You will get no argument from me if you say that at a cost of £27 million it should have been good. (Just think what the Lions could do with that sort of money in the fight against eradicable blindness!) Oh, sorry - I'm talking about the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Yes, I know it took place on Friday last week but the Old Bat and I were otherwise engaged so I recorded it. We got round to watching it last night. I had read so much about it in the weekend papers that I was both eager to watch and aprehensive lest I should find that, as usual, my views and those of the critics failed to coincide. I need not have worried.
How wonderful to involve so many children. Right at the start there was a children's choir in the stadium, then films of children's choirs in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There were the children bouncing in the hospital beds in the tribute to the National Health Service, all appearing to find it the greatest of fun.
The display ran the whole gamut of emotions. It summed up very concisely - almost too concisely - the history of our country BUT made absolutely no mention of any military prowess or might. This was Fun with a capital F - and it made one proud to be British. There was the absolutely hilarious spoof arrival of the Queen - and what other country is confident enough in itself to send up its head of state in that way? (see it here) - followed by the most moving rendition of the national anthem that I have ever heard. This was the obvious time to bring in massed military bands or a large symphony orchestra. But no, Danny Boyle went for understatement and introduced another children's choir - the Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children - who sang the first and third verses with no accompaniment. I confess I had tears in my eyes. Here is the only clip I have managed to find on YouTube.
Frankly, I am completely at a loss to describe the whole ceremony in just a few words. The best I can come up with is brilliant, barmy, and so, so British.
Beat that, Brazil!~~~~~
The river Verzée flows oh, so gently around the lower town of Pouancé. So gently, in fact, that waterlilies are able to grow in it.