Every four years, everything comes to a halt for two weeks while I watch the Olympics.
It may happen in your household too.
In mine it often took the form of taking two weeks off work, moving onto the appropriate time zone, scheduling meals at approximations to my morning, noon and night, and working out how to fit in essential real life activities (like sport or appointments). It involved careful perusal of the timetables and the tv schedules, to make sure I covered the eclectic mix that is my preferred sport viewing, including many arcane sports that only a true nerd who loves complex calculations really enjoys. Like the decathlon.
I found one that defeated me this year, the points race in the Omnium, a decathlon-like track cycling event. Apparently JK Rowling tweeted after it to say ‘how dare anyone complain that quidditch is complicated when the Omnium is a genuine sport.’ (I paraphrase, since I didn’t write it down when the commentator told us that.)
This year was somewhat different, because technology now allows us to watch multiple sports coverage at any time of the day or night – if you can find the right programme. I discovered in the second week that if you didn’t watch the UK-afternoon/Rio daytime athletics coverage live, you’d be lucky to find it later. It’s essential viewing for the heptathlon and decathlon. The correct schedule was: wake up, watch the online recording of the previous evening’s events; watch the afternoon/morning live, then watch the live programmes of the other sports before going to bed when the evening’s athletics started. I settled into that on the second-last day.
The trouble was that I’m so committed to my blog (and having neglected it somewhat during Camp Nano), that having shifted my working morning to the afternoon, I missed the live morning/afternoon show completely, till I realised my mistake. No, writing, editing and blogging, just had to go on hold. I managed to finish a couple of books I’d already started reading, but that was all.
I’d like to say I’ll be ready, willing and raring to go for the next Olympiad from Tokyo. I know how to watch events on that timeline. But, Sky will have taken over the UK franchise from the BBC, so I don’t know whether I’ll be able to watch it at all. I don’t do Sky. It’s a matter of principle.
I’ve got 3 years, 332 days to work out whether my principles will be compromised for the sake of Tokyo 2020.
Maybe there’ll be some other technology by then and I’ll be watching it in a completely different way.
And now… I have books to edit and get to my editors before they take on too much other work to fit them in. But I’m exhausted – I need a holiday!
By summer 2020 the last Princelings book will be out. There’s a thought.
Olympic rings picture from BBC website, credited to Reuters.