I thoroughly, totally and utterly enjoyed last night’s London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Danny Boyle really did pull off something for us Brits to be proud off. Well Danny Boyle and a cast of thousands, who all worked together to create something magical for the rest of the nation to behold.
At a time when there is so much negativity around, this was an opportunity for Great Britain to shine and thanks to Danny Boyle, his crew and all the athletes, our nation shone brightly for the rest of the world to see.
Living in Hackney, one of the Olympic host boroughs, last night’s opening ceremony experience was heightened for us as we experienced it in triplicate on TV, from the BT London Live event in Victoria Park and from the Olympic Stadium itself.
Our Olympic opening ceremony experience was kicked off by the Red Arrows as they trailed their red, white and blue smoke right over our house, just seconds after they’d flown over the stadium at precisely 20:12.Those wonderful men in their flying machines have a way of making you feel super proud to be British. The Tinkerous Toddler was so excited at seeing them, that she asked if they could come back and do it again.
We also got wafts of the Arctic Monkeys in fine form – how fit is Alex Turner looking at the moment? – and Paul McCartney doing a rabble rousing rendition of Hey Jude. In fact this was the third time we’d heard the Artics and Sir Paul bashing out these tunes, as the rehearsal sound waves were washing over our house all week.
And then there was the fireworks and pyrotechnics display, which we could see through the tree tops from our balcony. It hands down beat the 5th November!
But by far the best bit for us was James Bond and The Queen. What inspired genius and big kudos to our monarch for taking part in such a wonderful piece of theatre! Of course the experience was made that bit more real for us as we clicked onto the way the scenario was going and just in the nick of time stepped out onto our balcony to see the helicopter carrying (ahem, suspend disbelief here) the Queen and James Bond fly over our house and across to the park towards the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
I thought the dance piece created by British-Bangladeshi Akram Khan was a very fitting way for us to all take a few minutes out of the high-octane excitement and remember those who are no longer with us. Especially those lost on 7/7, a day that will always be connected with the London 2012 Olympics for all the wrong reasons.
I must also give a brief mention to a couple of negatives that made me feel sad. Firstly, the roasting that Trevor Nelson got on Twitter for his commentary. I don’t know if I was just a bit too caught up in the moment, but his commentary didn’t jar on me at all. Ok, so he wasn’t offering particularly in-depth or stimulating commentary, but he’s a Hackney boy done good, and hey, he’s Trevor Nelson, an all round nice guy. It really wasn’t in the spirit of the Olympics and what London 2012 stands for.
I’ll also give mention to someone who did deserve – and got – his own trouncing on Twitter. One, Adrian Burley MP,who bleated via Twitter that the opening ceremony was leftie multi-cultural crap. What idiotic behaviour. He’s tweeted since to say his comment was misunderstood and that he was referring to multi-culturalism being crap within the confines of the ceremony and not per se. Somehow that doesn’t add up.
Back on a high note and who needs to be in the GB Football Team when you can captain a speed boat up the Thames carrying the Olympic Flame to Sir Steve Redgrave?!! I know the Olympics is all about the sport, but honestly, who wouldn’t have loved to have had that role in the proceedings?!!
I watched a guy who was involved in the artistic direction of both Athens and Beijing opening ceremonies ahead of the London 2012 ceremony last night. He talked about Beijing having been a show of strength rather than an emotional experience. He was right. It was. London 2012 wasn’t about that. It was about celebrating in a truly British eccentric and quirky way, with a focus on the high points of British history and an even firmer focus on Britain’s future. For a couple of hours last night, we were reminded of what it truly means to be proud to be British.
We are off to watch the proceedings on the big screens in Victoria Park tomorrow. My OH has tickets to some events later in the week and we will all be heading for a walk around the Olympic Park at some point in the next few days. Having not been at all sure about it in the immediate run-up, I can now safely say I am very happy that we are in Londo, and more importantly, East London, to be able to experience Olympic fever. I might even see if I can grab a last minute pair of tickets for me and the Tinkerous Toddler. Now, given some of my previous posts in the run-up, who saw that coming?!
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