Thursday, 19 July 2012

Olympic schmimpic

Plainly the Olympics are going to be somewhat catastrophic for the good folk of the East End.

I've been in Hackney, in the area around Victoria Park, all day, where residents have been told they're no longer allowed to park in streets, which were once free, without a special pass. Each household is only permitted a miserly ten passes per month for potential  visitors - and the regulations last for three months. Penny used three of her tokens  up in a single day. My friend Vic lives in the area, and is just about to have a baby. How will her relatives be able to come down from Liverpool to visit the new addition?  

I'm told that shops and pubs in the area are struggling because none of their customers can park. These are the very people who were conned into "investing" in the Olympics by doing up their shop fronts for the thousands of extra customers who the government promised would  be attracted to the area.  Sales are already down 25% compared to normal levels and the mayhem hasn't yet started. It's a mess. 

I've been putting final touches to the first of our films about The London Requiem for The Space today. It's a wonderful taster and Penny, who's essentially made the films, has done a brilliant job. I can't wait to share them all. The first film goes live next week on 26th July, so watch this space! Well, actually, watch The Space (www.thespace.org) 'cus that's where it'll be.

350 years ago, Samuel Pepys went for a trip on The Thames, and suddenly found himself getting a proper soaking from a freak rain storm. As he sheltered on the banks of the river, the King went past in his barge. Pepys jokg, "me thought it lessened my esteem of a king that he should not be able to command the rain." At least I hope he was joking! 

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