Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic Fever

Well it's started.  For the next two weeks we will hear of nothing else.  I'm not at all interested in sport.  I'm not a competitive person at all, and I think you need to have this characteristic to be enthusiastic about sport.  I am thankful that I am not in England at the moment because I think the olympic obsession would drive me nuts.

I do however like a spectacle.  I missed the first hour or so of the Opening Ceremony, but stayed up until around 2.30am watching the rest of it.

It was in my opinion a pretty amazing show, and I can really appreciate how much effort it must have taken to organise such an event.  Well done to Danny Boyle...I think he got it just right.  And well done to the thousands of volunteers who made it all possible.

So many things were impressive but the ones that I will remember most are the wonderful James Bond/HM The Queen spoof  parachute drop.  It proves she does have a sense of humour.








The cauldron was magical.



I love the fact that the olympic torch would have travelled within an hour of 95 per cent of people in the UK on its way to London.  The were so many torchbearers who had a story to tell, and for whom this task was a privilege.  I particularly loved the ex-Liverpool footballer Owen, carrying his torch through Batterseas Dogs Home, with a pitbull on a lead, with other pıtbulls forming a guard of honour.  What a fitting memory to Lennox, and all pıtbulls being condemned to death for no reason.





And a great historical moment.  Saudi women taking part in the games for the first time ever.  Brilliant!


One part of the ceremony I didn't like was the way the great Mohamed Ali, now a very sick man, was handled like some kind of puppet.  His total incomprehension at what was expected of him was uncomfortable to watch and it actually made me cry.  Why couldn't he have just been there, watching, that would have been enough.

I also felt that Paul McCartney was totally wrong for the climax.  He can no longer sing and it was embarassing.  I'm sure there's far more talent to choose from.

All in all though, it was pretty good, and something that should make the British feel proud.

Now I'll just withdraw from all this for the next two weeks, and look forward to the closing ceremony!

Did you watch last night?  What did you think of it?

24 comments:

  1. I also didn't feel comfortable watching Mohammed Ali who clearly didn't know what was going on & added nothing to the proceedings. I watched the whole show up until the moment Macca started singing Hey Jude when I was squirming with embarrassment & had to switch off. I thought the show was wonderful, but would have left out the aforementioned + the Artic Monkeys.

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    1. I wasn't too sure the Arctic Monkeys were appropriate tricia,but at least they can sing!

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  2. We couldn't watch it live due to a storm in the Aude in France, but have seen it this morning. As I'm heading back to England for a couple of days to see athletics next week, I am worried about the crowds,what I suspect will be chaotic travel arrangements and the heavy duty security presence, but I hope to enjoy it nevertheless. I liked the fact that the opening ceremony did not take itself too seriously......much better than I expected !

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    1. Yes you're right Janice about it not taking itself too seriously, and that was a pleasant surprise.

      Enjoy your trip back for the athletics. If transport and security turn out to be as well organised as the opening ceremony, you should have no problems!

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    1. Poor old Macca. Time for him to retire gracefully I think KV

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  4. I listened to it on the radio - hoping to have chance to watch it later :)

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    1. Hi Rachel. I hope you get chance to watch it. Well worth it x

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  5. I haven't seen it....a gang of friends and neighbours are coming over on Sunday to watch it on iplayer and I'm not sure I can cope with having to watch it twice!
    One group round the desktop, one round the laptop and me on coffee duty in the kitchen...that's what it will be...but I'm looking forward to their reaction to the Queen parachuting...

    Mother has gone incommunicado for the period of the Olympics...I'm not even to telephone unless it's an emergency, so God help the carer who asks her what she wants taken out of the freezer at a critical moment!

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    1. I think it's great that the Queen agreed to the film Fly. I do wish she had looked a little less miserable and bored during the ceremony....mind you it did go on for a long time.

      Your mother makes me chuckle. What a formidable character!

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  6. No TV here, Ayak, and couldn't watch it on the BBC website as they aren't transmitting any Olympic material to other countries via the internet, not even on internet radio. So I had to be content with reading the reports and looking at the still pictures which looked fantastic.

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    1. I managed to watch the Opening Ceremony live using the Film.on website but it's not possible to get BBC1 on there today so obviously it's been blocked.

      You could use ExpatShield to watch iPlayer, which I use every day for catch-ups on all the channels. It's free. OK you get a couple of pop-up ads but it's worth it for things you really want to see.

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    2. Thanks for the tip, Ayak, but I truly don't miss TV while we're here, except for one-offs like this. I don't even watch much TV back in Wales - out of the habit I suppose....

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    3. I know what you mean Perpetua. I've managed without an actual TV for a couple of years now..just catching up with one or two programmes each day on the internet. I watch a lot less than I would do if I had a TV.

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  7. I, too, cried for Mohammed Ali - showing him off like that was nothing short of cruelty, I thought. Why can't they leave us with our memories of him in his heyday, poor man. Parkinson's Disease is a horrible thing - and I'm surprised he could get travel insurance, as well (we have difficulty at our ages - 80 & 73 - and with much less severe and serious medical conditions!) Also, I thought that Macca's face looked like a mask - presumably he's been severely Botox-ed. He really is past it now, and graceful retirement would be advisable. As for the Arctic Monkeys, well.... the less said the better perhaps (but then, we're classical music afficionados, so what do we know?) Pity to spoil the brilliant show like that - the rest was soooo good, especially the cauldron, and I enjoyed the spoof 'Chariots of Fire' bit with Rowan Atkinson, even though the original is one of my favourite films of all time and I wouldn't have liked any of the rest of it spoofed. But congrats to Danny Boyle for a great show cleverly conceived.
    Great, too that every team had included at least one or two women at last - not before time.

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    1. Hi Helva. Parkinsons is dreadful. My mother had it for many years before she died and I know how self-conscious she was even in the company of people she knew. To put this once great man on display like this was cruel and insensitive.

      I also loved Rowan Atkinson, and I agree that Danny Boyle did a marvellous job.

      It's almost inconcievable that some countries have waited until 2012 to incude women isn't it?

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  8. I watch the whole Opening Olympic live......it was very good.At that magnitude it went off okay without a hitch for me. Some names of performers I had never heard of ???? Loved Mr. Bean....he is my all time favorite comedian. I use to watch every episode with my Dad (RIP) like a religion and laugh and laugh. Also HM The Queen does have a sense of humor....that was refreshing to see....but I was too busy staring at James Bond.It was nice for me to hear "God Save The Queen" being sung.....my daughter said wow you know the words as I sang along.....well in my time that was the national anthem in Canada before they made up another one.

    Now will watch some of the competition...as a couple are from my area. So it will be exciting.

    Have a great day.....xx

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    1. So pleased to hear you enjoyed the ceremony Erica. And interesting that you still remember the National Anthem. Although, as children we were taught it at school and sang it in assembly every day so it's difficult to forget!

      I love Mr Bean too!

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  9. Haven't got a tv here so have missed it all. Glad i missed M Ali, but am trying to find the Bond spoof on You Tube.

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    1. BtoB: Jack has posted up the Bond video over on PtheP blog today.

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  10. We don't think we would have watched it if we were in the UK but we did watch here on TRT3 (missed the first ten minutes). Absolutely agree about Mohammed Ali; the way he was used was most distressing. Hilary's mother also has Parkinsons. Horrible disease...
    Mind you, Hilary is still waiting for Jimmy Page. He played at the Chinese closing ceremony and he should have been there last night.

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    1. omentide: Yes I noticed Hilary anxiously awaiting Jimmy Page on Facebook! I wonder why he didn't appear? He would have been preferable to Macca I think!

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  11. Hi Linda
    I actually live in Stratford, just a 10 minute walk from the Park, the disruption has been and will be horrendous at times, but let me tell you. The atmosphere in Stratford was electric on Friday night, we went around to my daughters as her flat looks over the stadium and the James Bond/Majesty scene was hilarious as we looked out of the window and saw the parachutists jump while watching it on the TV. It has made me very proud to be an east London girl. The ceremony was fantastic, Danny Boyle deserves a medal himself for the thought that was put into it. And as much as I don't like sport much myself, I will be watching the swimming and athletics. I went to the park today, take a look at the blog as I uploaded some pics. It is gorgeous.

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    1. Hi Carol. Yes I realised you lived very close from your recent posts and that you sensibly decided to work from home during the games. It must be horrendous for people living locally trying to get to and from work during the next two weeks.

      How lovely to have been able to have such a great view of the ceremony and to be part of the atmosphere. I'm going to pop over to your blog now to have a look at your photos xx

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