The Shards Opening Night

My brother took a video which sums up the whole night

I’ve certainly had a London-Centric year this year, I’ve been to the capital probably on average 1-2 times a month since January for whatever reasons — from visiting parliament, to then going on the separate big ben tour, to Microsoft Events, to Family days out, to Olympic Games Maker interviews.

On Thursday night Europe’s tallest building, The Shard London Bridge, opened for business. To celebrate this achievement there was a light and laser show which illuminated central London.

Going was a spur of the moment thing, we hadn’t really planned to until we saw pictures in the newspaper of the rehearsal of the event — which looked amazing.

My mum took my brother and I to Stanmore tube station, around 25 minutes drive from our house in Dunstable, and we travelled down the Jubilee line, and then the circle line, to Tower Hill. We then attempted to find a spot on Tower Bridge to view the shard, which is almost certainly one of the most impressive feats of engineering I’ve seen.

There was real excitement in the crowd as the time approached quarter past 10 — the time the show was due to start. At exactly that time the entire building, which is HUGE, was illuminated in lights which slowly transitioned between 4 colours: red, white, blue and gold — which in hindsight is probably a nod to the forthcoming Olympic games. Then several lasers came on and every 30 seconds or so changed positions.

We eventually realised that each of the lasers pointed at another famous landmark in the capital, for example Tower Bridge and St. Pauls Cathedral, but the lasers did little else.

A lot of people, my brother and I included, felt a little mislead by the media. What supposedly happened in the rehearsal — an interesting fast paced light and laser show of impressive proportions — didn’t happen on the night. There was very little laser or light movement, no accompanying music  and the whole event was… static.

I hate to admit that YouTube comments mean anything, but I feel these ones sum the event up:

AceJacko123 said:

can’t believe the media videos showed massive lasers…so it was CGI? proves they mislead us all.

LondonDisneyFan said:

I was on London Bridge and this laser show was poor. What a let down.

and finally SeanHalley said:

what a joke. the PR people behind this stunt should be ashamed.

It was great that I can say I was at the opening of the tallest building in Europe, and it was a genuinely good night out. The Show was just a dissapointment compared to what was promised. I still enjoyed my night out though.



Olympic Games “Games Maker” Interview

Today was an long, yet exciting day. It could almost have ended in disaster several times, but in the end I felt it was a massive success.

It all started at 9:00 am with me getting up and dressed in my suit (got to look professional after all!) about 20 minutes later I was on the bus heading to the Hull Paragon Interchange Train Station for my 10:30 Hull Trains train to London Kings Cross.

Unfortunately I’m currently in the middle of a long spell of… issues with train companies and today was no different. Upon arriving at the interchange I was told it was shut for an indeterminate amount of time due to a gas leak, I was a bit annoyed by this but I took the opportunity for a Burger King break, almost as soon as I’d finished my burger the train station had re-opened and my train left only 25 minutes late, so alls well that ends well!

The train journey was uneventful, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that First Hull Trains offer free wi-fi for the duration of a journey — and I thought East Coasts offer of 15 minutes for free was good!

To get to ExCel, where the interview was taking place, I had to take 3 more trains, The Northern Line Tube from Kings Cross to Bank, a Driverless Docklands Light Railway train from Bank to Canning Tow, and another DLR train from Canning Town to Custom House for ExCel.

The feature image of this Blog Post is the Western Entrance to ExCel but it doesn’t quite show you just how massive the building is — it took me about 25 minutes to walk from the west end to the east end! After doing this and looking around for a bit I turned up to the Olympic Committee section of the ExCel building, still an hour early. Fortunately I was seen an hour early.

Whilst waiting around for my interview I was somewhat perplexed by the sheer amount of McDonalds advertising for what is supposed to be an event which encourages exercise and living well (and some people would argue fast food was counter-active to this). The “informal interview process” is outlined in the below picture:

The Structure of the Interview Process
The Structure of the Interview Process


  1. You check in by providing your name and a form of ID. You then get your picture taken for any further Olympic ID
  2. You are then held in the “Explore” area where you can read some information on the running of the Olympics and view some more fast food ads before being given a talk about possible jobs roles, ranging from camera operator to web design
  3. Once the interview group before you has finished you then go to the “Cinema” to watch some adverts telling you how Cadbury is the treat sponsor of the Olympic games (again, counter productive some would argue) before being given interview advice by some comedians and dames.
  4.  You have your interview where they ask questions about why you feel you would make a good volunteer.

I felt the whole process felt well and the interviewer said that it was “Great to see someone with ambition, who is so well spoken” and that they had “Enjoyed interviewing” me 🙂 So that can’t be bad.

After the interview I had to wait around for a few hours so I treated myself to a Nandos and a walk around London, including having a look at the brand new Skyscraper, the Shard before catching my train home. A great day all round, even if around 9 hours of it was spent on Public Transport. Below are some more images which I took throughout the day: