You would be forgiven, but you'd also be wrong.
To be fair, I'd thought much the same, so no hard feelings, eh?
The wheels started coming off the Miserable-Scrote-mobile on Friday morning, at approximately 12 minutes past eight. This was the appointed hour for the start of one of the highlights of the Cultural Olympiad, All The Bells.
As the press release stated:
"Any Bell. Anyone. Anywhere. 08:12 27th July At 08:12 this morning hundreds of thousands of people across the United Kingdom rang bells to celebrate the first day of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in a mass participation artwork by Turner Prize winning artist Martin Creed, commissioned by the London 2012 Festival."
It wasn't my intention to take part as such, but as I was leaving Tense Towers to go to work, Our Lass called out to me to not forget that it was the bell-ringing thingy today. Instinctively, I grabbed a set of sleigh bells on my way out of the door (as you do).
Several national radio stations were broadcasting the event, so it was fairly straightforward to be aware of the countdown to Big Ben's commencement of 3 minutes of continuous ringing at 08.12. I only discovered later that this particular time was chosen because it was 12 hours before 20.12, a timely pun of 2012. Well there you go!
So, at 08.12 precisely, I jumped up from my desk, grabbed said sleigh bells and set off on a gentle jog around the factory, ringing for all I was worth, like a horse-drawn fire engine on acid.
To be honest, the bleary-eyed souls who had dragged themselves into work for that hour probably required a gentler introduction to the Cultural Olympiad, but what the heck. In and out of rooms I went, through workshops, along corridors, upstairs and downstairs. At one point, I burst out into the car park to discover half a dozen disappointed-looking colleagues who had been hoping for the village church bell to peal. A red-in-the-face, exhausted-looking Northerner in some sort of jingling frenzy was probably not what they were expecting, as he careened past and on into another part of the factory.
"B'lls... f' three mints... 'Lympics!" I managed to gasp.
Three minutes is not only a long time to be ringing a bell (no innuendo, please), but for me, it was also a bloody long time to be jogging. I collapsed back into my chair and declared that that was it, my Olympic spirit had peaked too early and I was reverting to my more usual gruffness for the entirety of the remaining Games.
|Jingly, jingly, jingle|
That evening, to escape the television extravaganza that was the four hour opening ceremony, Our Lass, Second Born, the Admiral and I ventured as far as a local Italian restaurant, to celebrate Our Lass's completion of her latest course. After a pleasant meal, we met up with JD, of Rotten Yarns fame, and ended up in a wine bar to continue the revelry. We caught up on events since we had all last met, a conversation carried on against the backdrop of pop videos on a multitude of monitors.
Suddenly, the scantily-clad starlets and hip-thrusting wannabes were replaced by the pastoral scenes of the beginning of the London 2012 opening ceremony. But before we could let out a collective groan, it became apparent that this wasn't going to be any routine run-of-the-mill floor show. The introductory video sequence was filmed as if through the eyes of a... what? Something that emerged from the water at the source of the Thames and proceeded to fly downstream at a hell of a lick, encountering all sorts of Olympic imagery as it went. Surely it wasn't... ? No, it couldn't be... ? Was that a dragonfly? It was. An Olympic opening odonate!
That was it, we were hooked. And the music was a bit good, too.