Diary of a Games volunteer - what is a vomitory?
So - what is a vomitory?
Yes, I had assumed it was something that made you sick, but apparently it's also the name for an entrance or exit in a theatre. I must admit I had never come across it before, and it certainly isn't a word in use in the Rose Theatre where I can sometimes be found ushering.
Yesterday I heard the word used in all seriousness in that second sense. I was attending a training session for team leaders at ExCel, and we were looking at the layouts of the arenas for the Paralympics and the positions where volunteers and staff would be deployed. Vomitories are the passages between the seats where the spectators come and go, but not, hopefully, where they throw up.
Just one more training session tomorrow, when I'll be getting to know the ExCel in more detail, and meeting more of the hundreds of volunteers who will be working there during the Paralympics.
The Games begin next week and I am so looking forward to working my first shifts from Thursday onwards, in spite of the achingly early starts.
I'm also really pleased that the momentum has built up around the Paralympics, with a record number of seats sold. The atmosphere during the Olympics was so special, and I do believe we are going to experience it again during the Paralympics as well.
I've now collected my uniform from the massive warehouse that has been transformed into the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre. Some volunteers have been working there since April, making sure that the enormous task of distributing goods to about 200,000 people goes smoothly. Even though they are never seen by the general public, and are doing pretty unexciting jobs, they still manage to keep cheerful.
I've been issued with two purple and red polo shirts, two pairs of sand-coloured trousers, two pairs of grey socks, plus a jacket, umbrella, bag, water bottle and watch, and a rather nice pair of trainers (which will certainly get some wear after the event). The clothes don't quite fit - a unisex design for flat-chested sportspeople doesn't necessarily fit a real person like me - but I can make them work.