I'm afraid I don't feel I can write much about last night's commonwealth games opening ceremony in Glasgow. It's not that it was bad (although there were a few dodgy song lyrics), it's just that I found it uninspiring. I found nothing to get my teeth into, nothing I can explore on here at any length. That is a shame as it had so much potential, even with the reduced budget it had; yet nothing stood out and it was all very normal. It was just a few songs and that's about it. I must say it left me slightly disappointed. Oh well - maybe the closing ceremony will give me more to write about.
Far be it for me to preempt the content of tonight's opening ceremony up in Glasgow, but I cannot help observing a few things. It seems to me that comparisons with the opening ceremony of London 2012 will be inevitable, so much so that I wonder whether they could reference it somehow. They probably won't, of course, as they will want a unique, original product. Yet, given the rivalry between Scotland and England, as well as the Scottish sense of humour, will they be tempted? Could they indeed reference the meeting of bond and the queen. You might think this unlikely, but it could be interesting: the first person to play Bond was, of course, Sean Connery, who is now a staunch supporter of Scottish Independence; if they made something of that, somehow involving Connery to reference both the olympic ceremony, the monarchy, the bond franchise and the referendum, then that has the potential to be fascinating, both artistically and politically. These are just my musings, though: we will have to wait till tonight to see what they actually do; but given Scottish humour and attitudes, could such a dig at London 2012 be on the cards?
A strange, almost eerie, coincidence recently occurred to me. It's nothing much, and I'm sure it could just be dismissed as just a wierd twist of fate, but to me it begs to be noted simply for the record. As I am sure we all know, tomorrow sees the beginning of the commonwealth games up in Glasgow. Back in 1998, my class back at school took part in a wheelchair display competition. That year, they were bidding for the commonwealth games to be held in Manchester, so our teacher chose to base our display on that, choreographing it to Chariots of fire. We had already sailed through the heats in Withenshaw with a display based on The Full Monty. The odd coincidence is the main competition was in Glasgow.
I can't help reflecting on that simple duality. It somehow gives me a greater link to tomorrow's games. It forces me to think back sixteen years, to the weekend my friends and I visited Glasgow. We had a great time. I even won the single disco event! Yet I can't reflect too on how so many of those guys I went up there with have since passed away, giving the realisation of this coincidence a poigniency I can't help but notice. Thus tomorrow's games take me back to an awesome weekend, but one that now seems a lifetime ago in an era long passed.
After last night, I will forever be able to say 'I was there!' I was there at the O2 last night; I was there the night Michael Palin sang the lumberjack song, probably for the last time; I was there the night they did The Spanish inquisition; the nigh John Cleese needed prompting slightly during the parrot sketch. I was there, last night with Lyn, watching these five men whose comedy I love, seemingly bid farewell. I was there when they sang 'Always look on the Bright side of Life', a tear in my eye, having left if for the encore and just when we were starting to worry that they would not do it. I was there, and I feel very privileged indeed to now be able to say that.
In short, last night was possibly the greatest of my life. To ave seen python live feels incredible. While they did one or two things I was unfamiliar with, the evening was mostly about nostalgia, so they stuck to the old classics. I was happy with that, as were, I think, the rest of the fifteen-thousand strong audience. But they put in some new stuff too. The greatest bit of all, the bit I adored and which I now disparately want to see again, the bit that ranks alongside if not indeed surpasses bond and the queen in terms of epic greatness, was a pre-recorded piece where Brian Cox gets pedantic about the lyrics to The Galaxy Song, and is then chased and run over by Stephen Hawking, who then sings the song through his communication aid. Professor Hawking was then pointed out to be in the audience. It was the greatest, most brilliant thing ever, especially for a Hawking fan.
What more can I say? I won't even try to go into detail about everything that happened, as I fear it ould loose something in translation. Yet I suspect I'll be smiling over my memories of last night for some time, if not the rest of my life. To have seen these funniest of men perform again, after so long and after so many had thought it impossible, was a great, great thing. I am so lucky. I feel sad that it is now passed, of course, but happy and privileged to have seen it. But also it inspires me, for it makes me wonder: if such great things can happen, where will my life in this great city with my great girlfriend take me next?
I might be up slightly early for a Sunday, but the truth is I feel like a kid on christmas morning. Today's the big day: tonight we go to see Monty Python Live. I grew up loving Python, having come to it via Michael Palin and his travel shows, so to have a chance to see them perform together after so long, probably in their last ever performance, virtually on my doorstep, is quite incredible. I can't believe my luck. I'm counting down the hours. Expect a full review/account on here tomorrow.