Nice one Dave

I wasn’t a fan of the idea of the Olympics, and therefore, as the actual Olympics started to roll towards us it made me want to sick a bit in my mouth, and not in a good way. For me, it was a political ting.

The Labour government, who I’d lost faith in for numerous reasons, wanted to ride on the back of it after London had won the bid.

The coalition government, which I never had no faith in, wanted to do the same, and if I saw DavCam or BoJo banging on about it then I’d hate it more. Along with Lord Coe, who seemed to have dispensed with the ‘Sebastian’ bit preferring to adopt a moniker he borrowed from Lord Voldemort. Whose first name is also Seb.

For me it all seemed political. Not about sporting legacy or encouraging sport in the young. We seemed to have done that quite well over the past few years without this being on our doorstep. It seemed an obscene amount of money to spend in a country that was making massive cuts to public spending and resting it’s fiscal policy on the idea of spending less to achieve more. Why spend so much money on something like this, when so many public services are being reduced, people are losing jobs, and people seem to be struggling on so many levels?

The details of the organising committee trademarking or prohibiting use of certain words also annoyed me and a great guest post by @jlnewhouse87 hit the spot for me. Keeping corporate sponsors happy is one thing but alienating people in the process is a different trick entirely. So well done to the LOCOG for doing that in the run up. Bad PR.

I hated the very idea of it. The every idea of it.

But.

Within 40 seconds of the opening ceremony the goosebumps came up on my arms and it made me say one thing out loud.

Fucking hell. This is incredible.

The boy who sang the solo in ‘Jerusalem’ was inspiring and that set a tone. I was a choirboy in my youth and have sung solos but to sing like that in front of 88,000 people and billions worldwide was jaw dropping. My jaw dropped. I’m a cynic who hated this remember, but within seconds something hit me about this opening ceremony. His solo wasn’t Aled Jones fluffed up perfection. It was right, raw and imperfect yet utterly faultless and perfect in the same second.

Within seconds you had Jerusalem, Danny Boy and an incredible Flower of Scotland with a harsh ‘tae think again’ as it should always be. Bread of Heaven next and this entire thing was  shaping up to be just that.

It had so many British cultural references thrown at it that it was like a beautiful acid trip through recent history. Danny Boyle directed Trainspotting so he has form. This was going to be fun, insania, something that didn’t alienate but called to us all from somewhere within us.

Kenneth Branagh as Isambard Kingdom Brunel speaking the words Shakespeare wrote for Caliban.

“The isle is full of noises. Sounds, and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.”

Noises. Beautiful noise and sounds, that hurt not. Except for those of the Daily Mail, who didn’t like this very much, showing once again how in touch they are with the mood of the country.

I WILL FIGHT YOU IN THE CAR PARK if you didn’t get the goosebumps at one moment during the opening ceremony.

Actually I won’t. But lets sit down and watch it again with a glass of wine and a packet of chipsticks. It’ll be fun.

I could go on but I won’t. Just watch it if you can. I hope it comes out on DVD so I can own this thing and sit and watch it with my children who were asleep in bed. Also, if I feel a little bit ‘meh’ one day I’ll stick it on. With the volume turned up a bit as Trevor Nelson on the commentary suggested.

But I’m a me. Did others like it? Seems like it got a bit of a thumbs up from most.

Even my aunt loved it, except for Paul McCartney who, as she said, ‘doesn’t have a voice any more but then, to be honest I didn’t think he really had one.’

I hated the entire idea of this before it began, but when it started this opening ceremony felt organic. It didn’t feel staged or preplanned, which is incredible for something that took so many years to come together.

It cost 27 million quid, which is less than Andy Carroll moving from Newcastle to Liverpool. A large amount of money but…

Fucking hell. This is incredible.

And to deliberately misquote something vital in the whole ting.

Oh Danny Boyle I love you so.

Sometimes things you think you won’t like actually turn out to be quite awesome. And once again I’ve learned that there are surprises in life. The only thing that would’ve made it better? If I’d watched it with my children or with @motherventing

Oh, and I didn’t mention the bit with the Queen and James Bond.

Did you like it? How did you watch it? Who with? Details and memories would be nice, if you care to share.

And thanks for reading this. I’m just off to watch the whole darn thing again.

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13 responses to “Nice one Dave

  1. I’m like you. Was prepared to hate it. Watched it, and loved it. Was blown away by how extraordinarily engaging it was. So visual, dynamic, imaginative, and powerful, symbolically as well as literally. I wish I had been there. With you, natch 🙂

    Bring on the DVD with director’s commentary! (and gag reel)

  2. I loved it and was also prepared to hate it. Hell, I wanted to hate it but I challenge anyone (other than that MP and Daily Fail journo) to hate it. For the first time in a long time I was very proud to be British while watching it. Even my husband thought it was amazing and he has been the biggest cynic I know about the Olympics.

    I might watch it again tomorrow, am sure I recorded it. And at least this time I can fast forward through the A-Z of the countries.

  3. I was really looking forward to it and wasn’t disappointed at all. Didn’t manage the whole thing in one go having recorded it to watch with my husband but will certainly watch t again.
    Preferably a bit more sober next time… 😉

  4. I like you want it to come out on DVD so I can show the boy one day as he’s too young to take it all in at the moment. There was a distinct lack of Thomas the Tank Engine for his taste. I on the other hand bloody loved it.

  5. Watched the whole thing with my mouth hanging open (except when I had to attempt to answer my son’s continuous stream of questions regarding Britain’s social history). Awesome doesn’t cover it.

  6. We were quite looking forward to the Olympics in our house anyway with tickets for two events (one for just OH and eldest and one for us all). I thought the opening ceremony was bloody fantastic and as we recorded it I also plan to watch at least some of it again. The only issue was that it was on sooo late – I am a late bird anyway usually but we had to get up at 4.45 to get to London so OH and eldest could get to the Beach Volleyball for 9am. Knackered! Smallest and I tagged along – we nearly didn’t bother but so glad we did the atmosphere and buzz in London was soo worth it. We pootled down to Tower Bridge to see the rings, up Regent Street to Hamleys and then we all met up on Constitution Hill to see the mens cycle race – def a day to remember. Even the sun shone!

  7. Danny did us proud! He was at the NT last year (I work there) and was amazing then (directing a fantastic Frankenstein) so I expected nothing less than fabulousness and he didn’t disappoint. I’d have loved to have heard his pitch to the Queen!! Still grinning about certain bits…. oh and you can watch it all again in iPlayer 🙂 xx

  8. I loved it & so did my kids, who were allowed to stop up with me to watch it. Hard to pick out some truely stand out moments as there were just so many. I did think it was a lovely touch through including 2 female descendants of the Pankhurst family, who joined in the parade with the other suffragettes. Inspired & inspiring.

  9. Mind blowing, it was simply mind blowing. The backing music really made the opening sequence fit together.

    Like you, I’m hoping a DVD version of it comes out (with an option to switch off the BBC/Trevor Nelson), so that I can sit with my son and show him how we celebrated his first 6 months.

  10. I Really loved it!! I Wanted to be a part of it all but I can’t sing or dance or anything really. I thought he did it so well and the lighting of the cauldron was just perfect..young talent and petals and all that. I really didn’t like Macca though. I know he’s meant to be a legend but he had the Jubilee already. It would have been great to see someone else! (but I’m pretending that bit didn’t happen!)

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