Saturday, 28 July 2012

Well Done, London

Last night … er, correction … Early this morning just before I went to bed, I posted the following to Facebook from my phone, just before I tumbled into bed:

Believe it or not. I ended up watching the whole Olympic opening ceremony on TV. First time in my life. And staying up until 2am! Well done London. And good night... :-o

Some of you who read this probably know by now that I consider myself to be born with a ‘sports filter’. The way this works is that most sports news to me remain a distant mumble in the background, or induce me to automatically switch channels, or turn off the TV/radio. And when reading the paper, I automatically flicker through the sports section without even noticing headlines. It really has to be front page news to have the slightest chance of catching my attention.

As for the opening ceremonies of the Olympiad, I’ve never watched more than summaries or glimpses of that before either.

This year, however, since it was after all London (and I had just been reminded through the blog posts of British bloggers Scriptor Senex and Jenny Woolf) I decided to watch a bit until I got tired and felt ready for bed.

I should add that as we’re one hour ahead of London time, it started at 22:00 (10 pm) here; and my usual bedtime this time of year is around an hour later. The only night of the year I’m in the habit of staying up after midnight is New Year’s Eve (when I usually have guests to help keep me awake and alert, and the noise of fireworks all around the neighbourhood goes on until around 1 am anyway.)

I’m telling you this just so you’ll understand I had not expected or intended to remain glued to the opening of the Olympics for four hours in the middle of the night – which is what happened.

Firstly, I was absolutely fascinated with the first theatrical /historical /entertainment part of the show; so impressive! So after that I still felt wide awake, and decided to also watch a bit of the parade. This made me realize how many nations in the world there are that I know next to nothing about. And as Sweden was No 177 out of the … 208 or whatever, I just popped out into the kitchen for a while somewhere well before that to make myself another cup of tea and a midnight snack; and then returned...

And by the time all those people had passed by, in their fascinating variety of costumes, of course I could not  miss the climax of it all - especially since the commentators kept going on about how they still had no clue to exactly how or where within the arena the olympic fire was to be lit… So I just had to stay and see the finale as well. Once again I was mightily impressed. All in all, I found the whole opening ceremony an absolutely spectacular show. And I just loved all the British humour intertwined in it, soft-pedalling the pretentiousness.

Well done, London. Well done, Queen Elizabeth and actors and children and musicians and technical staff and whoever played their part in getting that huge show to run smoothly.

I probably (?) won’t be watching a lot of the actual sports games (well who knows, since these seem to be the days of miracles and wonders!) but I certainly enjoyed the opening.

Saturday morning here in SW Sweden has started with rain and thunder… I think I’d better turn off the computer for a while after posting this. I hope the weather in London is better – I haven’t checked!


  1. So far, all I know about the Olympics of this year is what I read on the blogs that I follow. Your account almost makes me wish I'd have watched it, too!

  2. Thanks Monica, I loved the nostalgia. I couldn't face it all but did enjoy the opening pastiches. Just goes to show one shouldn't allow oneself to get overly cynical. Thanks again, you did them proud.

  3. Dear DawnTreader,

    what a wonderful description you wrote of the TV show, your feelings and handling it. I did (almost) exactly the same over here in Germany Southwest:

    Got stuck in front of the TV though not much interested in sports, been fascinated by the many beautiful faces of different colours so peacefully together, chewing different snacks, drinking lots of water against the heat, too curious so see the Queen and the fire to go to sleep...

    What a wonderful "marketing & publicity trick" that was, not to reveal the secret, that the fire was to be given over from the past and present generations to the next, the young sportive ones.
    And finally, herre too, we had lightning, rain and thunder in the night, what a relief ....
    Now I am going to have a nice afternoon-nap ;-)

    Best wishes to you!
    mo jour

  4. i have never watched anything Olympic, except twice a few years ago, the diving. but I love the Olympics because it Keeps Bob entertained and OUT of my hair. so God bless the Olympics. He is glued to it now, i saw bikes, i saw babes playing soccer (might that be the reason he is glued?) watching people riding bicycles the 30 seconds i saw as i walked through the living room was BORING. since you liked this so much, i will check around and see a couple of vids on what you saw.
    that way i can look at what interest me. did i mention i am not a parade person either? BUT this said, wow what a photo taking parade that would be.

  5. I thought it was splendid but then I have always loved the opening ceremonies. I'm glad so many other people have been positive about it.

  6. I agree with Scriptor. Part of the fascination of the Olympics is the parade of flags and costumes, and all the eager young faces so filled with happiness and hope. But I like the country presentation too, and thought Britain's was wonderful. I love the British Isles and there is so much to see, say and do there. All this made me all the more eager to return to the land I love as much as my own. As my daughter said, the only thing it needed to make it perfect was more Corgis!!

  7. I had no real; intention of watching the ceremony but eventually watched it 'till the very end.


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