Pictures to follow once the embargo is lifted.
Today's blog is a tired blog. On the 40 minutes home on the train tonight, I fought sleep, reading Ray Davies autobiography "Americana" (he's one the the two Davies brothers in The Kinks.) Whilst it is hard manual work, it is great fun. The stadium has changed so much today. It no longer looks like a football stadium - 28 arrests last night and one trashed pub, it is slowly changing into a football stadium. Ironically the World Cup colours look so good against the Claret and Blue of the Villa, enhancing the look of the stadium. We have delivered furniture and equipment to the Press Room, Photographers' Rom, Technology Room, Changing Rooms, Medical Rooms, and Match Manager.
We've hunted down clocks, padlocks, batteries, crowd control barriers, whiteboards to name but a few. The contents of the room are dictated by Room Data Sheets which relate to the different rooms. 4 of the support rooms are in a row. 4 times I carried over a table, and 3 times I came back again with it as no one wanted it and we couldn't track it down. In total today, I have walked over 22 and a half thousand steps today or over 9 and a half miles - in safety boots. Most of the steps have been accompanied with some sort of equipment or other.
There's been some really strange jobs today. Apart from bumping in, we've made whiteboard stands, shelf units. changed batteries in lockers, torches and clocks, and made cardboard lids for re-cycling containers. I've watched the technology guys set up the music systems for the day, taken delivery of paper flags for the neutrals to wave, watched the Media Manager try to prepare for the request to have a media or TV report from the pitch before the posts go up and the pitch marked. I met the Brand Managers IMG and asked them what they did. They look after the interests of the brand that sponsor the World Cup, (Coca Cola, Heineken etc.) This may involve the hospitality boxes, or it may be to protect the brand against Guerrilla Marketing. This is when similar brands, such as Pepsi Cola giving away free samples near the ground. Part of the contract guarantees that there is an exclusive zone around the ground where only the sponsor brands can be involved. There have been incidences where burger vans can get in trouble and be asked to leave.
Sadly the food remains grim. Pig on stale white bread today. My digestive system is crying out for vegetables. The good news is that we have loads of liquid to drink now - mostly Coca Cola products, so I am wired with so much caffeine.
Tomorrow we prepare for the Captains' Run on Friday. I wish I could show you the pictures to see how the stadium is changing, almost on an hourly basis as the RWC branding is applied to cover up Villa's history, sponsors etc.