometimes it is inevitable we will individually or collectively be delayed, but I just do not like the unsettling feeling every time I see one of these posters that we are all being unnecessarily cajoled, even frightened, into staying at home and getting the most out of our TV licences and, more seriously, not arranging events. I think there should be more events. We should have had hundreds coinciding with the Olympics, really showing off the city for what it can achieve.
In this increasingly mobile world perhaps I am too used to going where I want to when I want to. I like that. And in any city at any moment there always has to be one event going on that will bring that city more money or attention than the others will. They usually do not get preferential treatment. So why should the Olympics?