Saturday 28 July 2012

Opening Ceremony Explained? I may be British but I still don't know

As a British Expat in South Africa is it my job to explain the Olympic Opening Ceremony and defend the homeland? Or do I just tell everyone who asks that actually I thought it was pants and no I haven’t a clue what was going on?
I have a short attention span and I find it difficult to sit for any length of time, same reason I rarely go to the movies.

Yes, I was upset I didn’t get the role of a Games Maker at the London 2012 games and I didn’t really want to watch the ceremony for that reason. But I do love the Olympics and will watch the athletes with enthusiasm and cheer on both Team GB and South Africa. I did the same at Barcelona in 1992, when GB weren’t competing it was SA all the way. The atmosphere in the stadium back then was electric and since that day the Olympics has never been able to top those games in my opinion.

I had a ticket for the technical rehearsals for the London games, which due to my current location, I gave to my son back in the UK to use. He said it was fantastic, amazing and refused to tell me what was going on as he knew I’d not watch it.
So hubby and youngest sat down last night at 10pm our time and I joined them and after half an hour I was bored. I didn’t ‘see’ where it was going, the twitter feed was more interesting, so off I went for a bath and fell asleep on the bed.
I went down stairs to wake up hubby and send youngest to bed and I rejoined the ceremony at the point where the teams came into the stadium.

Now that bit I like and I was looking forward to the lighting of the torch. My money was on Redgrave and I hoped for a simple lighting of the flame. I couldn’t have been more impressed if I’d tried.

I love the fact that DSTV had very little commentary and I could hear all the stadium announcements in real time, so really got a feel of what it must’ve been like to have been there.

But there are some things that puzzled me, make me cringe and this morning at the Golf Club I was the British representative for Danny Boyle, The Queen and fellow Brits.

I think the bit where The Queen welcomed James Bond to the Palace will become the greatest TV viewing moment ever, but really Mr Boyle, you should have left it there.

‘No I don’t find Mr Bean even slightly amusing; it is not representative of British humour’ Thanks BBC Entertainment for broadcasting to your expat audience that, ‘allo ‘allo, Keeping up Appearances and 8 year old episodes of Who wants to be a millionaire? giving the impression that we all love it.

Maypoles? I’ve not danced round one since I was in primary school and then I got kicked out the group because one of the boys kept curtseying at the end instead of bowing so my career as a pole dancer was short lived. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Maypole since that day in 1979.

Paul McCartney? ...

Arctic Monkeys? Someone forgot to do a sound check.
And what was with the house? The teenagers and mobile phones? Youth of today, well at least they weren’t looting.

I was a little concerned that Danny Boyle was in charge of it all and thought it would be a bit ‘dark’, but I think he did a good job especially with all that money he had to spend. I tired of the Andy Carroll reference on twitter, it didn’t even relate in the slightest to what was going on. The endless tweets about it being a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour Party paid for by Cameron and Clegg. BTW where was Clegg? Have you all been asleep for the past 15 Blair years?

And I certainly don’t think the Boyle should be knighted for his part in all this in the same way none of the organisers should be. They will all make a fortune on the back of this for many years to come. Those titles should go to the Games Makers.
And today the Olympics start, well they began on Wednesday with the football. I’ve sorted out my TV viewing guide to watch the athletes and to ensure I don’t miss all my favourite events.

It’s a shame the opening and closing ceremonies have become such an important part of the games and I’ll probably watching the closing titles the same way I viewed the opening ones. In between I shall sit back and watch and enjoy all the medals, the triumphs and the tears. Now the hype is over I can move from my disappointment of not being a Games Maker (cross my fingers I may still get asked to do the Paralympics) and really enjoy the Olympics.

I hope you enjoy them too.

Oh and please don’t question me when they play the wrong anthem or run the wrong flag up the pole...I really can’t answer.


  1. I think the house scene was a reference to Tim Berners Lee and how the WWW has all become such a huge part of lives.

    I couldn't agree more about Paul McCartney. Someone said to me it was like the "going home" song being played at a disco! I was so hopeful it was going to be Pink Floyd at first as well, not him... But then at least it wasn't Cliff Richards. For that at least we should be grateful!! :D

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