GOSH! What a spectacle in London - The Olympic Opening Ceremony
I wish I hadn't read all the reviews about the Olympic Opening Ceremony. I ended up with a splitting headache, somewhat blurred vision and an apparent inability to form my own views despite the fact that I did spend nearly four hours in front of the telly . In one of the reviews I read that the ceremony was viewed by 26.9 million. If every single person's opinion was to be voiced, it could possibly cause the most profound confusion..
I wish I had been born British (only for the sake of the Olympic Ceremony) so that I could appreciate every second of what was dubbed 'quintessentially British' and the most eccentric performance .
Earlier this week as the twitter goes down I turn to the radio only to hear of yet another Olympic blunder with regards to yet another national flag and start to moan myself wishing that the national moans would stop for good and everyone started looking at the bright side.
I was born a moaner, which you may not believe when you look at me smiling. We Poles love moaning and you may have been by now warned of the fact (as we have 'peacefully invaded' the Isles in great numbers) that you should only ask a Pole 'How are you?', if you have time to hear of all the things that have gone wrong in their lives. I must admit that at least some of the Brits seem to be mastering the art of moaning very well these days.
On the night of The Olympic Opening Ceremony as I'm sitting in front of the small screen, my husband is working hard anxiously anticipating crowds to come through Leicester Square Station, our little daughter is fast asleep in her bedroom unaware of what the Olympics and Paralympics are about.
The close 'encounter' between the Queen and James Bond leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I reassure myself with the thought that they must have used a look alike; of Her Majesty of course, not of Daniel Craig, though I'm not sure about the corgis. The fact they did not, comes as a great surprise. I can just imagine a child asking me next time on one of my walks: 'How long did the Queen train for her parachute jump from the helicopter?' As you know a child's imagination has no limits and neither does the one of Danny Boyle.
I love the colours, the lights, the sounds, special effects, fireworks, ... and yet I wonder why Isambard Kingdom Brunel recites the speech from 'The Tempest' by William Shakespeare. Couldn't the famous bard do it himself? I'm confused by the NHS scene and it takes me a while to understand that it is not GOSH what I see but the initials of Great Ormond Saint Hospital. All over the globe millions of viewers were possibly left with the GOSH puzzle unsolved?
I experience deja vu watching Rowan Atkinson mastering a demanding multi-tasking skill that involves playing the keyboard with one finger while blowing his nose... His daydreaming scene leaves me somewhat anxious if the Brits are not perhaps portrayed as those that may not always play fair. I absolutely adore the music though. One must be British to understand their peculiar sense of humour, their ability to laugh at themselves, all the nuances...
It is amazing how much one can pack into a colourful spectacle that tells you the story of the nation. It is amazing how much can be left out as well. What you leave out may be just as important to you as what you keep in. What matters most however in this fascinating show is the spirit of thousands of volunteers (sworn to keep the secret till the very last moment) and happy faces of athletes from all over the world!
I can't help but smirk when I see David Beckham in the role of the Bond-style modern Prometheus bringing the torch in a speedboat, but when the Olympic cauldron is lit and burns like a giant flower I'm genuinely awestruck. This is the moment when I wish I were there...
That night I have my first possibly quintessentially British dream of David Beckham sitting hundreds of feet up on a chimney. While a hundred of Mary Poppinses fly to rescue him on their umbrellas, Isambard Kingdom Brunel covers for Sir Paul McCartney and sings the other Queen's 'Show must go on'.
I wish I had a greater interest in sports. My slightly traumatic experiences from PE lessons can be partially to blame. Neither can I say I'm proud to be British, which is what you would obviously hear around these days. I am however proud to be a Londoner and a foreigner who loves walking and guiding along the streets and along the Thames and never gets tired of London. Even though I do not always get all the quintessentially British jokes...