What can you do when you get a rare few days off work – climb a mountain? Hike through the wilderness? Travel to far flung and exotic lands and immerse yourself in an alien culture? All wonderful choices, of course, but with one common problem: none of them necessarily involves a random visit to the Lego Store.
Today we went to Bluewater. Or was it Lakeside? Not sure – either way it was a shopping centre somewhere on the outskirts of London, roughly the size of Luxembourg and alarmingly sterile in that way that big shopping centres tend to be. We wandered around a bit, conspicuously failing to buy anything of much value, but then we found the Lego store. Now, Lego and I go some way back – we had lots of it as kids and, when building little houses lost some of its technical challenge, I spent what must have been entire years constructing things out of Lego Technic – the fancy Lego with cogs and gears and electric motors and pneumatic doodads and all that good stuff. In fact, I got surprisingly good at creating completely tiny, and pointless, things like miniature Lego gearboxes for slightly larger Lego cars – looking back, I suppose my progression onto adult geekhood wasn’t a huge shock to anyone. [Even geekier sidenote – turns out that today’s Technic bricks don’t have lumps on – they’ve gone all odd and rounded. I’m not sure if this is progress or heresy.]
Anyhow, in a fit of nostalgia I spent a tenner on a big box of bricks: not fancy Technic ones, just the classic primary-colours-with-lumps-on type. And they’re great: having got home I spent a good hour mashing them together, all the while grinning like an ourang-outang who has just discovered not one banana but a whole Chiquita shipment all to himself. And, in honour of the Olympics (it’s hard to craft a model of Georgia using perma-happy minifigs right now), I created the masterpiece you’ll see above: a Lego diving contest. I thought it was quite good, until I looked on Flickr and found this:
So, that’d be the Olympic Stadium in Lego, then. Bloody hell. And they didn’t stop at the one building, either – behold the entire Olympic Village, crafted in plastic bricks. Watch this space to see if I go slightly crazy, sell the car, fill the bedroom full of tiny plastic bricks and attempt to recreate the entirety of Western Europe in full, glorious, detail, before I have to return to work.