Getting attention

At last the Olympics have got my attention. The opening ceremony on Friday night was an extravaganza of breath-taking proportions. I had to record it as we were at Dance Class on the day, so we watched it yesterday. My head was already full of comments from pundits and friends, but it soon became clear that nothing I had heard prepared me for the actual event.

First of all it was definitely British – quirky, cheeky, slushy and spectacular – Oh yes, and very, very noisy. If it had been anyone other than Danny Boyle as producer, I would have presumed that it had been specifically engineered to be a “let’s cheer up the plebs,” show. It certainly made me pleased and proud to be British, but I was a bit concerned that the remaining 203 countries taking part, would find it incomprehensible. However, it seems that the world does understand and is prepared to be tolerant.

It was a three and a half hour show of theatrical innovation, followed by another hour and  a half of marching participants from each country. The culmination of the lighting the flame sculpture symbolising peace amongst the nations, was imaginative and unique. High spirits and high standards to be maintained throughout the Games.

Highlights for me included:

  • The many children taking part – acting and singing body, mind and soul.
  • The stylised portrayal of the power of industrialisation – noise, sight, sound
  • A tribute to the National Health Service
  • Mr Bean sabotaging Chariots of Fire music.
  • An ET moment
  • The Queen arriving in spectacular fashion
  • The Queen’s corgis
  • The Queen as actor supreme
  • The spirituality of remembrance
  • The Olympic Flame coming down river.

Think I should stop. My head is full of images and sounds, and wonder at the preparation of a cast of 7500 volunteers.

OK – one disappointment – Sir Paul McCartney – sorry Paul, like many of the singers who are “Oldies” his voice has lost its quality. Performing needs a gracious acknowledgement by him of what he can and cannot do.  (Ah – but what about Tom Jones I hear you ask?  He is still in a class all of his own.)

It’s all very well being an armchair critic – I cannot imagine taking part in such a spectacle without rendering the perfect imperfect. In other words, I know when I am past it too. But what fun. And now the Games are underway; lots to see and learn about over the next couple of weeks. It may have taken me a long time to become interested, but now I am enthusiastic…….. well, let’s not go mad…… I can’t see me watching boxing, or wrestling, but I may give in and have a look at the beach volleyball.

Happy Olympics, and do let me know what you thought of the Opening and what, if any, sports you might watch.


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7 Responses to Getting attention

  1. LC says:

    Missed what came before industrial revolution part. industry and Mr. Bean were my favs. I was watching with 4 active grands and wish I had thought to record. Maybe i can dip into segments again via YouTube or some other Internet venue!

  2. Dianne says:

    I didn’t see it, only read about it. We caught the tail end and thought it was a bit much. Maybe I am an old curmudgeon after all. Can women be curmudgeons?

  3. Ginnie says:

    I guess I’m a curmudgeon too (so, yes Dianne we women qualify for that title!) since I can’t help thinking of all the millions being spent and thinking where it could be used for the better good. I know that’s a very unpopular view but it’s mine!
    Thanks for commenting on my blog, Freda …I appreciate your input.

  4. Ray Barnes says:

    Count me in with the curmudgeons too Freda. Though I did watch the lighting of the whatever they called it. Can’t remember.
    Quite a spectacle, but the rest is just not my bag (as they used to say in the sixties.)

  5. Lydia says:

    I *loved* the opening ceremony, much more stirring than the Beijing one. It was absolutely beautiful in every way possible. (For me, that would included the nod to Paul McCartney, who showed the passage of time in a neat historical way without that being his intention!)

    I will be watching as much of the Games as I can. Just love the Olympics. And I miss my mother so much, because she and I always enjoyed it together (even when we lived in separate states and checked in by phone).

  6. Lyn says:

    I have to agree with you on the favorite parts, and on Paul’s voice. Frank Sinatra was the same the last time I hears him sing, mushy voice, not so pleasant. Yeah, I’d rather have hears Tom Jones, too. Never the less, it was a magnificent presentation. Well done, England!

  7. Liz Gibson says:

    I watched most of the main extravaganza and have to admit to enjoying it much more than I expected to. The spending is an issue but there will have been a lot of people getting employment from it as well as those volunteering. I partly watched because had been told my nephew had been given a haircut and was filmed in St Andrews. Penny suddenly dropped during Chariots of Fire – St Andrews’ beach!
    The son of some friends is commentating on beach volleyball – he’s a secondary teacher in Edinburgh during termtime. And our local primary PE teacher got a sabbatical to work on organising the badminton. So local interest too.
    Lyn, above, please note it’s GB not just England, unless of course you’re just referring to London itself!

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