please empty your brain below

I do believe you've bought a new camera. Or else you were with someone who had a different camera and you begged some shots.

Useful information as I'm going this evening to see Tom Daley in action (if he gets through the heats today). I'm back next week for the British Swimming trials - so it'll be interesting then to see how rest of the centre, the pool, being used.

I don't think you have mentioned if the Aquatic Centre is filled with the smell of Chlorine. Or if they use some other process/gas/chemical to keep the water clean- or the air conditionings air replacement and filtering system removes the smell. The chlorine smell always puts me off attending indoor swimming pools.

dg writes: I didn't mention the smell of chlorine because there isn't one, you'll be pleased to hear

Sounds like you had a good day out. The Aquatic center looks fantastic,

£7.20 a pint!?!?

dg writes: Well yes, but that's by no means atypical for bottled beer in London.

Nice panoramic shot. New camera? Your pictures are always great!

You mentioned that on entering it wasn't immediately obvious where the best seats would be - but it was a diving event, so I am surprised that your panoramic picture seems to show the majority of spectators clustered around the main pool rather than the diving pool - or were they just the early arrivers, and possibly disoriented, ? Glad to see that you are not quite the Olympics curmudgeon that was hinted at by your posts when the project was getting underway - but I agree that by being in a position to attend a test event, you have probably get a better experience than those who were successful in the ticket lottery for the real thing - especially since many of those attending the real thing will, by the random nature of the lottery process, perhaps be interested more in the overall ambience of the event rather than being major enthusiasts of the sport itself.

I'm a little concerned that the test crowd may not be representative. Do they have large test groups with prams, small children and luggage who stop in front of entrances/exits, walk against the flow or just walk very very slowly and other groups who queue jump and all who don't respond to announcements?

JohnHB: the reason the spectators on the opposite side are clustered by the swimming pool and not the diving pool is that the block of mostly empty seats seemed like it was reserved for team members, friends, family, coaches etc.

I was there on Wednesday evening, and at one point it was similarly empty with large crowds to the left, but by the time the competition started the stands had filled up with lots of people.

I was lucky enough to be reasonably far forward in the queue so managed to sit in a similar place to where dg took his photos from. It really is an absolutely spectacular* venue, even in its temporarily expanded form. You can clearly see where the glass walls are going to go once the Olympics are over, and it'll only make it even more spectacular.

*from the inside (from the outside the temporary wings are rather hideous)

I cannot read the words 'Olympic sized swimming pool' without hearing Ruth Madoc in Hi-do-Hi!

Am I alone?

I started off up in the gods and cor blimey, it was hot! Whilst it's a pleasant balmy temperature at poolside, and slightly warmer in the posh seats, hot air rises... Seriously considered stripping to underwear, and that's when it was minus temperatures outside. Dread to think what it'll be like mid-summer - particularly if it happens to be a scorcher of a day and the sun is beating down on those tent-like wings!

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