The British normally politely wait in line for Eddie the Eagle to screw up and his mate Bob the builder to go on strike to scupper any feel good factor at major events; not this time as even the good weather arrived to bask the Olympic village in sunlight ready for the opening ceremony.
Before the start of London 2012 the British media hovered like a birds of prey ready to dive down for the kill at the slightest mistake. Queue the wailing and gnashing of teeth as the women’s football team from North Korea walked off in protest as the South Korean flag was raised by mistake. As muck ups go this was classic as North and South Korea are still technically at war.
The opening ceremony was also under the spotlight and at the last minute whole segments were dropped by Danny Boyle giving the media something else to crow about. The ceremony itself had been shrouded in secrecy with a sneak peak promo video released just the day before but I doubt anybody had any idea just what a stunning, imaginative, and beautiful show would wow the world on Friday night.
I missed the first half an hour and turned the telly box on just as Madge and 007 jumped out of a helicopter to take their places in the Olympic stadium. I sat in awe for the next few hours watching the spectacle unfold in full HD. Mr Bean was involved as was Macca, Mohammed Ali and Becks too, with one of my favourite bands Underworld directing the soundtrack.
The lighting of the Olympic flame in the stadium was a jaw droppingly beautiful event and the 204 burners representing every competing nation slowly lit up, then rose into the night sky to join into one huge flame; there to burn until Sunday week. Once the flames are extinguished the cauldron has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick to be dismantled so that each country will be given their own scorched petal to take home.
Talking about flames in this long hot summer; Spain has been hit by huge forest fires.
4 people have died but think also for all the wildlife condemned to death often by a carelessly discarded cigarette. In rural locations barbecues are banned and even if having one on the patio at home make sure there is water available just in case of trouble. If using charcoal then dowse the embers with water when finished. Avoid parking cars and bikes on grassy verges as exhausts and catalytic converters are hot enough to start fires. For all smokers out there don’t throw discarded butts onto the ground and watch where the ash is flicked.
It’s all simple stuff yet thousands of Spanish hectares have gone up in smoke mostly down to human stupidity. Just 4 summers ago Mojacar and Turre were ravaged by fire and only now is the countryside recovering. In Lubrin, Seron and Sorbas there have already been fires this summer. Keep safe whilst having fun!