Learning as I Go – Glasgow 2014

2014-07-21 07.36.00-1If I ever needed confirmation that training is all very well, but that you only really learn how to do something when you have to do it yourself, I received it yesterday.  I’d seen the demonstration of the satellite navigation system on the Ford cars which form the Commonwealth Games fleet twice, which involved sitting in the car while a person who knew how it worked pressed the buttons very quickly and then said ‘Of course this one already has all the main Games venues programmed in’.  Even when I had my turn at sitting in the driving seat, and gingerly touched a few of the controls, it didn’t mean much as I didn’t need to go anywhere in particular.

It was only when I was sitting in the car park yesterday afternoon in a brand new car with only 8 miles on the clock, not much fuel and a completely virgin sat-nav trying to programme in the postcode of a place in central Glasgow that I realised that this system had its own idiosyncrasies that make it different to all the others I have used in the past, and it resisted all my efforts to input what should have been the most straight forward of destinations.  And I had one of the team in the car with me.

It was not my finest hour.

Later on in the day, in a quiet moment on my own, with no-one sitting beside me, it took me 5 minutes of fiddling with it to bend it to my will.  Now its method of operation is etched on my brain forever.

It’s fun driving around the city in one of the Games cars.  With the right pass on the windscreen you can drive on roads and into compounds which are otherwise barred.  For a short while I’m allowed into an inner sanctum of sorts.  It’s just like the rest of the world really, but a little bit quieter and with more security checks.

I’m due to take part in the rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park tonight so that for the Real Thing  I can show my team where they have to go and when, for the Athletes Parade.  I’m looking forward to it, but won’t be able to tell you anything about it, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise for Wednesday(!).


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