I decided to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. The only clouds over the stadium were Danny Boyle’s ingenious examples on sticks. I felt my brain was in candyfloss as I witnessed Kenneth Branagh in a stovepipe hat, spouting lines from The Tempest. I felt that Boyle could have saved some money by hiring Neil Oliver as he had recently been reciting the same speech at the Minack on Coast. I suppose he might have forgotten his lines by now.
But why was Isambard Kingdom Brunel – his middle name another possible question on Mastermind-ranting on Glastonbury Tor? Why were child patients, bouncing in Great Ormond Street beds? They can’t have been so ill, being subjected to the terror of huge spidery monsters. Maybe the long-legged spinners represented MRSA bugs and other virulent and difficult to cure infections which seem to swarm all over our wards.
Why were Sergeant Pepper and his entourage hot on the heels of men in the trenches? I felt rather confused.
Then I was stunned that Daniel Craig brought in HM, and I don’t mean Helen Mirren. I wondered if both ladies might not have preferred Sean Connery, or Pierce Brosnan as an escort. I know I would have.
At a crucial point, when Sir Chris Hoy was carrying our flag, the cameras scrolled to The Queen, who was examining her cuticles. She may have been wearing a fascinator, but fascinated she was not. She would probably have preferred watching it all on the telly. She didn’t even get to light the flame, and she was probably the most qualified to do so, as she was Corgi-registered, according to some wag.
The Czech team made me laugh with their preparation for our weather. Kirstie Allsopp was probably admiring their wellies with attitude.
Argentina marched past. I was hoping that they would be overwhelmed by British confidence and would give up all claims to the Malvinas.
Some athletes were chewing, or texting on their mobile phones. I thought of the minimum standard of behaviour that I had expected from my pupils and I bristled at the parade of bad manners.
There seemed to be an accompanying toga-ed young person who cradled a copper shell which looked like a begging bowl for contributions for the country being represented. There was one Indian woman volunteer who was not in a toga and who simply muscled in on all the attention. Later she did not seem at all apologetic. I supposed that she had had her fifteen minutes of fame. That Andy Warhol has a lot to answer for.
When Switzerland marched past I was disappointed that Roger was not carrying the flag. He had sensibly gone to bed early as he had a match the following day. He was very wise, as it meant that he avoided having to repetitively sing, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, at the instigation of a curiously puffy-faced Paul McCartney, who looked as if an early night and a healthy microwaveable Linda-meal would have done him good. He needn’t have felt threatened by the Arctic Monkeys, at any rate.
Rafa wasn’t there either, but half of Spain seemed to be in their parade, so no one missed him. I suppose that it gave Spaniards something to do, seeing as they don’t have any jobs.
There was a Hong Kong team and a mainland China one. No wonder they win so many medals. They cheat by entering twice.
The fireworks and pixel lighting were sensational and Heatherwick’s copper petals came together symbolically and formed a flaming cauldron, worthy of Andy Murray’s mother’s spell-inducing incantation:
Make Andy triumph over ditch-delivered drabs.
It was one thirty before I hit the sack: I knew I’d regret it over the weekend.