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Blog: Opening Ceremony

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Friday night found myself, The Winners On My Podium, and The Landlady meeting up in OLYMPIC LONDON to have some tea before going to watch the Opening Ceremony in the pub. We went to a restaurant we have often times been to of a Friday night, and where normally you end up going wherever a space is available, this time it was nearly DESERTED. Much of central OLYMPIC LONDON was like this on Friday, like everyone had thought "Town is going to be PACKED, I'm off home to watch it on telly!"

Fully fed we popped round the corner on the way, pausing briefly to watch the RED ARROWS go overhead. Now, we live in OLYMPIC LEYTONSTONE, right under the flight path for ALL Big Event Fly Pasts, so tend to see these guys a LOT - they probably get excited when one of them spots US - but it was still fun to see if in town. Having waved we arrived at the Queen's Head in Piccadilly to find Mrs M Hewitt and many GUESTS merrily awaiting the start of events on the BIG SCREEN. We all got VERY excited, also a bit NERVOUS - I think we all felt more INVESTED in it than we might otherwise by the fact that Mr S Hewitt was going to be IN it. By now we all knew pretty much when/where he'd be, so we were WILLING it to be quite good.

We didn't really need to have worried did we? Like I guess pretty much everyone else who watched it we were AGOG by how ACE it all was - in the morning I'd seen one of the organisers saying "There's funny bits" and thought "OH NO, that sounds DREADFUL" but GOOD GOLLY there actually WERE! I don't think I've ever laughed at Mr Bean before, and obviously The Bit With The Actual Queen in was AMAZING.

The only minor disappointment was that there wasn't a long lingering shot of the WINDRUSH, which was being carried by Steve and a bunch of STEVEDORES. We saw it when it arrived in the arena, and caught glimpses of it later on, but with all the PANDEMONIUM we were left wanting MORE.

And we GOT it at about half past ten when the HERO OF THE HOUR, Steve himself, rolled up in the PUB, looking KNACKERED, almost as if he'd spent the past three months training up for an OLYMPIC EVENT! There was cheering, there was applause, there was HUGS and many congratulations. We all felt proud to have been NEAR such and incredible show of PROPER BRITISHNESS, he had been IN it!

Next day we watched huge chunks of it again, amazed at how PROPER it had all been - I think we'd expected something a bit All Right But Naff, like the Jubilee stuff, but here had been rousing celebrations of the NHS, Women's Suffrage, Pop Music, Children's Literacy, SIR TIM BERNERS LEE and - OH YES - the whole business of Multi-Cultural GOOD TIMES. I kept thinking of bits of it all day on Saturday, finally thinking that probably "Bonkers" by Mr D Rascal summed the whole thing up unexpectedly and perfectly: "Some people think I'm bonkers / But I just think I'm free"

Yes I know that sounds a bit daft but it struck me as TRUE also.

And now here we are a couple of days later and it's ACTUALLY HAPPENING - Stratford (Stratford!!) is at the centre of the planet, there's incredibly moving stories of people's DREAMS dashed and/or fulfilled on telly all day long and - perhaps most incredible of all - all the tube line's are running on a Sunday! INCREDIBLE!

It does feel LOCAL too - we got home on Friday night just in time for the very end of the ceremony, and when the fireworks went off it sounded like a kerfuffle outside. We realised it was the SAME fireworks that we could actually HEAR, so I dashed out the front to see if I could see them. I couldn't, but I did see half of my neighbours ALSO out on the street doing exactly the same thing. It was VERY exciting!

posted 30/7/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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It happened and it was awesome.
posted 30/7/2012 by Len

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