The GDPUK.com Blog

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AUG
12
0

High Five

A surprise visit by PM David Cameron was made with little fuss in the Olympic village.
One of the first ports of call was the vast catering facilities for the Athletes, where dishes are prepared by chefs from around the World, so every Olympian has food they are familiar with, even if thousands of miles away from home.
Of course having done the rounds to all the different food zones, DC settled on 'The Best of British' area to sample it's delights. He then said hello to various atheletes before leaving the venue then posing for some photographs with team GB members, then walking-off at a fast pace, as it happens towards me.
Indeed he was coming straight at me - what does one do, jump out of the way, stay firm, is there a protocol for a PM coming towards you?
Well he kept coming and I stayed fast then different thoughts rushed through my mind - should I say something deeply philosophical or intellectual and if so what, in this fleeting few seconds?
I can't explain it, I don't know why, but on this occasion we just eyeballed each other and instinctively gave each other a 'high-five' as he passed.
Some things, like the Olympic spirit, just transcend words - I can't imagine such a thing happening again and it feeling so instinctively natural.
Just one of my many unique experiences here at the Olympics I will never forget.
 

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AUG
11
1

Jolly Hockey?

Team GB Hockey team leave the village to prepare for their crucial Hockey match against New Zealand. Having had to deal with broken hearts not getting into the final, as well as broken jaws, can anyone doubt their serious intention to win their next match today from this picture, which will determine whether they get at least a bronze medal, or nothing at this historic Olympics on home ground. As I head towards the Olympic stadium in the Olympic park, I can still observe and hear the jubilation as GB Hockey team score their first goal. By the time you read this, you will already know the final result, but really, hasn't GB hockey showed us the most important result is, whatever the set-backs, never give up, keep doing your best. For true grit lessons, this Olympic example is pure gold!

 

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Recent comment in this post
Deborah Maudsley
Really appreciated your comments re Team GB hockey, Tony, as a player myself for more years than I care to say. Dentists & hockey ... Read More
Sunday, 12 August 2012 22:03
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AUG
10
0

Tip Off!

Occasionally one gets to view various competitons and on this occasion the Basketball was more exciting than I expected. It is of course good to see something different once in a while, so going to watch Women's basketball seemed like a good idea at the time but I really had NO idea whether I would really like it or not.
Well it didn't disappoint, the teams came on to rapturous applause then warmed up with practice shot routines, then it was literally end to end action with teams neck and neck at about half-time, with scores being 30 all.
The Audience were loving it, cheering every basket scored or the counter-play going from defence to attack very rapidly.
There were breaks and time-outs and even then various entertainments were put on for the audience, making the whole evening an enjoyable affair.
Overall it was really enjoyable, a great atmosphere and I can see exposure of sports not commonly seen here in the UK, are going to be a LOT more popular thanks to the Olympics, from Basketball to Handball to BMX etc, these are the Legacies for our younger generation too.
 

 

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AUG
09
0

Greenwich Stars

Michael Phelps makes a brief appearance to be interviewed by NBC and says hello to the gathering crowd, where he explains his decision to retire having won 22 Olympic records and his thoughts on these Olympics in London.

As usual the star NBC presenters (Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Al Roker ) were chatting freely to the gathering crowd between takes and seemed to have a relaxed approach between the seriousness of interviews and reporting live from the Olympic park.

There were also interviews with Jessica Ennis and she was happy to sign autographs for those watching and even celebrity chef Jamie Oliver came over to say Hi, just before he filmed making a healthy breakfast feast for USA TV, to try and debunk the idea that all the British have very boring food!
Just as much to interest one outside of the Stadiums as within, some might say!

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AUG
08
2

NBC vs BBC

My big tip for visiting the Olympic village is to seek out NBC news broadcasting site from American.
They are the most open, most interactive with the crowd and at times the most accessible too. They have a semi-circular studio just to the right of the Velodrome + Basketball in the Olympic park, next to the pedestrian walkway.
Their very well known (super-star status) presenters were in the news recently when one of the anchor women was ousted in a multi-million$$$ deal, but that aside, they were still very engaging of the audience there, extremely pleasant and friendly and approachable, whilst putting on all kinds of entertainment between interviewing various Olympic stars and celebrities, which made for a most engaging experience.
Although it sticks in my throat to say it, much more engaging than BBC1, who were mainly screened-off behind smoked glass perched high on a pile of cargo containers!

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Recent Comments
Barry Rosenbloom
According to various sources its a pity that their actual coverage of the games is cr#p , c'mon not broadcasting the 100m final li... Read More
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:20
Anthony Kilcoyne
Nobody beats the BBC at these Olympics - their coverage of events is amazing. The broadcasting centre set up here for all journali... Read More
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 22:37
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AUG
06
0

Ottawa Ankle?

Ottawa ankle rules may seem a strange thing to be posting for a dental blog, but one of the advantages of working in a Polyclinic is that one gets to see how other aspects of Sports Medicine works and the common problems and challenges that they face too.
They also run workshops during the day that provide education for all the polyclinic teams that have a theoretical and practical application also, thus I can get a bit of CPD even when I am here working in the Olympic Village too ;)
In this particular session, attended by many different Country Team Physios/Polyclinic staff and given by acknowledged experts in their fields, we are learning the latest in when to Xray and how to treat those who present with various ankle injury signs & symptoms, an every-day occurrence here as I'm sure you'll appreciate.
I personally found it very interesting and practical and if you want to know more about this, then have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_ankle_rules
From teeth to toes, this Olympic Polyclinic provides the latest care for all Athletes and helps update their support teams too.

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AUG
06
1

Games Maker

The Olympics simply couldn't run without 'Gamesmakers' who are a wide variety of volunteers mainly, some 200,000 spread over many venues undertaking many roles, keeping everything running smoothly and fixing all kinds of problems as they occur. This does get recognised in a number of ways and occasionally certain publications like Village News , a daily publication to tell everyone in the Olympic village what is going on where, features interviews with the Olympians from around the World and they highlight one Gamemaker of the day, for each day of the Olympics duration and write a small feature about them.
Well as someone who is used to writing/reporting/blogging it was a strange feeling to be instead written about, as one of the Olympic Gamesmakers featured recently, which I have attached for your amusement. Of course much is done by the many and often goes unpublicised, however I would like to think this feature recognises and reminds others the contribution our dental clinic here makes to the overall quality of the Olympic games - I can't help but think we REALLY need some similar initiatives to recognise Dentistry's wider contribution to the overall Quality of Life to our Nations' benefit too!

 

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Recent comment in this post
Ian Auckland
Congratulations on your "Gamesmaker of the day" award. Having visited you at the polyclinic the other day, you are obviously work... Read More
Wednesday, 08 August 2012 01:43
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AUG
05
0

Golden Saturday

Well by now you probably cannot pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV without being told about Golden Saturday where team GB got 6 golds in just one day.
If you thought the atmosphere was very positive here before that, you should feel it now!
The crowds are massive and getting in the mood ,the transport seems to be coping well, the food is palatable if a little pricy and the odd rainy shower simply cannot supress the sunshine above and shining out from everyone you see.
Anyone here today was in for a treat, from the rowing and velodrome at one end of the Olympic Park, to the Olympic Stadium at the other end, 3 golds in the morning and 3 golds in the evening - a golden Saturday indeed.

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AUG
04
0

Don't Panic!

Fire Alarm goes off at the Polyclinic unexpectedly - we do have fire drills and before every session have a full briefing of any major events, visitors or issues we should be aware of, so whilst I may have been droopy-eyed at 6am in the morning, I'm still pretty sure we didn't have a fire drill scheduled today.
So what does one do, wait 20 seconds and hope it stops and appreciate it was a false alarm so carry on as normal? Well 30 seconds later it's still going full blast so one realises we have to get everyone out, patients, staff including dentists, hygienists, nurses, technicians, receptionists and anyone else like interpreters, cleaners, maintenance etc. Check all rooms and loos and join the queue exiting down the stairs, looking for any signs of smoke or flames, but none are seen.
So what turns up to rescue us from the flames and smoke, but a Mini-Cooper done out as a Fire Vehicle! OK it's the rapid response team who are quickly followed by the 'proper' fire-fighters and just as the gathering crowd were getting excited, we are told it's a false alarm and we can all enter again.
Unfortunately upon return several patients decided to not come back even though they had started some treatment...hmmm....I suspect there will be a few extra emergencies attending at the next early morning shift.

 

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AUG
04
1

Dental Team

There is a large team of dental professional volunteers here at the Olympic Polyclinic, so it is always nice to work with different people and also discover a GDPUK lurker in our midst too, which I threatened to post the picture of him working if he didn't make a GDPUK posting today :)
We are still seeing some unusual cases too - what do you say/do to someone who complains of pain and bleeding gums under their bridge, which in this case has metal abutments on an upper lateral and second premolar, with pontics replacing the canine and first premolar with a ridge-lapping design?

 

We are all mucking in together here and don't mind wondering in and out of each other's surgery, giving second opinions etc, because realistically some of these treatments can be completed before the Olympics finish, but in many mouths not all the care they ideally need.
With Ramadan we are also finding many patients attending for often complex treatments late in the evening, which when you've done a long shift already, having someone turn up for surgical extractions at 11pm at night isn't really the ideal, but we accomodate the Atheletes and team members needs as best we can.

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Recent comment in this post
Barry Rosenbloom
Nice picture Hitesh Not so sure whether the id badge hanging round your neck complies with cross infection control though !!!... Read More
Saturday, 04 August 2012 09:46
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AUG
03
0

Still Eating!

They say an army marches on it's stomach, well maybe similar can be said about an Olympic Army of Athletes who need to perform at their best, yet with over 200 countries and widely differing tastes and needs for stability and continuation before going for gold, how does one achieve that at a massive event like the Olympics involving 10,000+ athletes?

Well the answer is to have one of the largest catering facilities, divided up into different sections and with chefs provided from the main continents to provide a variety of dishes cooked to a high and nutritious standard, literally 24 hours a day. This is fortunate because of Ramadan too, so even the hours of darkness can be very busy.

Each 'foody' area is themed and colour coded, so the Americas and Europe are Green, Best of British is Blue, Caribbean and African is Yellow and Asian is Purple, with an additional Halal section too. Yes it may be sponsored by McDonalds and there is one in the corner, once inside the majority of choice of foods is more traditional and menus are varied every day.

The place is vast, much bigger than most shopping Mall food courts and one cannot really encompass it all in one photo, but at peak times this place is literally full of thousands of people all at one time, yet does seem to cope well too.

If it's one thing for sure, the Athletes will not falter because they do not have enough choice and availability of the fuel they need to perform their best.

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AUG
02
0

Daily Practicalities

 

Well after all the excitement of the Royal visit has died down, back to the everyday events at the dental dept. of the Polyclinic and the daily duties treating the Olympic teams.
We have an interesting set up where trolleys can be wheeled in and out as c required, everything is centrally sterilised on site and bagged, all the units are working quite well so far, being both left and right handed.
These games also have a sustainability and recycling emphasis and I really like the idea of the recycle bins we have in each Surgery as well as the clinical waste receptacles too :)

However judging by the thick cable bolted to the floor for the computer system, I'm guessing that is one item they don't want 'recycled' through the wrong hands too early!

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AUG
01
3

Royal Visit

Well today was another early start 6am and raining, hoping things would brighten up later and boy did they do that! Fortunately I was on a break and just happened to be near the main entrance when I noticed a flurry of activity outside and then literally from nowhere appeared Kate Middleton and William (and in the background Harry) with a relatively small group around them, but no press whatsoever.

They walked briskly through part of the village, being given a guided tour by the village Mayor, then they chatted to a small group of athletes where a larger crowd then gathered, before going to the Team GB block to meet others there. They were friendly, chatty, amiable and good humoured and seemed to be enjoying their brief visit without any pomp or ceremony - indeed I was very surprised at how close one could get to them without anyone getting stressed out about it. That though reflects the atmosphere in the whole village, easy going, relaxed and informal, whoever you are it seems :)

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Recent Comments
Jeremy Cooper
Tony...like you I was appointed as Olympic Dentist but for Manchester.... apparently there are about 8-900 athletes and Olympic Fa... Read More
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 11:45
Anthony Kilcoyne
Yes Jeremy I did! Regards as always, Tony.
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 13:17
Ian Auckland
Hi Tony, I am enjoying your posts, as field dentists in the Olympic park do not have access to the Athlete's Village and it is go... Read More
Thursday, 02 August 2012 08:13
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JUL
31
2

Olympic Polyclinic

The Medical and Dental Polyclinic we work in has a lovely design internally too - here is the view from the staircase looking back to the main entrance and it's atrium which reaches all the way up to the third floor with a vertical glass wall on the right allowing in much natural light.

We are still seeing a number of traumas both current and past, with some atheletes desperate to still be allowed to compete and represent their country. As you can probably tell from this annonimised radiograph, on review of this poor fellow we still had to say NO, healing is not sufficient to be allowed to compete safely, even with a custom mouthguard made!

You do really feel sorry for some who have just seen 4 years worth of training and preparation be foiled by such events, maybe only months or a few weeks before the Olympics started, as well as more recently too.

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Recent Comments
Presh Mulay
Wow. Got to admire the commitment to represent their country. What sport was this sportsman (woman) competing in?
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 17:23
Anthony Kilcoyne
It was boxing Yours refusingly, Tony.... Read More
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:01
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JUL
30
0

Red Carpet

Here are a few of my favourite or unusual things at the Olympic Village.
A red carpet with different languages of welcome embedded in it, used for all the welcoming ceremonies of each country to the olympic village - no mean feat when you consider there are over 200 of them. Interestingly for some who have recently 'split' or changed names, the Olympic committee may not yet recognise them as a separate country, so they have to compete as 'independent' and should they win a medal, the 'olympic anthem' is played instead of any other.
However they are also all invited to sign the 'Peace Wall' which is a series of glass slabs which countries sign to signify the spirit of the Olympic games, bringing people and cultures together peacfully through sport.
On a less serious note, I have also found the perfect seating in which to view the Tennis and on this occasion I do believe it's fair to say my predictions so far have been 'on the ball' so to speak :)


Amongst several unique memorabilia opportunities here, my favourite is having your face officially printed on 1st class stamps that commemorate these Olympics and are actually LEGAL to use to post letters, which from the Olympic village also get a unique Olympic Village stamp on the letter/postcard too, for the duration of the games - yes I am sad and bought a set of first class stamps as well as the Worldwide postage stamp version too. So I shall be 'posting' more than this Blog during the games too!

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JUL
30
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Village Life

When the Olympic village first opened the GB Team did not decorate or make obvious which 'block' was there's ,though now competitions have started perhaps they have become less concious and now proudly display flags and team markings high on the building as I relax in the Atheletes recreational area, as well as having specific 'team-emblemed' bikes which they use to get around the village quickly and easily.
The daily publication 'Village News' also reports a visit from the Queen and Prince Philip - such dignatory events tend to be without much notice and on this occasion the Queen met Team GB and then did a quick tour of the catering venue, meeting atheletes from all over the World.
I am reliably informed Philip was on good form as usual and nobody took offence, however it was a relatively short visit ;)
There is certainly a LOT of pressure and expectation upon the GB Team - not least because those that don't perform as expected, lose a load of funding for the coming years for the whole sport, whereas those that do well get more than their fair share, is the rough rule of thumb in these things it seems.
Let us hope that they can be both relaxed and focussed enough to do their best and get the rewards they deserve too, both during and after the Olympics!
 

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JUL
28
0

Opening Ceremony II

I was sitting in the Olympic Village canteen when I can see red, white and blue streaks across the sky out of the window at 12 minutes past eight (2012 hrs!) and realise it's the Red Arrows doing a fly-over, which I could see on the screen to my right too. It was surreal looking out the window and looking at the screen and seeing both happening live whilst actually sat there! Sadly I was so taken by this I never got a picture in time because 5 seconds later they had flown away :(
 
So back to work and soon it becomes dark - we can see the Olympic Stadium from the roof of our Polyclinic so when I had a spare 5 mins I had a look and could see the light show changing all the time.
Again a little surreal seeing the image of the stadium on TV, then looking up and seeing the stadium and actually hearing the music and crowd sounds just across the way. Then my shift was finally finished, I watched some highlights then rushed out to get photos of the firework display which really don't do justice to the loudness of the bangs or the brightness of the display, especially when they got the fireworks to mimic the Olympic rings over the village! There was quite a bit of smoke afterwards too, which just added effect to the light show.

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JUL
28
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Opening Ceremony I

The athletes canteen was as busy as ever on the build up to the opening ceremony. I think appetites were building up in more ways than one in the village now :)
In the Village we could see many of the teams getting ready and the range of traditional dress was a colourful sight to see.
 
Well I'm sure by now you will have seen all the TV highlights of the Opening ceremony on TV. We just know it is going to be spectacular.
 
I am working in the clinic from 2-11.30pm that day so I will hopefully get glimpses from the roof during break times and from within the village too, especially for any fireworks display and of course get to see something on the many screens around televising the event.
 
Interestingly any athletes who are competing at the weekend are not allowed to go to the opening ceremony, all that standing around for some 2hrs+ beforehand isn't good for them and ironically they are tucked away in tunnels until they parade out so they don't actually get to see the 'ceremony' show before they march out in line. Thus I will still be busy until late as many of those not attending the ceremony still attend clinics to get themselves sorted out!

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JUL
26
0

Team GB

After working an early shift, starting at 6am in the dental clinic, it was good to finish in time to see the Team GB being welcomed formally into the village. There is a really good spirit about the place as always, but still it is something extra-special when the home team is here and fully taking part. After the formal ceremony the teams were very happy to mingle and chat and they are clearly keen now to just be getting on with it.
 

It's difficult to explain the combined tired and excited feelings and how surreal it is to just be stood in the middle of it all, inside looking out, so to speak.
 

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JUL
26
0

Eye in the sky

Even though I work some late shifts at the medical centre in the Olympic village, we do get some break times, so I took these pictures of what one can even see happening around us as the excitement starts to rise, from a beautiful sunset with the British Flag flapping in a welcome breeze, to a circulating Airship up above (I assume it's TV crews). We have also been listening to and watching a further rehersal for the opening Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium across the way, with some fireworks and laser show action too as my shift finished and I watched this for some 30 mins before deciding I really need my sleep now :)

It's difficult to explain the combined tired and excited feelings and how surreal it is to just be stood in the middle of it all, inside looking out, so to speak.
 

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JUL
25
0

Tower of Babel comes to London!

The Olympic Village medical centre is a very distinctive 'angular' design in the village and the Kazakhstan team have moved into the block opposite our clinic on the top floor - is it wrong to keep thinking of Borat every time I go into work :) I do hope they win something significant at the Olympics too to maybe balance their International recognition!

The Official languages of the Olympics are French and English so all H&S signs are dual language too. With over 200 countries competing, in theory every team has interpreters that speak both languages, they are spread too thin and so the Village translation services are often needed for Dentistry. Russian, Japanese and Portugese seem to be the most popular alternatives we've had to treat patients with ,but some of the dental terminology can be difficult, making consent and discussing alternatives and choices 'interesting' too. Our dental clinic works up to 11.30pm at night but as we found out recently, translation services stop at 9pm when we have to swap to a telephone translation service, which if you've ever used isn't quite so practical so now we know we need re-arrange appointments that best serve patients' language needs too.

We also have our own onsite lab useful for many things including making replacement gumshields of various designs for various sports as well as urgent repairs and where necessary replacement prostheses, though with some inevitable limitations. We are all getting very busy now, I am already fully booked for my 2pm-11.30pm session as everyone tries to get sorted out before the games proper begin!
 

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JUL
25
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There's a Moose in the Hoose :)

Needs to be said in a Scottish accent for full effect, but the decoration and symbolism of various country's residential blocks continues unabated as more Teams arrive and settle in this week - some are going for items outside the main entrances to the blocks, whilst others like Korea are going for high visibility.

Security is also very tight but they have a good attitude in this relaxed atmosphere and as you can see from the photo, a relatively heavily armed police officer was happy to pose for a photo too. You can feel the excitement building up now in the residential village as the Games proper are about to start and the British Team are about to be welcomed into the village proper.
 

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JUL
21
0

Olympic Medical Centre

 

I was fortunate to be selected to help to provide dental treatment for Olympians from all over the world at the Olympic village, starting this week as the atheletes begin to arrive from all over the world and take residence in the Olympic Village.
 
I am based in the Medical Centre right in the residential area for the Atheletes which, I'm sure you can appreciate, has the highest security which we jokingly say is to mainly keep the press out, not just the Terrorists :D
It is a sanctuary for them and provides for all their needs, from shops , laundry and the biggest catering area I've ever seen with chefs from all over the World cooking specific meals for many different tastes, to our Medical Centre which is one of the most advanced in the World.
 
We have 8 Dental Surgeries, onsite Lab, a team of Specialists, Dentists, Hygienists, Nurses and Technicians in our section, plus Optometry, Physio, Pharmacy, GP, Surgery , A+E, 2 MRI scanners and one CT scanner, Hydrotherapy pool etc. and the busiest dept. of all, Anti-Doping section !
 
My sessions tend to be very long ones, 6am to 3.30pm or 2.30pm to 11.30pm with occasional on-call between the two as required. We can also be called upon to help with other Depts. too, including the Anti-doping which is continuous.
 
There are some days off, it has been a slower start-up this week which has been very useful to get used to the new systems and of course there is much paperwork involved for clinical records, Olympic organisation records, we are doing some research regarding tooth erosion problems in atheletes and of course we are constantly doing the dentistry often using interpreter services for every language you can think of!
 
I will post occasional pictures, updates and observations on here over the next 3 weeks where time, security and rules allow, but whatever negativity you may be seeing in the press currently, the atmosphere here is SO positive and friendly , yet serious and focussed, it really is a unique experience and I feel very privaleged to be a part of it.
 
Hopefully I can share some of the highlights and ordinary experiences of this with you on here also, to contrast with what is reported on the TV etc.
 
Cheers for now,
 
Tony.
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