Travelling home yesterday, on a Met bearing a half-load of fellow commuters, we heard an extraordinary announcement. We were advised not to try shopping in Westfield at Stratford because it was open only to athletes and workers at the games. We were also told not to try to buy tickets, other than on-line. I suppose this might have made sense directed at people travelling on the Central or Jubilee and getting close to Stratford. I merely shook my head in quiet disbelief, since I have yet to shop in any Westfield and am probably unlikely so to do in the next thirty years or so, nor do I have the slightest intention of going anywhere near Stratford (other than on a jaunt to explore the DLR).
I took a lunchtime stroll along the South Bank yesterday and found it thronged by holiday-makers and well stocked with live statues, food stalls, a colourful sand pit for the very small and a dance-themed series of exhibits outside the Festival Hall. Yet the London Eye had no queue at all - anyone turning up went straight to the ramps where they do the security checks and then into a pod. And from the Eye to the National Theatre not a policeman to be seen. Perhaps they are all busy frisking Olympic visitors for contraband such as sandwiches made with the wrong kind of pickle.