A Postcard from the Orion–Cygnus Spiral Arm

The worst crime a blogger can commit – well, other than poisoning a city’s water supply or working for the BBC in the 1970s or turning up at a six-year-old’s birthday party dressed as Michael Gove – is, of course, to get all self-referential and start apologising for a lack of posts, as if readers were growing shivery and itchy and not turning up for work on account of the silence. Also, apologising mostly requires an explanation and, personally, I’d rather you used your imagination, and pictured me, say, chained to a radiator in a drab apartment block on the outskirts of Bucharest, rescuing stranded polar bears from rapidly melting ice floes using nothing but a kayak, a length of nylon rope, and a large inflatable salmon, or being intimately probed in the hospitality suite of an orbiting spaceship by a race of shimmeringly beautiful but (sadly) anatomically incompatible space lovelies. These things can happen.

Or you can just assume I had to go to Düsseldorf again (see previous post).

No, by and large, it’s best to just get on with things, whilst quietly cursing the fact that it doesn’t seem possible to turn off the “date” function in the free version of WordPress.

HOWEVER – I think this time it does make sense to tell you why this site has kept mum on even such exciting SE10 happenings as the sudden departure of Ristorante Soteri and its Chef’s Special cottage pie, the imminent arrival of Jamie Oliver, bish bosh, and that secret gig Radiohead did at the Pelton Arms as a warm up for their O2 shows. Basically, I’ve been working on a book. I know, get me! A book! Just like what people used to read in the olden days. But actually this is a collaborative book, and it’s occurred to me that I ought to tell you about it, in case you wish to collaborate. For it is a book about the effect that this year’s Olympic shenanigans had on London. And, obviously, they had a bigger effect on Greenwich (and Woolwich) than on most parts of the capital, so… some of you may have tales or photos you’d like to share.

It’s called From The Slopes Of Olympus To The Banks Of The Lea and there are more details over at the Smoke website (that being my day job), but essentially we’re not looking for anything about the jumping and trotting, but about the impact – good and bad – the games had on the city. Anything from the original decision to award the games to London and all the faffing about in the run-up through to the shooting of the horses and the restitution of the Oyster card reader on Platform 3 at Greenwich station (which still hasn’t happened). It can be a single paragraph, a short story, or a photo – but the more imaginative the better. Our official deadline is the end of the month, but… given that only gives you three days notice, I’m prepared to be flexible.

Which is, oddly, exactly what I said to the incompatible space lovelies, but it turned out they weren’t, not under any circumstances.

Some parts of the Orion–Cygnus Spiral Arm really are very prudish. No wonder their people are dying out.

I use the word “people” loosely.

Here are some examples to get you thinking:

The Song Of The Olympic Binman
Ha Ha Road
A102(M)
Two Olympic Haikus
80,000 Cheers
Olympic Park, Hogwarts Gate
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