The national pride was palpable during and after the Olympics Opening Ceremony in London. Before the event however there was the usual ‘niggling Norman’ comments about it costing too much, about it going to fail, etc etc.
I had faith that that really would be awesome and worthy of being called “the greatest show on earth” (although a part of me thinks it terrifically arrogant to give it that title before it has even taken place). I was not only NOT disappointed but even my expectations had been exceeded. It was awesome.
On the way home, the words that stuck out in the crowd were Queen, Bond, Mr Bean, Cauldron, Fireworks! Everyone was talking about it.
Matt and I chose to see the ceremony, at the last minute, in Hyde Park, amongst thousands of other people. We both said that we should have known better and ‘invested’ in tickets to the Olympic stadium but hadn’t. You see both Matt and I were in Sydney for their Olympics so we KNOW how amazing it is to be part of something so momentous.
I arrived suitably early at Hyde Park and after a fairly lengthy queue for security measures, I was in and able to get a place from where we could see the main stage and two screens. Tarpaulin laid out and plot secured – I had a little nap in the sunshine whilst waiting for Matt to arrive after work!
By the time the concert started the park was full, the atmosphere electric with excitement about what was about to unfold at the Stadium and in Hyde Park. We were treated through the evening to live performances from Paulo Nutini, Duran Duran, Stereophonics and Snow Patrol. A wonderful sample set from each artist but cutting to the Stadium for the greatest show on earth.
People were dancing and singing along to a band and then suddenly quiet would fall on the Park whilst people stood on tiptoe or jossled for a little bit more space to see one of the many big screens and listening to the Olympic show. Every now and then there would be a cheer, a round of applause or laughter heard from us and then falling silent to listen again.
I can only imagine that the first part of the show (the industrial revolution) would have been both visually and audibly incredible in the stadium. The sound of the drums being the background to the visual.
The humour that was injected into the spectacle AND that the Queen took part in it too! For all the criticism that is often lauded at the Royal family, I can honestly say that her agreeing to be part of the Opening Ceremony and seeing the Queen and her family in this the Jubilee year, has been eye-opening… and I’ve even heard people who ‘don’t approve of the Royal family’ actually be kind about them and the work that they do!
Did you see it? If not, do google or YouTube search for the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Truly a spectacle. I love that there’s so much secrecy surrounding the event. I love that everyone who participated (mostly volunteers) gave up hundreds of hours of their time and schlepped back and forth to London to rehearse… because they wanted to be part of a piece of history and to show the World how it should be done.
Enough from me. It was incredible. Danny Boyle played a blinder with the show, the pageantry, the spectacle, the lighting of the cauldron, the inclusion of so much humour but most of all reinforcing the Great in Great Britain!
Below are some pictures taken by friends who did ‘invest’ in tickets to be at the Opening Ceremony, together with some I took and also from some of the volunteers taking part in the Greatest Show on Earth. Enjoy
And the beautiful music used during the lighting of the Olympic Couldron – click here
Oooh now let the Games Begin….