Last night, Vee and I spent four hours watching live on BBC television the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics Games here in our home city of London. We have waited seven years for this time and I even volunteered to be a London Ambassador for the Games (but I was not chosen).
The organiser of the event, filmmaker Danny Boyle, did a brilliant job with limited resources.
We didn’t always know exactly what was going on and we certainly didn’t catch every cultural allusion in an immensely rich tapestry, but the whole thing was exuberant and inventive and it reflected wonderfully the history, creativeness, diversity and values of the UK, all the way from the Industrial Revolution to the World Wide Web. I wonder what Americans made of our celebration of the National Health Service which was created in the year of the last hosting of the Games in London and the year of my birth.
Boyle was serious in commemorating the dead and injured on 7/7, but there was a lightness of touch all the way from the Morrris dancers in rural England to Paul McCartney’s “Hey Jude”. I especially loved the humour exhibited in the sequences involving James Bond and Mr Bean. So here is a reminder of my favourite moment: