Anyone who has been to the Olympics over the last few days will be familiar with a list of rules that came through the post of things you can and cannot take with you into an event.
You can take a smallish bag each. You can take food in (how kind of them!).
But no more than 100ml of liquids. No drinks! No suncream! No Piriton!
I’m not going to debate the rights and wrongs of the rules, but it would be nice if the volunteers actually followed the same set of rules we’d been given.
Although you’re not allowed liquids, you are allowed to take in a resuable bottle to fill with water inside the venue. So I put each child’s school water bottle in their own small rucksacks.
And then had a debate with the volunteer at Old Trafford about it.
We could keep the bottles, but not the lids. Not the lids?! Why didn’t it flipping well say so on the letter?! If it had said so, I wouldn’t have taken the bottles in the first place. Those bottles cost somewhere in the region of three or four quid each. AND my son, who’d been to Olympic ladies’ football in Cardiff, had been allowed to keep his bottle and lid there.
So my husband took the lids off the bottles and stuck them in his pocket. Then transferred the contents of his pockets into the obligatory small plastic bag. He would take his chances with the next bunch of security people.
‘No liquids’ said the guy and tipped my daughter’s bottle up. Er – actually, we’re allowed 100ml, and that is the DISHWASHER water. You know how you get that little dribble left over? It was that.
Every item in my kids’ little rucksacks was emptied, analysed and examined to the nth degree, accompanied by endless criticism of us breaking the rules. The rules set out very firmly in the letter. Which we hadn’t broken.
Finally he got to my bag, slightly bigger than the kids’ bags. All the contents were obscured by my waterproof coat.
‘Any drinks or perfumes in this bag?’
And he let me go. Just like that. He didn’t even move my coat. I could have had anything in there. Suncream. Piriton. Water. Explosives.
Once inside, we could buy bottles of water for £2.50. And have the tops removed. Apart from the people in front of us, who were displaying bottles of water and Coke with lids on proudly for the world to see.
Everyone put their drinks down. Coke. Oasis. Sprite. And spilled it. The place was pouring with drinks. It soaked through my trainers and the hoodie I’d foolishly put on the back of my chair.
But we were all very safe. Although we sneaked the contraband lids through. And poured Oasis into my daughter’s bottle. And put the lid back on.
So arrest me.