Pin trading requests


Thank you for all the comments regarding my pin collection, they are much appreciated.

I have had many requests to trade some of my pins.  I would be happy to do this if I was in the same place as those who have contacted me but I am not keen to trade via the postal service.  If, however, you happen to attend London 2012 or Glasgow 2014 I would be more than happy to consider trading with anyone, where appropriate.

Interesting reading for pin traders:

See you in London and/or Glasgow


My 2010 Olympic Pin Collection


I have laid out some of the pins I collected while at the Olympics and I am very pleased with my haul.  I have pins from countries that I haven’t had much involvement before as most of the pins I have collected come from the Commonwealth Games.  I already have an extensive collection and these are welcomed additions.

On this occasion I have pins from USA, France, Finland, South Korea, Greece, Lithuania, Lebanon, Latvia, Ukraine, Germany, Ireland, Brazil, China and Mongolia.  I also have pins from Olympic sponsors.

2010 Olympic pins

I have two favourites: one pin randomly given to me in Whistler by a girl who was from one of the Four Host First Nations.

I was walking along the Village Stroll when she approached me from nowhere and reached out to give me her pin.  She explained that she was from the Four Host First Nations but I never found out which one.

Before we parted I gave her a Scottish pin and she was kind of taken aback as I don’t think she had been given a pin in return for her’s.  A huge smile came across her face and off she went back into the crowds.  A few days later, maybe even a week, I was sitting on the bus going from Whistler to Creekside when I was aware that someone was looking at me.  I glanced across and this recognisable smile came back at me.  It was the girl again with the Scottish pin on her jacket.

The second one was from a wee boy outside the figure skating venue in Vancouver.  He was about 6/7 and he came up to me, looked at my pins on my accreditation lanyard and said “you have lot of cool pins”.  His mum shouted on him and he ran away to be her and others.  A short time later, while walking to the bus, this voice goes “you reaaaaaaaaalllllllllllyyyy have a lot of cool pins and do you want to trade one?”  I turned round and it was the wee lad again.  I said “sure, I’ll trade with you, what have you got?”  He produced a CBC badge and gave it to me.  In return and gave him, and his brother, Scottish pins and they were so excited and they ran to tell their parents.  The next thing I know the dad comes over to me and thanks me for making his sons’ day because they were the first pins they had ever been given.  I only hope they were the first of many they collect during the Games.

I like looking at other collections and my collection is not as big as some I have seen.  But I think I have a quality collection, meaning they are not all sponsor pins, which are mass-produced.  I am not one for just asking for a pin without trading.  I took a lot of Scottish pins with me to trade and happily gave them to kids and other worthy people.  I do admit that I got fed up with adults just walking up to me and pulling at my accreditation lanyard and asking me, almost demanding me, to give them a pin.  They were too aggressive and I resisted the request.  I am happy to give but depending on the situation.

I would like to thank everyone who traded or gave me pins, they are all very much appreciated.

My next opportunity to trade pins could be at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

Photo Scavenger Hunt


Yesterday was great day, and also tiring.  I joined seven others on 2010vanfan’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.  We met in the Pin Trading Centre in the Olympic superstore, where we were split into teams of two.  My partner, Stephanie, drew the short straw getting me, the visitor to the city.  Although I know Vancouver well, running about it, trying decipher cryptic clues and coming up with photographic evidence was going to be a tad challenging.  However, with Transit ticket in hand, off we set to find the answer to the first clue.

Canada Line

I am not going to go through all the clues but I will say it pays to read carefully every clue verrrrryyyy carefully, even if it looks like a spelling mistake!!  If Stephanie and I had done this we would have saved ourselves some time and avoided the near-trip by bus to the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park!  We should have been on the Canada Line heading out to the airport.  We were looking for a ‘glass dome’ – the Bloedel Conservatory instantly came into our heads right away…wrong!  Anyway, we quickly corrected ourselves, got back on the Canada Line, set out for the airport and found the glass dome.

After this we sat down, worked out the answers to the next clues and made a plan of action, and it worked, even if did make us 1 hour late to finish behind the others.  Our problem, or at least mine, was I was in tourist mode and went off taking other photographs, and it was not long until Stephanie was doing it too.  When were at City Hall we stood for a wee while watching the new slate with Olympic/Paralympic signage being installed.

Vancouver City Hall - Olympic/Paralympic signage

When we were in Yaletown we were asked to take a photo of four flags which were stuck to the pavement (sidewalk).  Not us, we walked around the block and collected almost all the flags of the Olympic nations!!  I should say that the Yaletown clue was the only one I provided an answer to, and that was only because I walked around there two days before and had seen the British flag stuck to the pavement.

Olympic Line - The Bombardier

Afterwards we went to Doolins Irish pub for something to eat.  I was starving and looking forward to eating something but I didn’t want to eat too much as I was going out for dinner later, so I decided on a plate soup…I’ll just say, I left Doolins still hungry!!

2010 Photo Scavanger Hunt

2010 Photo Scavanger Hunt

It was a great day.  It was nice to meet others too.  Stephanie and I had a lot of fun, and she coped with having me for a partner, thanks for that.  Many thanks to Nancy, James and Andrea for the pins.   And big thanks to Andrea for her efforts in pulling the quiz together and providing the prizes, it was worth it.  I hope you all have a great Olympic experience.

Day 1 and my jaunt downtown


It is just after 4am here in Vancouver and mid-day in the UK (8 hour for those trying work out the time difference) and I am wide awake.  Rather than fitting t sleep I decided it was an ideal opportunity to update further my first day in Vancouver.

After a slow morning having breakfast and chatting with my cousin I ventured out heading the direction of Downtown Vancouver.  I was  handed the keys of the van and off I set.  I love driving here, it seems much more laid back without too many aggressive drivers (I am sure the locals may disagree).  I had decided not drive all the way into town but took the new Canada Line train, which travels between Vancouver Airport and the Waterfront in Vancouver.  I went to the main hub on Georgia Street and when I came up from the station I was greeted with the Hudson Bay Company decked out in support of the Canadian Olympic team.  Other buildings were dressed up for the occasion too.  The place looks absolutely fantastic, even if it was a bit of a grey day.

Hudson Bay Company

Maple Leaf

I went for a wee a wee wander, taking it all in, getting a feel for what is about to happen.  There is still a lot of work going on – a lot of activity in the front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.  In front the Gallery is the Olympic and Paralympic countdown clocks.  It was certainly the photo stop for visitors and I seemed to be the designated snapper!!  I met people from Germany, Italy, Japan and, of course, Canada.  After the universal sign language of the world – the moving of the arms and hands – I did manage to have my photo taken in front of the clock (yes, SGLD, I am really here!).

Vancouver 2010 Countdown Clock

I then went into the Bay to visit the Olympic superstore – it is huge! Where you can buy every conceivable piece of Olympic and Paralympic merchandise…I will be back another day to do my shopping.

Olympic Superstore in the Bay

While in there I win to the Coca Cola Pin Trading Centre where folks have pins laid out on tables to show and trade.  There was quite the selection and many of which I have in my own collection.  The guy from Coca Cola started chatting to me and asked me if I had to a pin to stick on the world pin wall…which I did.  I also had the good fortune to have my photo taken with Olympic Torch.

Coca Cola Pin Trading Centre

Olympic Pin Trading Centre

Scotland is on the map at the 2010 Olympics

Olympic Torch

While in the area of the pins I got chatting with four BC ladies who were in town, looking around and doing some Olympic shopping.  Turned out that these ladies are into their curling in a big way…the knew the Scottish teams well, one even commented how “buff” David Murdoch and his team are.   I was winding them up telling them that the GB teams will be taking the gold medals home and I got the same banter back, it was great fun and good laugh.  We chatted for ages and we have agreed to meet after the curling is over to say “I told you so” only they want to go to the pub to do so the loser can by the drinks!  You are on ladies!

Curling - GBR v CAN - who will win ladies?

Just at that point the Canadian women’s curling team appeared for a signing session and the curling ladies were almost first in line to get something, anything signed and they recruited me as their photographer, and I was happy to oblige.  One of the ladies told the curlers who I was and that I was predicting gold for GB and we all had a good laugh about it and I gave them Scottish pins and wished them good luck for the Games.

Canadian Women's Curling team

I took loads of photos today and I am loving my new camera.  I have uploaded a few to Flickr.

I am delighted to be back Vancouver and I so pleased that this beautiful city is welcoming the sporting world and I know it will put on show to remember.

I am going back to bed, I’m getting tired.  Apologies for any typos, blame fatigue!

Thanks for reading.

Pin trading at the Olympics


Pin selection

Pin trading is the sport at the Olympics for the spectators.  I have collected pins since I attended the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.  At the time I was only collecting as souvenirs but as I attended more major events I realised that pin trading was big business.  Some folk only go to the host cities to pin trade.

In 1984 I attended the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. A nice lady in the tourist information office asked to swap my Scottish pin for her special Olympic pin.  She told me to take care of it and not give it away because it was rare pin.  I never thought much more about it and pinned it on my hat.

A few days later I was standing waiting to get into a venue when I was tapped on the shoulder and the guy behind me suggested I took the pin off my hat before someone decided to take my hat to get the pin.  He said there were very few of them available.

This got me curious and I stopped by the pin traders tent and asked the experts about my pin.  Turned out that there had only been 25 pins made of the one I had, making it very rare and much sought after.  The expert offered me $250 for it there and then.  If it was that rare I was not parting with it.  Besides, I was given it and that meant something to me.  I still have it.

Since then I have actively pin traded or even bought some when I found them.  Through my involvement with the Commonwealth Games I have built a decent collection.  I have had some mounted on foamboard and framed to hang on the wall and it is a talking point when people come to visit.

I am looking to add to my collection in Vancouver and I have already read a lot about what I should expect when I get out there.  Some folk have had their own pins specially made for the occasion.  I am taking with me to Vancouver the pins shown above and a few of the duplicates I have collected over the years.  I would like to thank those who helped me source these pins.