Not strictly true, as the Olympics already began with Women’s Football in Wales drawing the ‘Who Cares’ card. They managed to project a North Korean flag with South Korean players (or was it the other way around?) and the team walked off – so that’s off to a good start then.
But this is England (and Wales, which we don’t really count) where embarrassment is thrived upon and every tiny error will be magnified and examined in microscopic detail. Our need for public accounting is extreme. I imagine in the US these things would be shrugged off and placed within the bigger picture with a kind of ‘Meh, they’re in our damned country’ attitude.
Speaking of pictures, mine shows the torch passing my bedroom window accompanied by four beefy runners, followed just out of shot by an African choir and Sadler’s Wells dancers. The bunting is out at Fowler Towers, where an opening night party is being prepared. The London Eye did its rehearsals, rotating a giant sparkly Union Jack, ann the bells are all set to ring out across the city at the same minute.
Last night I went to the theatre and walked through the bucolic garden squares of Bloomsbury, where I would say there are around three times as many people as normal, and you can hear some wonderfully unfamiliar languages being spoken. Apparently there is a London community for every single language being spoken at the Olympics, making it the most international city in the world.
Speaking of embarrassment, last night’s theatre involved an American tourist being dragged on stage and teased in front of a crowded house. He took being woven into the show quite well, despite the look of pleasure and extreme alarm on his face. The biggest laugh came from a Boris Johnson lookalike riding across the stage on a bike and Susan Boyle being shot in the chest.
The searing temperatures are – with such embarrassing predictability – due to collapse tomorrow night, with a solid week of rain predicted for the games. Could Finland chuck some more ice in the sea and move the Gulf Stream back again?
So the games are set to commence and businesses will be virtually shut down for a fortnight, just as the worst possible economic news hits the headlines.As part of the festivities, a massive wave of new theatre is opening across the capital, including the play ‘Ten Billion’, which politely points out that We Are All Doomed, and as the oil barons prepare to make the US self-sufficient by completely destroying Alaska, it’s now too late to do anything about it.
So let’s go check out the volleyball.