Saturday, 28 July 2012

Proud to be British

What luck. I managed to watch the Opening Ceremony last night from some of the best seats in the house - and although I didn't get home until almost 5am, it was definitely worth it. Amazing. Absolutely bloody amazing. Without doubt, the best production I've ever seen.

Sky said it 'lived up to the hype' (no mean feat for Sky, which I generally regard as the broadcast equivalent of the Daily Mail). The Telegraph said we've proved we're 'a country that can still put on a show'. And The Washington Post reported it as 'an event celebrating the shared culture of the English-speaking world.' In short, I think we can conclude it was a success.

Personally, I loved some bits more than others; James Bond and The Queen were pure genius, David Beckham was brilliant and the music sequences were fantastic. Similarly Rowan Atkinson was hysterical. But I'd leave out Paul McCartney (really, he proved he's no longer up to the job at the Jubilee concert - hopefully this was the final nail in the coffin) and I thought the athletes parading went on for too long - although I appreciate they are the true stars of the show. 

Celebrity spots included David Walliams, Heston Blumenthal, Cliff Richard (does that count? Probably not) and the cast of Downton Abbey. As a keen Hugh Bonneville fan, I had no choice but to nip over and say a quick hello - what a gentleman. Lovely guy. Not quite as good as me chatting to Boris Johnson, but almost...

This morning, Martini Towers was up in force to see Team GB in the road race - and how fantastic was that? The crowds were huge and the general atmosphere is that the party has arrived. Long may it continue...

I'm always proud to be English, but today I'm honoured to be British. 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The greatest show on earth

The countdown has started...

I cannot believe it's less than one week to go - after 18 months, it's almost here and will be over too quickly. Even the weather seems to finally be turning. Yes, the media is having a field-day with all things negative (#chipgate has been my favourite so far), but I think people are really starting to get excited. Of course, it really helps that Bradley Wiggins has pulled in such a fantastic result - who'd have ever thought it? Personally, I can't believe he's still competing in another race and is then planning to just pop along to the Olympic time trial a week later. Lucky for me though, because he's cycling right past my house. I'm betting there'll be a few more people than previously planned to step out in support, thanks to his historic win. What a great way to start off the Olympics. 

I'm working every day now until 12 August. I'm going to be at the Park most of the time, but I'll be at home for the road race and time trail and I'm also hoping to get to Eton Dorney at some point (make sure you're shouting for Tim Brabants - he's a legend). Stay tuned for photos and updates galore. I can't wait. 

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Back to normality...of a sort

Well, I've made it. Just. Back for my first full week of work, after the birth of tiny Martini. Shattered? Of course. Shock to the system? You bet. But the chance to meet Boris and Dame Kelly Holmes (again) in the same week? Definitely worth it. 

On Monday, I did wonder how I was going to get through the week. Tiny is still waking up about once a night, although she no longer feeds - I think she just wants to say hello - and she needs a bit of soothing to get back to sleep. This is no problem if you can take it easy when you get up (and generally loll about in your pyjamas). Not so if you have to get up, attempt to actually look more pulled together than someone who's been pulled through a hedge backwards, feed three children, sterlise bottles, empty the dishwasher and get out of the door by 7.40am. Thank God for the nanny is all I can say. 

Someone who's been pulled through a hedge backwards
Boris was an absolute legend, by the way. Totally off message, he wanders around in his cycling helmet and speaks to everyone - he's very engaging. And hilarious. And he really does ride around on his bike (being a cynical PR, I assumed that was all staged. I can confirm it isn't). 

It's definitely tough to leave Tiny at such a young age, it's not long until September - and then it will all be over. And I can have the rest of the year off, to enjoy a well-earned break. Something tells me that, by that time, I'll need it.