Yes, a new thread dedicated to the most exciting thing to happen in Stratford since that time in 1960 when a coachload of Japanese tourists asked where Anne Hathaway's cottage was. Yes,indeed, it's the world gathering of people who wrestle in their pyjamas, practice for jumping over London buses by using a long pole,and run 5km only to end up where they started.
Today we're in sunny Glasgow ( "The Home of the Deep-fried Mars Bar"),for the Colombia v North Korea womens' soccer match,attended by 2000 drunks and one non-Glaswegian. Everything went with the style and efficiency which we have come to expect of anything planned by a British committee and paid for by McDonalds, peaking at the showing of the national flag of Korea against each North Korean player's picture as it appeared on the giant screens before kick off. How the crowd cheered as the national flag of South Korea was used. The North Korean team promptly left the field and couldn't be persuaded to return for over an hour.
Next time we'll have it organised by McDonalds and paid for by a British Committee.
'British Prime Minister David Cameron didn't take kindly to the Olympic affront, and said so with comments which suggest that Romney's stewardship of the Salt Lake City Olympics had been no great deal. "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world," Cameron told the British press. "Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."'nationaljournal.com
Romney and Cameron seem to be getting on like a house on fire...
And now, the Opening Ceremony, complete with Mr Bean and a video appearance by Johnny Rotten. Bet he never thought he'd be in the Olympics ! With a wry sense of humour, the director had God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols in the opening sequence, too.
Now we await the discovery that nobody has remembered to pay the gas bill and the Olympic flame won't light.
More on Mitt 'the Ambassador' Romney. He has described Boris Johnson as an eccentric who, he claimed, made it well-known that he preferred Obama in 2008. Since London's Mayor is a Conservative, and thus to the right in our politics, there's no knowing what Romney will think and say when he encounters the Left. President Hollande is going to be a mystery to him, for a start. Romney did meet Ed Milliband, the leader of the Labour Party,thus of the Left, and who is the leader of the Opposition, but he forgot Ed Milliband's name. He referred to him on meeting as 'Mr Leader'. Perhaps he meant 'Dear Leader'. Who knows?
Boris, as he is universally known here, had responded to Romney's critical remarks about the preparation for the Olympics by asking a large crowd whether Romney was right and then asking 'Can we do it?' to which he and the crowd responded by yelling 'Yes we can!'. I wonder who's slogan he was mischievously and deliberately invoking? Boris is immensely popular here, one of those politicians who attracts votes from both sides of the electorate simply because they like him and he is totally untrammelled by whatever the Party thinks he ought to say (the Party have given up trying to make him toe the line because he wins votes regardless)
It's a good thing for Romney that foreign affairs are of no interest to American voters.Meanwhile, Michelle Obama is winning everyone over as a natural communicator and diplomat. We like her.
Originally posted by dogspit: Let's just hope they do not display the coat of arms of North Petherton as the South Petherton team takes the pitch !
Well, I noticed that the children's choir sang a Welsh song in English ! That was as near to unpolitical as it got. The organisers had been careful to choose acts from all three countries and the Province,such was the effort to avoid offence at home.
Believe it or not, I can sympathize. Over here the world thinks there is England and Ireland... and, mostly, that Ireland will be England someday. There are far more factions and peoples and histories than that which most of the rest of the world grasps (as there are damned near anywhere in the world). Anyhow... so far the opening ceremonies are stellar (Mind you... not quite of the scale as Beijing... but, that mark will never be equalled by a Western nation.). Carry on... it's only the Olympics !
Horse ballet? Obviously not written by an equestrian
Dressage is not conventionally performed to music, save in exhibition (think of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna). In competition, the routines are set the same for every competitor,there is no concept of interpretation or artistic merit, so music would be pointless.
In the Olympics,the marking is utterly incomprehensible because nearly all the riders and horses seem identically excellent. But it's well worth seeing once, if only to try to work out how the horse is controlled; the rider sits motionless yet the horse runs diagonally , stops, leaps, goes back and so on, as though programmed by a computer. The BBC employs,as their expert, a wonderfully haughty old girl, whose downbeat explanations make the whole thing even less comprehensible than it was before.It deserves nothing less.
At last! Team GB wins a medal when standing up. All right, so it was only one bloke shooting from a standing position, but still,does this mark a significant turning point in British life? Er...no. Lying down (swimming) or sitting down ( cycling, rowing, kayaking) is our way
Our biggest handicap is the Prime Minister turning up. He insists upon going to any event whatsoever, for all of ten minutes , just at the point when we have a finalist. This is no coincidence; he wants the press coverage and photos when we win.He has no interest in sport whatsoever. He is an albatross. Doesn't matter what it is; cycling or , just now, judo; our competitor immediately gets silver when gold was expected.When he can't get there, as with shooting today, our man wins: lucky for him that Cameron was at the judo at the same time (our girl there got silver, not gold, naturally,jinxed). He missed the kayaking, also at the same time. We got gold and silver in that, of course!
No wonder the US is doing all right. You only sent Mrs Obama. She isn't looking for photo-ops !
Blimey,Team GB (a stupid marketing name; GB is only Scotland, England and Wales. It should be 'Team UK') is now lying third in the medals table, behind China and the US. That's because Victoria Pendleton has just won gold, sitting down of course, in cycling, after four blokes won gold sitting down in the same sport, and two women won sitting down in rowing.
We now hope Rebecca Pendleton wins lying down, for a change, in swimming tonight.
Funny, and a link well worth reading by anybody. Are there any practising American politicians who have such appeal to everyone, regardless of background or political tendency? They're rare here.
Cameron said of the zip wire incident that Boris Johnson was the only politician living who would make such an embarrassment for most a political triumph for himself.
He is wonderful in answering the press. When he got fired from the Conservative cabinet, for what the leadership thought being too outspoken, he was asked if it wasn't a disaster for him. His reply? " My friends,as I have discovered myself,there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters!"
Asked why a man should vote Conservative, he didn't give some trite, scripted, policy claim from Party Head Office, as expected of candidates. He answered " Voting Tory will give your wife bigger breasts and improve your chances of owning a BMW M3" Beat that! Making fun of the standard politician's reply.
That's what people like. Yet he's an excellent Mayor, gets things done, delivers on promises, and is skilled in dealing with serious matters. He's no fool; he's an exceptionally able political operator.
Blimey! A GB competitor has won an event when not sitting down ! Mo Farah won the 10,000 metres.
That a Briton could outrun Ethiopians was a wonder to us all.No Briton has ever won the Olympic 10,000 metres. Then we discovered he was born in Somalia, to Somali parents. He came to the UK when 8. It's just that our Germans are better than their Germans, as it were!
We've cracked the Curse of Cameron; the Prime Minister's turning up at events resulting in our losing. We have the Macca medals, instead. Paul McCartney has not attended anything, but turned up at the velodrome (Result! Several golds) in the afternoon and then went across to the athletics (Result!Three golds) in the evening. Only snag was that he sang Hey Jude again, impromptu, at the velodrome.
One for Francophones (Mozart?). Direction signs in the Olympic Park are in French and English, French first. One I saw read 'Tribune de presse' (Press stand) with 'Press tribune' underneath. No idea what the English means; the Press being given an ancient Roman title, perhaps. Webster helps any curious American journos by giving 'a structure like a pulpit in the old French Assembly' and the Oxford Dictionary helps ours by saying that in the C18 it was a gallery with seats, but I can't think any of them would otherwise be aware of the secondary meanings, both obsolete
The announcements are also in both languages, French first, but the organisers have gone to the trouble of employing native British and French speakers (who, incidentally, pronounce British names and places in a fair British accent, which is impressive). Many of the announcements are unscripted, since they are about state of play, scores,how the two teams are faring at half-time and so forth. Then there is a clear difference between the styles and manner of expression used, whereas the scripted ones are both formal and correct translations.
Originally posted by FredPuli: At last! Team GB wins a medal when standing up. All right, so it was only one bloke shooting from a standing position...
You Brits and your gun culture
He's a farmer and was using a twelve bore (twelve gauge) shotgun designed for shooting vermin (pigeons); but he may be the only civilian in Britain who's now allowed a gun, and then only on an army range, which the Royal Artillery barracks, the venue, is. Anyway, his mentor, sponsor, and coach is an Arab prince. Nobody here would deny an Arab prince if he said the boy should have a gun
Back to form. Team GB won no golds in athletics on Monday. We won gold in cycling , sitting down, and, just for variety, the team gold in show jumping, sitting down, but the horses were standing up. Yesterday, some Scot called Andy Murray spoiled our record, and our image as gentlemen, by winning gold at sphairistike or 'lawn tennis', which we understand involves running about, which is not something for even a Scottish gentleman to be doing. All I can say is that I hope he recovers in time for the Scottish grouse shooting season, which is delayed beyond ' the glorious twelfth' (12th of August) this year.