TODAY WAS THE GREATEST.
And I can't even talk about the things I saw! But I WILL tell you that I was in the vicinity of four major musical talents, and today's rehearsal was only for the first half of the ceremony. So there's that little nugget of awesome.
Dagenham is a hike even from Mile End, which is a hike from where I currently am. So to get there at 9:30, I left at 7:30... but I woke up before my alarm went off today. I think that means I got an appropriate amount of sleep, but judging by the way I have to stop myself from nodding off every time I'm on the tube, I highly doubt that's correct information. But anyway, things at Dagenham have really changed since I left! There are tons of huge new props that I hadn't seen yet, and the costume department has taken over the old workforce volunteer break area -- I walked in there and was confused out of my mind. But the check-in tent is still the same ol' check-in tent, and that's where I found (and surprised) a handful of volunteers and found Sara B., the lovely organizer of this little rendezvous. Then I got to put on my vest and get down to NOT work, because that would be illegal. :P
I had such a good time! There were some great reactions to my return, from Glenda staring at me suspiciously for a few seconds before deciding it was okay to give me a hug, to Solomon's "wha- oh my god!" to Jo's stressed out glare turned shriek. :) It was really fantastic, especially because it was all happy surprise! And they were all perfectly okay with me... not working. Because working would be illegal. Hah.
I love everyone there so much, and it's really weird to think that this all ends when the Paralympics are over. Usually when you leave a job, the most of the same people are still around in a few months' time. But with London 2012, once the final closing ceremony is finished, the office gets dismantled, everyone disperses, and London 2012 Ceremonies Ltd. is no more. It won't even exist. So this amazing team won't just be changing over time, it'll suddenly blip out of reality. I can't even plan on visiting again in the future because by then the 3 Mills Studios offices will either be a barren wasteland or filled with the people of an entirely different production. It's really kind of depressing to think about.
But what's not depressing was all the stuff I got today! Laura -- the lovely, lovely, LOVELY Laura -- gave me an opening ceremony program from her stash, another ceremonies t-shirt (teal green this time!), a Games Maker pin, and my 25 volunteer sessions pin. So now I'm all swagged out, and get to stop by 3 Mills tomorrow to pick up my certificate!
That's probably all I can really say about today without spoiling the surprise and ruining a future blog post, so let's suffice it to say that I was at Dagenham for a full 12 hours, and after my half-day shifts of yore I'd nap the second I got back to my flat. So right now, sleep is far overdue.
Tomorrow I'm going to go to the men's triathlon and try to get into Olympic Park with Jo. I'm actually really optimistic. There are reasons for this that I won't talk about in fear of jinxing it, but the Olympics gods have been on my side for every single second of this trip and I see no reason for that to change tomorrow. So let's go. LET'S. GO.
(Also, the photo at the top is the actual Dagenham site. Allow me to introduce you to the circus tent, rain clouds of doom, and concrete as far as the eye can see. Isn't it glorious? :P I found it on this blog, Life Begins @ 40, written by one of the Pandemonium drummers from the opening ceremony. He wrote a fantastic three-part recap of his time working on the ceremony, including banging on buckets and "bang the drum so your mum can see you on TV." It's a great read, and I highly recommend checking it out if you want to hear about things from a performer's perspective!)