I NEVER knew a festival could get me interested in sport. I only went to the London Live: Hyde Park festival (part of the city’s Olympic celebrations) so that my nine-year-old son could experience - and hopefully learn to love - my favourite band Dodgy playing live. My first attempt to convert him at Portsmouth’s Victorious Vintage festival earlier in the summer had been a quite literal washout. Not even the magnificent backdrop of HMS Victory could tempt him out from behind the hotdog van into the storm to watch Dodgy risk electrocution.
So my continued attempts at Dodgy-conversion brought us to Hyde Park for a free day of big screen sport and “fun” fitness activities. I couldn’t have been less thrilled. But then, unexpectedly, onto the stage, came four actual Olympic medalists - the British Gold and Silver-winning slalom canoeists. Suddenly, I was acting like a teenage Bieber fan. Throwing myself towards these poor men (the nearest I will ever get to an Olympian effort of my own) I just had to touch one of those medals, whatever body part belonging to their owners, or other crowd members, got in the way.
So yes - London Live managed to get me interested in sport, against the odds. And as for my son’s verdict on Dodgy? “They’re alright, I suppose...”
- Written for TNT Magazine Blogs Competition, 2013. I was beaten to first prize by someone who had actually been abroad. Find it in its original posting at: http://blogs.tnttravelshow.com/?p=110